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Based on 2016 Census population estimates.

Percent population change 2010-2016

Big states population change 2010-2016

large states population change 2010-2016

Net domestic migration 2010-2016

Net international migration 2010-2016

New York State's population growth has stalled

large states population change 2010-2016

New York continues to fall behind the other most populous states.

New York State's population was 19,745,289 on July 1 of this year, according to new Census Bureau estimates out this week.

That total still ranks the Empire State fourth in the nation -- but it's down by 1,894 (.01 percent) compared to 2015. It's the first decline in the state's annual population estimate since 2006. (The state had a streak of three years of estimated population declines from 2004-2006 in which it lost almost .4 percent of its population compared to 2003.)

Florida passed New York for the #3 spot in the population rankings in 2014. And the gap has now grown to more than 867,000 people. The Sunshine State's population was up 1.8 percent compared to 2015, according to the estimates.

And from a population perspective, that's one of the things that sets New York apart from the other large states: slow (or no) growth. Between 2010 and 2016, California (#1 in population) is up more than 5 percent, Texas (#2) is up more than 10 percent, and Florida is up more than 9 percent. New York? Not quite 1.8 percent.

The continuing drag on New York's population total is that people are leaving for other states. Between 2010 and 2016, New York has lost almost a net 850,000 people to domestic migration. (Florida has gained about the same number of people from domestic migration.) And the Census Bureau estimates indicate New York lost about 191,000 people net between 2015 and 2016 this way.

Two things are continuing to prop up New York population: babies are being born here faster than people die, and migration from outside the country. Between 2010 and 2016, New York gained almost 550,000 people from "natural increase" (that is, babies born minus people dying). And it gained almost 700,000 from international migration.

Whenever the estimates come out, there's usually some talk about the reasons New York is losing people to other states. Is it taxes, jobs, regulation, climate? Maybe it's all of those things.

But having a better sense of exactly why would be helpful. Stuff like taxes and regulations are something that government can address. Jobs are harder, but again, it's something that the state (generally and the government itself) can work on. If it's climate... well, there's not much that can be done about that (though it is changing...).

Maps above

Look up: A few clickable maps are in large format at the top -- click or scroll all the way up.


Why do SO many people leave NY state?? Hmmmmm...maybe it's the Russians!

"Between 2010 and 2016, California (#1 in population) is up more than 5 percent, Texas (#2) is up more than 10 percent, and Florida is up more than 9 percent."

Don't each of these states with increasing population have significant water issues?

I left NY because the opportunities aren't there and I was simply priced out of the state. I live in Virginia now and it is 1000x better.

New York outside NYC really has very limited options for younger folks. I say that despite Albany's recent (slight, but against the trend) growth.

Everyone I know with young adult children has the same story: the kids leave for opportunities they simply cannot get here.

Cost-of-living is brutal in California, but the perks....wow. Vibrant economy, diversity, great weather....did I mention the vibrant economy?

Florida will be underwater in my lifetime and I'm not young.

Albany....poor Albany. Such wasted potential.

Stan, the people you know with young adult children probably raised those children in the area. That is intrinsically the group of people that is more likely to leave. (Similarly, those who grew up in the area and have remained seem to be the most negative about it.) Go to some rural backwater like New Hampshire or Vermont, and the numbers are much more dire.

On the other hand, as someone who works for colleges after moving here to attend one years ago, I know many people who moved to the area for college or a job and stayed around much longer than planned, often permanently. (This group includes me.) The opportunities, like most smaller cities, will depend on the field you're in, of course. But this area offers quite a lot, including for the young.

All that said, I suspect the reality is somewhere in between our experiences.

If you look at domestic migration as %% of population, NY is still the worst one - but not that out of scale. NY, CT, IL and HI are in the same gang. ND, WY and AK are also big losers, but at least reasons are obvious.
It is also interesting that despite being oh-so-great place, CA is loosing on domestic migration, but gains on international.
Another interesting fact is that population of NYS without NYC is almost flat: NYS gained 370k people between 2010 and 2015, 358k of them in NYC..

Willing to bet one million dollars Florida will not be underwater in our lifetime. California has a pension system that will destroy its so called "booming" economy and has HIGHEST rates of people living in poverty in America as well as one of worst least affordable housing markets with one of worst income inequality in America.grass almost never greener elsewhere but we could certainly do a lot to improve the grass in NY state....

I reached deep down into my cranky, curmudgeonly old self to dredge up some bitter criticism of my home state. I really did try. After all, I've lived here my whole life -- in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. In Western New York, Central New York, the Capital Region, and the North Country. I looked for some snarky, pointed barbs I could throw. Surely I could find some.

Nope. It turns out I really like living in New York State.

You can count me among the millions who make our lives here in New York State and look forward to staying here.

I love posts like this.

I'm a "young professional" / "millenial" / under 35 person who has considered moving to a "boom state" but I honest to goodness enjoy living in the Capital Region. The prospect of starting a family here is very appealing. NYS and Capital Region may have flaws and detractors, but there are a lot of perks to living here, too!

@Stan Spot on. The cost of living here is too high for the level of economic opportunity. There are cheaper places with similar economic opportunity. There are more expensive place with much greater economic opportunity. People are choosing one or the other, the balance just isn't there in upstate NY. I end up paying similar rent here that my friends in Brooklyn do with abysmal public transit and FAR fewer job opportunities. Not to mention the weather. A few more years of work experience and I'm out!
- Albany born and raised

Sean with all due respect, if you're paying as much in rent as people in Brooklyn, you're getting ripped off. The rent here is a fraction of that.

Greenland is melting. So is Antarctica. Florida will be under water even under the most conservative models. It's a matter of when, not if.

Paul my offfer is on for one million dollars that Florida will not be underwater in your lifetime.....or your kid's lifetime......or their kids's.......

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For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

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