To no one’s surprise, New York recorded yet another year with a net loss of residents.

But this time, the Empire State went big! Between July 2020 and July 2021, our population dropped by 319,020 people — this represents a 1.6% loss.

This was New York’s largest population loss in its history, falling to below 20 million for the first time in years. And we led the rest of the country’s states in outmigration.

This information comes from the U.S. Census Bureau. The agency released the new data on Dec. 21.

“Recently released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that hundreds of thousands of people moved out of New York during the pandemic. The data offer the first snapshot of the state’s population loss since COVID-19 struck the state,” according to a story published Dec. 24 by the Times Union in Albany. “From July 2020 to July 2021, New York’s population fell by 319,020 people, the largest numeric decline of any state in the country, according to Census Bureau estimates. At 1.6 percent, New York also had the largest percentage decrease in population of any state during that period. Only the District of Columbia had a higher percentage decrease. New York’s declining population in the last year can be attributed to 352,185 residents moving out of New York, the Census Bureau estimated. According to the Empire Center for Public Policy, this shatters all out-migration records, exceeding New York’s record annual migration losses during the late 1970s.

“Only California had more residents move out of its state from July 2020 to July 2021. Illinois was third,” the article reported. “But those losses were offset by new residents more so than New York’s. New York’s population has now fallen below 20 million people to 19.8 million. From April 2010 to April 2020, New York’s population grew by 4%, slower than the national average, Census Bureau data showed. But in one year from July 2020 to July 2021, the state has lost a large chunk of those gains made over a decade.”

There’s no doubt that the novel coronavirus played a significant role in New York’s population loss. But the pandemic also exposed weaknesses in state government operations.

At the start of the health care crisis, safety protocols left numerous without a job. Many of these people waited for months while attempting to file a claim for unemployment insurance. Then some of them waited additional time for the state Department of Labor to process their claim so they could receive their payments.

This is but one example of state authorities failing their constituents. It’s inconceivable that officials would implement procedures that left many without an income and then be so ill prepared to ensure that residents could make ends meet. And it’s unacceptable that this problem persists nearly two years after the pandemic began.

On this page, we’ve previously argued that some of Albany’s policies deter companies from expanding or relocating here. High taxes and a nanny state mentality thwart economic growth, particularly in the north country. This creates an environment that shows New York is not open for business.

Members of the Executive Chamber and the state Legislature need to reassess how their policies force people to leave. They must finally act to reverse the downward spiral of yearly population loss.

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(3) comments


NY truly is the ‘Empire State of Decline’


SP. from, not form


Thanks for this information. In the North Country the loses are due to poor representation in congress by Elise (The Big Lie) Stefanik, her lack of leadership on Covid, and her support of the January 6th insurrection. Add this to the lack of leadership form the republican party in the north country in condemming the Jan. 6th insurrection.

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