Census data released on Monday found that New York State experienced the nation’s largest annual population decline between July 2020 and July 2021, losing more than 1.5% of its population during that 12-month period.
The news has sounded alarm among business organizations concerned about stagnant population growth in parts of New York in recent decades.
The state’s population declined by 319,020 over a 12-month period coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, New York also saw a net loss of 352,185 of its population due to internal migration, the census reported.
Highlighting how small the population loss was for New York, the state’s national decline was greater than the combined population decreases seen in Illinois, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia , Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio.
Texas saw the largest increase in population, increasing by 1.1% or 310,288 people.
New York has long said goodbye to people, especially in upstate counties, over the past few generations. Business organizations have blamed the state’s high tax climate in recent years compared to other parts of the country.
“Addressing the exodus from the Empire State must be a top priority for our leaders in 2022,” said Justin Wilcox, executive director of Upstate United. “Our migration crisis is increasing the burden on remaining residents and threatening our ongoing recovery efforts. We need Governor Hochul to tackle this problem and grow New York in the right direction.
New York is poised to lose a congressional seat next year in the House of Representatives because its population over the past decade hasn’t grown as rapidly as the rest of the country.