By Joseph Spector, Gannett Albany
New York's upstate cities struggled with population losses between 2000 and 2012, but the decline slowed in recent years, U.S. Census data released Thursday showed.
Buffalo lost 33,260 residents over the 12 years, 11 percent of its population, and Rochester lost 9,240, or 4 percent of its population.
But the declines were less steep over the last two years in the upstate's two largest cities. Rochester's population was flat between 2010 and 2012, at about 210,532 people.
In Buffalo, the population dropped 1.4 percent between 2010 and 2012, to a total of 259,384 people.
In Syracuse, the decline was less steep over the 12 years: down 2 percent to 144,170 people.
Overall, New York's population grew by nearly 600,000 people between 2000 and 2012, up 3 percent, fueled in large part by increases in New York City and its suburbs.
The U.S. Census released data Thursday on the population of all local governments.
Brookhaven in Suffolk County and Ramapo in Rockland County had the largest increase among local governments in population over the last 12 years, the data showed.
Nationally, eight of the 15 fastest-growing large cities and towns for the year ending July 1, 2012 were in Texas-led by San Marcos, which is between Austin and San Antonio.