Population Continues to Decline in WNY

10:51 PM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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By Joseph Spector
Albany Bureau Chief

ALBANY Thirty-five counties in upstate New York lost population between 2010 and 2012, U.S. Census statistics released Thursday showed.

New York City and its suburbs, including Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, had a population increase of 13 percent over the three years, up 177,000 people.

The majority of the increase occurred in New York City, which had 161,564 people, an increase of 2 percent, and the first time in more than 60 years that more people moved in than moved out of city. The city's population totaled 8.3 million in 2012.

Overall, New York had nearly 19.6 million people in 2012, up 1 percent from 2010.

"We are seeing that especially New York City accounting for almost all of the population growth in New York state," said Jan Vink, a Cornell University researcher. "That should be a warning for the remainder of New York state."

The largest numerical loss of population was in western New York, roughly down 4,100 people, Vink said in a report. The largest percentage decline was in the Southern Tier, down 0.6 percent.

Broome County has the largest population loss of any county, down 2,540 people, or 1.3 percent, to a total of 198,060 people in 2012, the Census data showed.

The population of Jefferson County in northern New York increased the most outside the New York City area, up 4,033 people, or 3.5 percent. Second was Monroe County, which was up nearly 3,500 people, an increase of 0.5 percent, to 747,813.

The 52 counties outside the New York City area had a population decline of 3,553 people, down less than half of one percent, totaling 7 million people. The only county in the New York City area that had a decline in population was Putnam County, where the population dipped slightly by 103 people to a total of 99,607.

The population in Dutchess and Ulster counties dropped slightly. It fell by 166 people in Dutchess to a total of 297,322 people. It dropped by 702 people in Ulster, which had 181,791 last year, the Census data showed.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the population gains in the city. He said it was aided by growth in the number of births over deaths and a higher life expectancy, which averaged nearly 81 years. Other parts of the state were hurt by deaths outnumbering births.

The largest increase in the city was in Brooklyn, where the population grew by 2.4 percent or 60,900 people, to a total of nearly 2.6 million people.

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