WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

What a decreasing population means for New York

Dec 31, 2018
Originally published on December 20, 2018 9:36 pm

A recent report from the US Census Bureau shows New York is one of 9 states with decreasing populations.

Although the nation’s population is increasing overall, New York's is in decline and has been for years.

Kent Gardner is the Chief Economist at the Center for Governmental Research.

He says there's a reason people are leaving New York for places like Florida and Texas.

"Certainly there are some basic causes we can point to over a long period of time, such as warm weather and low taxes."

New York lost almost fifty thousand residents from July 2017 to July 2018, most of which came from upstate. Gardener says those losses can damage communities like Rochester and Buffalo.

"There's some fixed cost associated with just maintaining roads, maintaining the schools, the buildings, and when you have fewer people over which you can spread those fixed costs it makes it more expensive for you to provide those basic services."

In order to build back populations, Garnder says communities need to be attractive and magnetic.

"We talk about that in terms of culture, and the arts. Our community needs to be magnetic so that when people come here they stick and they want to stay in the community."

He says job availability and a thriving economy are also important.

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