New data released Thursday by the U.S. Census does not bode well for New York, which continues to lag behind other states when it comes to population growth, though immigrants continue to drive growth here in the city. Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Call it a tale of two states: economically struggling upstate New York, which continues to lose population, and downstate – specifically, New York City – which continues to grow.
New census data released Thursday show that 43 of New York's counties saw population decline from 2013 to 2014, all of them upstate. Just 19 counties saw an increase. Three of them were among the top 50 nationwide in population gain, all of them New York City boroughs: Brooklyn, which grew by more than 19,000 people; Queens, which added more than 17,000; and the Bronx, nearly 11,000. Manhattan had the fourth-highest growth.
"There's a lot more births than deaths in the city, and that's less so upstate. And in fact, there's some counties upstate where there's more deaths than births, which means that people – there are not very many younger people there," said Andrew Beveridge, a sociology professor at Queens College. "And then the other big thing, of course, is immigrants."
"We see that a lot of the growth is due to international migration, so people coming from other countries to the United States, as opposed to domestic migration," said Yesenia Acosta, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau.
Indeed, while data now show the city at a record of nearly 8.5 million people, with the greater metro area at about 20.1 million, largest in the nation, over the last four years, domestic migration – people relocating within the U.S. – was a net loss of about 529,000 people, while the area gained about 600,000 international immigrants.
"New York has always had a massive diversity in its immigrants. They have immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, from Europe," Beveridge said. "Right now, there’s been an influx recently of Greek immigrants, because of the Greek financial problem."
As for political implications, with more people concentrated in liberal-leaning urban areas, it could become increasingly difficult for Republicans to maintain control of the state Senate, while in Congress, New York - which recently dropped behind Florida and is now the fourth-most populous state - could continue to lose seats when they're re-apportioned after the 2020 census.