Buried in the latest demographic news are some trends that present problems for Long Island.

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While the region's population barely grew, births continue to decline. Suffolk County's number of births has plunged almost 25 percent since 2000. Nassau births dropped about 20 percent during that time, though they were flat last year. What does it mean? School closures increasingly will be looked at as commonsense responses to declining enrollment.

Also, more people continue to leave for other parts of the country than move in from those places, especially in Suffolk. The loss Islandwide was offset by international migration. But the continuing exodus of Long Islanders means we need to reconsider approaches to housing, transportation and taxes, among others, to keep our people here and maintain our vitality as a region.