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New York State population continues to decline, according to census data

New York State's population has declined every year

New York State's population has declined every year since 2016, according to census data. Credit: P. Coughlin

New York State had the largest population loss of any of the 10 states that saw declines between July 2018 and July 2019, as New York and the Northeast region as a whole continued to see people leave for other parts of the United States, according to new census data released Monday.

New York’s population dropped by an estimated 76,790 people between 2018 and 2019, or a loss of 0.4%. The state’s population declined to 19,453,561 in 2019 from 19,530,351 the year before, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. New York remains the nation’s fourth most populous state, behind California (39.5 million), Texas (28.9 million) and Florida (21.4 million).

New York was one of 10 states that had population declines during the one-year period. The others were Illinois (-51,250), West Virginia (-12,144), Louisiana (-10,896), Connecticut (-6,233), Mississippi (-4,871), Hawaii (-4,721), New Jersey (-3,835), Alaska (-3,594) and Vermont (-369).

The top five states that had the largest numeric population growth between 2018 and 2019 were Texas (367,000), Florida (233,000), Arizona (121,000), North Carolina (106,469) and Washington State (91,000).

As the bureau gears up to conduct its once-a-decade count of the nation in April, population estimates the bureau has released since 2010 show New York marking gains in the early 2010s, with a population high in the decade reaching 19,654,666 in 2015. But the following year, 2016, saw the state’s population drop to 19,633,428, with declines continuing in every year since.

The Census Bureau estimated that the nation’s population was 328,239,523 in 2019, a growth rate of 0.5%, or 1,552,022 people, between 2018 and 2019. The bureau said in a statement that the nation’s annual growth peaked at 0.73% between 2014 and 2015. The bureau added that the “growth between 2018 and 2019 is a continuation of a multiyear slowdown since that period.”

Sandra Johnson, a demographer and statistician with the bureau’s Population Division, said, “While natural increase is the biggest contributor to the U.S. population increase, it has been slowing over the last five years. Natural increase, or when the number of births is greater than the number of deaths, dropped below 1 million in 2019, for the first time in decades.”

The bureau said 42 states and the District of Columbia had fewer births between 2018 and 2019.

The Northeast region, which has the smallest overall population of the nation’s four regions, had a population decrease for the first time this decade, the bureau said, dropping by 63,817 or -0.1%. “This decline was due to net domestic migration,” the bureau reported, referring to when people leave one state for another, “which offset population gains from natural increase and net international migration.”

New York was among the 27 states and Washington, D.C., to lose population through net domestic migration between 2018 and 2019. New York was among three states where the losses topped 100,000 people: New York’s loss of domestic migrants was 180,649; Illinois lost 104,986 domestic migrants, and California’s domestic migrant loss was highest at 203,414. Between 2010 and 2019, the bureau estimated New York lost nearly 1.4 million domestic migrants.

Nationally, net international migration continued to decrease, dropping to 595,348 between 2018 and 2019. Between 2010 and 2019, the year with the highest net international migration was 2016, when the bureau estimated international migration at 1,046,709. The number has been gradually decreasing each year, the bureau said.

The 10 states that lost population between 2018 and 2019:

New York (-76,790; -0.4%)

Illinois (-51,250; -0.4%)

West Virginia (-12,144; -0.7%)

Louisiana (-10,896; -0.2%)

Connecticut (-6,233; -0.2%)

Mississippi (-4,871; -0.2%)

Hawaii (-4,721; -0.3%)

New Jersey (-3,835; 0.0%)

Alaska (-3,594; -0.5%)

Vermont (-369 ; -0.1%)

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