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Decline in New York State population, U.S. Census Bureau survey shows

New York was one of nine states and one U.S. commonwealth to lose residents over the past year — and it lost more people than its counterparts with declining population, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The estimates are the results of a survey covering July 2017 to July 2018 that showed an overall growth of 0.6 percent in the national population, from 325,147,121 to 327,167,434, a gain of just over 2 million people.

The survey showed that there were 19,542,209 people calling New York home on July 1, a drop of 48,510, or a 0.25 percent, compared with last year’s tally of 19,590,719. In 2017’s estimate, New York showed a slight gain in population of 0.07 percent.

The loss dwarfed a drop during the same period from mid-2015 to mid-2016, when New York lost about 1,900 people — the largest decline in the previous decade — settling at 19,745,289 on July 1, 2016, compared with 19,747,183 a year earlier.

Florida, which edged out New York to become the third most populous state as recently as 2014, gained the second highest number of new residents — 322,513 — and it realized what demographers noted as the highest level of net domestic migration of all states in the last year, at 132,602 people. Since 2010, Florida has gained 1,160,387 people from net domestic migration.

Florida counted 21,299,325 residents, an increase of 1.5 percent from 20,976,812 in 2017, while the nation’s two most populous states, Texas and California, registered 28,701,845 and 39,557,045, respectively. Texas gained 379,128 residents — the highest numeric growth of all states — and California gained 157,696, according to the survey.

Nevada and Idaho saw the largest percentage increases in population — 2.1 percent — followed by Utah with 1.9 percent, Arizona with 1.7 percent, and Florida and Washington with 1.5 percent each.

The eight other states that lost population are Illinois, which lost 45,116 residents; West Virginia, which dropped by 11,216; Louisiana, which lost 10,840; Hawaii, which lost 3,712; Mississippi, which lost 3,133; Alaska, which lost 2,348; Connecticut, which lost 1,215; and Wyoming, which lost 1,197 residents.

Census demographer Sandra Johnson cited fewer births, more deaths and migration from those states for the declines.

“If those states are not gaining from either domestic or international migration they will experience either low population growth or outright decline,” she said in a news release about the study.

Puerto Rico, a commonwealth, lost 129,848 people. It counted 3,195,153 people on July 1, a 3.9 percent drop from 2017.

The Census Bureau did not give a reason for the decrease, but many Puerto Ricans left the island after Hurricane Maria made landfall in September 2017.

And Washington, D.C., counted as many as 702,455 residents on July 1, surpassing 700,000 for the first time since 1975, the Census Bureau said. Officials attributed the change primarily to migration from other parts of the country.

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