NEW YORK, NY – Over the last year, the State of New York saw a mass exodus of residents, seeing its population decline by over 350,000, destroying previous records originally set in the 1970’s. However, according to an article by the Times Union, while many of the residents they spoke to noted that the pandemic was the impetus for their departure from the state, many had already been considering leaving New York for a variety of reasons, with the most-cited being quality of life issues.
Many of the residents who had recently departed, which the U.S. Census Bureau pegged at a whopping 352,185 since the pandemic started, or 1.6% of the population – spoke of a number of irksome problems in New York they no longer wished to contend with, such as excessively-long work commutes, burdensome taxes, and a prohibitively high cost of living.
The pandemic, which hit New York harder than most states at its worst point – along with lockdown measures that some considered draconian – was simply the last straw for many residents.
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Only California reported a higher number of residents fleeing the state, but their overall population numbers failed to suffer as greatly due to an influx of new residents, something New York is not able to boast of. Currently, New York’s population now hovers below 20 million, at just 19.8 million; its population growth was already dwindling prior to the pandemic, with the Census Bureau noting that the number of residents only grew by 4% from April 2010 to April 2020, below the national average.
Lawmakers in New York have been taking note of this trend – exasperated by the pandemic – which has seen tax revenue dwindling and growing numbers of people – both young and old – relocating from the state for a better quality of life elsewhere in the country.
In contrast, reports indicate that states such as Texas, Arizona, and Florida being popular have seen upticks in their population growth during the pandemic; in addition, the vast majority of other states did not report any significant fluctuations in their populations during the worst of COVID-19, illustrating that most people remained where they were.