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Report shows residents leaving North Country, state

November 5, 2009
By CHRIS KNIGHT, Enterprise Senior Staff Writer

A new report shows Essex and Franklin counties, along with the rest of the state, have seen a significant loss of residents to other states over the past eight years.

The Empire Center for New York State Policy studied population data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service and found the state experienced the nation's largest net loss of residents to other states between 2000 and 2008 - 1.5 million residents or about 8 percent of the state's population.

Essex County saw a net exodus of 529 residents or 1.4 percent of its population over the same eight-year period. Franklin County experienced a loss of 836 residents or 1.6 percent of its population.

"The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource - people," the report says. "A continuation of the domestic migration trends highlighted here will translate into slower economic growth and diminishing political influence in the future."

The report, titled "Empire State Exodus," found the annual net loss of New York residents to other states ranged from a high of nearly 250,000 people in 2005 to a low of 126,000 last year. Nearly 60 percent of those leaving the state moved to southern states while another 30 percent moved to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The report also found residents moving out of New York had average incomes 13 percent higher than those moving into the state.

New York's state and local tax burden is blamed for much of the statewide loss in population. In upstate New York, a lack of new economic opportunities and high housing taxes were listed as contributing factors.

"This much is clear," the report concludes, "with New York now facing the most serious fiscal and economic crisis in its modern history, government policies should be aimed at slowing down and ultimately reversing the state's population drain."

In addition to Essex and Franklin counties, several other North Country counties experienced an exodus of residents between 2000 and 2008. Hamilton County lost 114 residents or 2.1 percent of its population. St. Lawrence County experienced a loss of 3,284 residents or 2.9 percent of its population. Jefferson County lost 7,553 residents or 6.8 percent.

A handful of counties in the region saw population gains. Clinton County experienced a net increase of 1,197 residents or 1.5 percent of its population. Warren County saw a net migration of 2,629 new residents or 4.1 percent. Saratoga County experienced one of the strongest gains in the state - an influx of 9,892 residents or 4.9 percent.


Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or



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