Report Profiles Demographic Changes
“The 2020 Census results show that New York state is changing, and this report and online tool provides detailed information about population changes in local communities and what it may mean down the road,” said DiNapoli. “These changes can impact how revenues, such as local sales tax and federal aid, are distributed.”
The state’s overall population growth was largely driven by the New York City metropolitan area. The city experienced its fourth straight decade of population growth and had the sharpest increase at 7.7%. The population in the Mid-Hudson region grew 4.7% to nearly 2.4 million, the largest percentage increase of any region outside of New York City. Long Island, the state’s second-most populated region, increased by 3.1% from 2010 to over 2.9 million people. Conversely, the Southern Tier had the largest percentage decrease at 3%, closely followed by the North Country and Mohawk Valley, with declines of 2.9% and 2.2%, respectively.
Overall, cities outside New York City grew for the first time since 1960, up 2% to total 2.3 million people in 2020, though fewer than half experienced population growth. Towns grew by 1.7%, totaling 9.1 million residents, reflecting the slowest growth in towns in decades. The number of people living in villages also grew, but only by 1.1%, due in part to the dissolution of 22 villages between 2010 and 2020.
Other findings in the report:
- Nearly all the state’s largest cities outside New York City (11 out of 12) experienced growth between 2010 and 2020, increasing by a total of 4%. Mount Vernon’s population grew the fastest at 9.8%. Buffalo added the most people (17,039) – an increase of 6.5% – after losing more than half its population from 1950 to 2010. Yonkers grew by 8%, passing Rochester as the state’s third largest city. Almost all of the state’s smallest cities (10 out of 12) shrank, declining by 3.9%.
- The share of the population reported as white decreased in all classes of local governments. In cities outside of New York City, this group decreased by nearly 12% between 2010 and 2020 and now accounts for just under 51% of the aggregate population.
- Outside of New York City, the number of Black people increased in all classes of local government, with towns experiencing the largest increase, at 9.3 percent. People that identify as Hispanic or Latino increased by almost 28% in cities and villages and 38% in towns. The Asian American population also had significant double-digit growth in all classes of local government.
- The number of occupied housing units in cities outside of New York City grew 3.7% from 2010 to 2020, faster than in towns or villages, but this class also saw a 2% increase in vacant units, so overall city vacancy rates stayed fairly constant.
DiNapoli’s online interactive tool also includes data for New York City as a whole and each of its five counties (Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond and Queens).