New York’s Populace Fleeing Fast

October 27, 2009 Updated: October 27, 2009

NEW YORK— New York is losing its populace faster than any other state and at the fastest rate in 10 years, according to a bleak new report released Tuesday by the Empire Center for New York State Policy. Worse yet for New York, those coming in have a lower average income, meaning less tax revenue.

“The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource—people,” the report begins. “From 2000 to 2008, in both absolute and relative terms, New York experienced the nation's largest loss of residents to other states—a net domestic migration outflow of over 1.5 million, or eight percent of its population at the start of the decade.”

The report is based on a conglomeration of findings from the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The majority of people leaving the state are leaving from New York City, according to information from the IRS. New York City lost close to a quarter million people in 2005 and 126,000 people this year.

In the past year, the state has lost $4.3 million in payments from taxpayers due to the loss of residents but the state’s overall population has not been affected as much as the city due to an increase of illegal immigrants.

The report finds that even with its population loss, New York’s total population has grown slightly since 2000, because of a large influx of immigrants from foreign countries.

The report concludes with a reflection on what could be driving New Yorkers out of New York. Its answer: high taxes and land-use regulations—not the weather.
“New York’s state and local tax burden, perennially ranked among the heaviest in the country,” reads the report.

“Downstate residents face high taxes and housing costs rated among the most ‘severely unaffordable’ in the world.”

Weather, on the other hand, it says is not the culprit, citing cold winters in New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Minnesota that haven’t deterred population increase.