Friday, September 25, 2015

Population decline likely to cost NY 1 or more seats in Congress 

New York lost a net average of 150,000 residents per year from 2005 to 2013, with the state of Florida a top export destination, resulting in a loss of congressional representation.

After the last census, New York lost two seats and, according to Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress President Jonathan Drapkin, there could be more losses in the future.

“There is a good chance in the 2020 census that we will lose one seat and I’m not certain yet whether I am prepared to say that it could be more than that, but that trend, that is really quite remarkable, going from 45 to 27 (congressional seats), could go to 26 and, yes, we could eventually, if we keep this up, literally go to half of what we used to be,” Drapkin said.

A Pattern report, “Changing Hudson Valley — Population Trends,” found that, from 2010 to 2014, the nine-county Hudson Valley grew 1.3 percent, adding 31,974 new residents, but the only counties that saw population growth were Orange, Rockland and Westchester.

Outside those three counties, the others in the region are seeing losses due to both domestic migration and declining birth rates, the report found. Columbia and Greene counties had more deaths than births every year since 2000, with Ulster joining its northern neighbors for the first time in 2013 with more deaths than births.

The report, by Pattern Senior Research Planner Paul Hesse, also found that, at the municipal level, Westchester County has 40 percent of the Hudson Valley’s population, but the fastest-growing communities are found in largely suburban and rural areas of the region, in particular in Orange and Rockland counties.

The communities with the greatest numerical decline between 2000 and 2013 were the cities of Hudson and Mount Vernon and town of Bedford.

Growth rates in municipalities are fueled by ethnic and/or religious groups, particularly the Hasidic or Jewish Orthodox community and the Hispanic or Latino community, the report said.

Other findings include that 79 percent of movers are leaving the Hudson Valley; those most likely to move into or within the valley include 18- to 34-year-olds; racial and ethnic minorities, particularly blacks and Latinos; those with less than a high school degree; and those in lower-income brackets.


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