Monday, August 16, 2021
A community that began in the 1970s with about a dozen families moving upstate from Brooklyn has grown to become Orange County's most populated municipality with around 33,000 residents as of a year ago.
Figures from the 2020 census released Thursday show that Kiryas Joel grew by a booming 63% in the last decade, pushing its population past that of the cities of Middletown and Newburgh and of towns much larger than the 1.5-square-mile Hasidic village. Its nearest population rival is Warwick, which is 105 square miles.
Kiryas Joel also vaulted ahead of other Hudson Valley population centers since the 2010 census, surpassing the cities of Poughkeepsie and Kingston and the village of Spring Valley in Rockland County, according to the Census Bureau's data.
Kiryas Joel accounted for almost half of Orange County's population increase of more than 28,000 from 2010 to 2020. The county as a whole grew by 7.6% in that decade and had about 401,000 residents as of April 1, 2020.
Kiryas Joel's steady growth is driven largely the customs of a community in which couples typically marry young, settle close to home and raise large families. More than 3,500 condominiums are being built or planned in the village's limited remaining space to help meet the constant housing demand.
That construction means the population will continue to climb by the thousands in the years ahead. Just one of those housing projects, a 1,600-unit complex taking shape on a 70-acre peninsula of the village, is expected to house as many as 9,000 people once completed, according to its planners.
The 2020 census provided the following counts for Orange County's most populous municipalities: Kiryas Joel, 32,954; town of Warwick, 32,027; town of Newburgh, 31,985; town of Wallkill, 30,486; Middletown, 30,345; city of Newburgh, 28,856; and New Windsor, 27,805.
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