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Wednesday, 28th October 2009

Empire State Exodus: The Mass Migration of New Yorkers to Other States

Empire State Exodus: The Mass Migration of New Yorkers to Other States
Source: Empire Center for New York State Policy (Manhattan Institute)

The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource—people. 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 8 percent of its population at the start of the decade.

Based on the latest data from the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), this report examines how many New Yorkers have been leaving the state, where they have been going and how much income they have been taking with them. Focusing on the period since 2000, key findings include the following:

  • The annual net loss of New Yorkers to other states has ranged from a high of nearly 250,000 people in 2005 to a low of 126,000 last year, when moves nationwide slowed down sharply along with the economy. California was the only other state to lose more than a million residents to out-migration during the 2000-2008 period.
  • Most of the New York State out-migrants tracked by the IRS originated in the metropolitan New York City region. Migration rates are lower upstate, but the net population impact has been larger.
  • Nearly 60 percent of the New York out-migrants moved to southern states—with Florida alone drawing nearly one-third of the total. Thirty percent moved to the neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
  • Households moving out of New York State had average incomes 13 percent higher than those moving into New York during the most recent year for which such data are available. In 2006-07 alone, the migration flow out of New York drained $4.3 billion in taxpayer income from the state.

New York State’s net domestic migration loss during this decade is the continuation of a longer-term trend. During the 1990s, New York lost 1.7 million people to other states.


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