Home Census Census: Greene is the biggest landing spot during the pandemic | Greene County

Census: Greene is the biggest landing spot during the pandemic | Greene County

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CATSKILL — Greene County’s population grew in the first 15 months of the pandemic, trailing only growing Sullivan County statewide from April 2020 through July 2021.

According to a new analysis of 2021 U.S. Census data from the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, 46 of New York’s 62 counties have seen population losses since the last census.

From April 2020 to July 2021, the state lost nearly 400,000 people to net migration, with more people leaving the state than entering it.

While New York City lost nearly 350,000 people during this period, Greene County benefited, gaining 568 residents during this period, a 1.2% increase in population.

The county trails only Sullivan County in population increase during this period, as Sullivan gained 1,182 new residents, an increase of 1.5%. From April 2020 to July 2021, Columbia County gained 208 residents, an increase of 0.3%.

Leslie Reynolds, research support specialist for the Cornell Program in Applied Demography, said Cornell’s analysis indicates that upstate communities have seen an influx of new residents from the New York metropolitan area to the during the first year of the pandemic.

“That’s our conclusion so far,” Reynolds said Wednesday. “The maps show the flow of internal migration to many counties just outside the city, such as the capital region. It somehow flows outside the city. They lost a lot of population in the city due to internal migration. Greene recorded the highest gains due to internal migration. So that seems like the right place up there in the Catskills area and a bit in the Adirondacks. We are witnessing a diffusion from large concentrated urban areas to places that are still populated, but less than the big city.

Greene County saw a 1.84% increase in in-migration, with more people moving into the county than moving out.

With hundreds of thousands of residents leaving New York in the past two years and endless relocation options available, Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden cited the local real estate market as a key factor in making Greene an attractive destination for people looking to relocate.

“I would say real estate is probably the most important thing,” Groden said. “Also proximity to Thruway and you have Albany close by. You have the entire Albany metro area nearby, including Saratoga and Lake George. And for us, you have the Catskills. We are in the middle of the Catskill reservation so there is a quality of life issue that people can see wherever they come from. More just our local economy. We have good main streets, good businesses, so we’re attractive, apparently.

While the state lost nearly 400,000 residents to net migration between April 2020 and July 2021, the Capital Region was the only one in 10 in the state to gain population.

“This one is particularly a historic census, especially with New York State,” Reynolds said. “It actually increased in number for a short period of time, especially with the very high international migration (in New York). It was greater than all the other counties and areas in New York. It’s actually reduced to the level of the other counties, which is definitely a COVID issue. We can see these numbers bouncing back. We have colleagues from the New York City Planning Department and they’ve already seen these numbers start to reverse, like migration People are starting to come back to the city, so it’s very possible in those estimates next year that it’s going to be completely different.”

While Groden said the population increase in Greene County is a positive development, an increased flow of residents could exacerbate the lack of affordable housing the county faces.

“The housing crunch is already here, it happened last year,” Groden said Wednesday. “I always wonder if we have seen the ebb but will we finally see the ebb? Will people return to pre-COVID-19 geography, lifestyles, or working life? Or has COVID fundamentally changed things? I hear a lot of people say that Aunt Sally will never go back to the office because she can now always work from home. How will this change? If that changes, does that mean we will then have a net loss at some point because people are going back to where they were before? I think there has been a fundamental change.

Greene County experienced a natural decrease of 272 residents from April 2020 through July 2021, with an estimated 637 deaths and 365 births during that time.

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