According to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released last week, 40 Upstate counties lost population between 2010 and 2014, with rural counties in the Southern Tier and western New York faring the worst. New York City and the Hudson Valley saw the state’s largest population gains. There was some good news in the new census data – Erie County experienced its first population increase in over 50 years.
These population numbers highlight the challenges Upstate continues to face in terms of the weak economy. Population loses also make it more difficult for local governments to pay for the services they provide.
It’s a just another reminder that Upstate needs Albany’s help. We need tax reductions and economic development, not new wage and benefit mandates that employers won’t be able to pay for.