The State of New York has seen the largest population decline out of any other state.
On Tuesday, the United States Census Bureau released estimates showing that about 126,355 people fled New York between July 2019 and July 2020. This is a decrease of about two-thirds of a percent.
According to Fox News, New York has been losing residents since 2016; however, the most recent decrease was significantly greater than past years.
The New York Times reported that, if the trend holds, the Empire State could lose one seat in the House of Representatives.
According to William Frey, chief demographer for the Brookings Institution, if New York loses a seat, it would have only twenty-six representatives; one fewer than Florida for the first time since Florida became a state.
Every ten years, the United States Census Bureau conducts a national count of the population. Among many other things, this count is used to determine how the 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be divided among the 50 states based on the population changes recorded.
In his analysis, Frey noted that at least 322,000 Americans lost their lives due to COVID-19 since March, making the stagnant-growth trend worse.
“I think it’s a first glimpse of where we may be heading as far as low population growth,” Frey portentously said to The Associated Press. “It’s telling you that [COVID-19] is having an impact on population.”
Figures from the Census Bureau indicate that, overall, the US population grew at the smallest rate in at least 120 years from 2019 to 2020, Demographers attributed the trend to the coronavirus pandemic’s toll on the nation.
Some say the exodus is a direct result of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s poor leadership and New York’s high taxes. Although there is no conclusive evidence that lockdowns mitigate the transmission of COVID-19, Cuomo, a Democrat, has imposed some of the strictest lockdowns in the nation.
New York resident Steve McLaughlin took to Twitter blaming the population decline on Cuomo for the state’s high taxes and his propagation of “insane Progressive policies.”
The estimates, according to Fox News, are based on the 2010 Census. The official 2020 Census results will be released next year, along with a new legislative map.
Population growth in the US had already been slow even before the virus, because of a decline in fertility and an increase in immigration restrictions.
New York’s population decline (0.65) was followed by Illinois with a 0.63 percent dip; Hawaii with 0.61 percent and West Virginia with 0.58 percent.