Monroe County lost population during pandemic

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Monroe County’s population declined slightly over the COVID-19 pandemic, new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show.

From April 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022, the county lost 7,409 residents or 1 percent of its total population, placing it in the middle of the pack among New York counties. 

In the Rochester-Finger Lakes region, only Ontario County grew–increasing its population by 248 residents, or 0.2 percent. The other counties posted negative growth rates: Livingston, -0.5 percent; Orleans, -2.6 percent; Wayne, -0.2 percent; and Yates, -1.3 percent.

Statewide, New York’s population declined 2.6 percent, a loss of nearly 525,000 residents.

An exodus from much of the New York City area accounted for most of the decline. The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn all recorded population losses of at least 5 percent, totaling more than 460,000 residents. (Manhattan rebounded somewhat in the 12-month period ended July 2022, gaining 17,000 residents.

Areas that increased their population from 2020 to 2022 include Otsego, Saratoga, Orange, and Oswego counties. However, with all counties that gained residents, the average growth rate was less than 1 percent.

In the two-year period, births and deaths in Monroe County nearly canceled each other, resulting in a net gain of seven people. By contrast, Erie County had nearly 3,000 more deaths than births.

Similar to the rest of New York, domestic migration was the biggest factor in Monroe County’s population decline. From April 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022, more than 10,000 people left the county for other parts of the state or elsewhere in the U.S. During the same period, 660,000 New Yorkers left for other states.

In Monroe County, net international migration produced a gain of 2,747 residents. New York as a whole gained roughly 108,000 people from net international migration. 

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

4 thoughts on “Monroe County lost population during pandemic

  1. Is there a surprise here? NYS is bleeding people. The politics, the crime, manufacturing, etc. The two biggest employers are Strong Memorial/University and Wegmans. It was, once upon a time, manufacturing. That’s history and never coming back. Why? Back to politics. Same for California and New Jersey. Why? Politics. Our nation is in a tailspin and I’m not very confident we will pull out of it before it crashes. Check the politics in Ontario.

    • New York State has the 12th. largest economy on the planet, surpassed in the US only by California and Texas. Must be those terrible “politics” are holding us back. Woe is we!

  2. As a executive once said about their business, “if you’re not getting bigger, you are getting smaller” . Unfortunately we’re getting smaller. We already see the ramifications. When the tax base shrinks, the assessors boost taxable value (regardless of resale value) of our property to make up the gap. We are seeing it in the school districts. School facilities being consolidated in the Finger Lakes. Its evident in the Monroe County School District. You may have seen the D&C story where the District was under investigation by the SEC as it published a misleading Bond prospectus conveniently not mentioning the shrinking student base. The Governor, telling her opponent and his voters to ‘move to Florida’ in the last election doesn’t help the situation. Hard to be optimistic of the future here at this point.

    • That Florida challenge hit home. The people leaving are the productive type who have had it. Pretty soon all that’s left are those who are on assistance and will dry the well up in no time. In NYC alone they are spending 5 million a day. Let me repeat,….a day… to house illegals or modern day immigrants in a very expensive hotel. Not a word from the Governor. This mismanagement is going to break NYS.

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