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NYC Growth Slows, Upstate Loses People In Latest US Census

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York City's growth rate slowed last year but still offset upstate losses as the state's population nudged higher, according to census figures released Thursday.

The latest annual estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show the city adding 55,211 people in the year before July 2015, for a population of 8.55 million. The city-wide growth rate of 0.6 percent last year was the lowest this decade, according to an analysis of the estimates by Jan Vink of Cornell University's Program on Applied Demographics.

In contrast, upstate New York lost 16,596 people over the year, a 0.24 percent decrease. Only six of 52 upstate counties added people over the year, all growing less than 1 percent.

The Cornell analysis showed that the only areas in the state to post growth since 2010 outside New York City were the capital region around Albany, the mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island.

There are about 3 million people on Long Island. Nassau County's population grew by about 2,700 people, but Suffolk County's population dropped by about 700, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.

"Population on Long Island itself for the most part has remained relatively flat," said Richard Vogel, dean of the School of Business at Farmingdale State College. "It hasn't grown tremendously over the last 10 or 15 years."

The drop in Suffolk doesn't represent a long-term trend, Vogel said.

"It may be representative of things taking place in people's lives in terms of career opportunities, retiring or moving," Vogel said, adding Long Island has seen an increase in age groups of 45 and older, while there's been a decline of those in their 20s and 30s.

"People do not necessarily begin their careers on Long Island," he said. "Entry level jobs in some cases are not here on the island."

However, Vogel said many people may move back to Long Island when they receive promotions or executive-level jobs.

Upstate New York has long struggled with residents moving to other states for better jobs or warmer weather. Vink said that trend could be becoming more pronounced.

"Domestic migration seems to be picking up again,'' Vink said. "This is bad news for New York state and a lot of areas within New York state -- more people moving out than moving in.''

Some demographers believe that migration had slowed during the national recession because there were fewer job openings.

The census previously reported that New York state's 2015 population was 19.8 million, a growth rate of 0.2 percent that was below the national average.

The Bronx grew a state-high 0.9 percent over the year. Saratoga was the fastest growing upstate county, at 0.7 percent, followed by Orange (0.4 percent).

Two rural upstate counties that lost population the fastest were Sullivan (-1.18 percent) and Delaware (-1.17 percent).

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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