The latest population numbers are out from the US Census showing in much greater detail what kinds of gains and losses are being seen inside New York state.
Here are some compelling take-aways:
First, Hamilton County continues its dangerous slide in population, losing 10% of its year-round residents over the last decade. The entire county has just 4,836 people.
(It’s important to note that Hamilton County never had very many people; so losing 10% of the population means losing a few hundred people. Significant locally, but a blip when measured against New York’s 19.3 million people.)
A second and perhaps more surprising reality is that much of the North Country region is holding its own, or even growing slightly, in population.
Clinton County grew by 2.8%, faster than the state of New York as a whole. Warren County was up 3.8%.
Compared with Western New York which saw widespread losses, our region looks fairly steady.
Essex County — which like Hamilton is a county contained entirely within the Adirondack Park — grew at 1.3%.
Some other fascinating bits of micro-data:
In Franklin County, the population of Native Americans grew by 20% as the Mohawk Reservation community continues to expand. Native Americans now make up 7% of the county’s total population.
Jefferson County continues to boom, largely because of Fort Drum, and now boasts a population of 116,229.
It’s also our most ethnically diverse county, with just 86% of the community white. (Again, that looks a little different in context. In New York state as a whole only 58% of the community is white.)
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a statement about these numbers,suggesting that they show a need to follow his lead politically:
“The Census figures released today offer stark evidence of the lack of growth in certain regions as well as ongoing stagnation.
“We must correct the trajectory of the state by changing the financial and operational paradigm of our government.
My budget and the agenda I have put forward charts that new course and it is important, now more than ever, that we follow through on it.”
So take a few minutes to navigate these maps and then give your own read. Do these numbers show the North Country receiving a passing grade? Comments welcome below.