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FLX residents are staying put: Declining population is caused by lack of new residents

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with rising inflation and the increasing cost of living in major cities, has significantly influenced migration patterns in the United States. During the pandemic’s first year, there was a notable exodus from densely populated, expensive cities like New York and San Francisco, with many relocating to Sunbelt cities where the cost of living is lower and the climate milder. However, not all migration involved long-distance moves. Analysis reveals that a substantial number of those leaving city centers preferred relocating to nearby suburbs within the same state.

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Further trends indicate a strong preference among many individuals to stay close to their roots. Even before the pandemic, the number of young adults living with their parents was rising, largely due to economic challenges. This trend was exacerbated by the pandemic, leading to an increase in young adults moving back home. By the end of 2020, over half of Americans under the age of 29 were living with their parents, surpassing the proportions observed during the Great Depression.

Reasons for this inclination to remain in or return to one’s home state include familial proximity, financial constraints, and the benefits of a lower cost of living. To illustrate these patterns, Stacker compiled a list of New York counties with the highest percentage of born-and-bred residents, using data from the 2020 five-year estimates of the Census Bureau.

So, what percentage of local county populations represents people who were born-and-raised in New York State?

  • #31 – Schuyler County – 78.1%
  • #29 – Steuben County – 79.1%
  • #24 – Ontario County – 80.2%
  • #21 – Yates County – 80.8%
  • #20 – Seneca County – 81%
  • #12 – Wayne County – 83.9%
  • #8 – Livingston County – 84.9%
  • #5 – Cayuga County – 86.7%

Who was #1 on the list?

Wyoming County with 88.9% of its population having been born in New York State.