If you've ever found yourself physically crushed between a businessman with seriously foul breath and someone transporting their equally-foul smelling pet iguana while on an overcrowded train that's stuck between stations for the rest of eternity, then we have some news that might cheer you up ever so slightly: for the first time in over a decade, NYC has lost some of its population. Operation Alienate People By Making This City Semi-Unlivable For Much Of The Population has clearly been a huge success!
The latest Census Bureau population estimates, which span July 1st, 2017 to June 30th, 2018, show that the city's population has fallen by over 77K since 2016. Altogether, NYC's population dropped about 0.47% to 8.4 million by July 2018. Four of the five boroughs all experienced losses in population, except for Staten Island, which had a very small gain; the largest loss came in Queens, with nearly 18K people leaving over the last two years.
— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) April 18, 2019
Officials with New York City’s Department of City Planning told the Wall Street Journal it appeared that "the city’s robust population expansion, fueled by new young residents, in the past decade appears to have begun its inevitable slowdown." Overall, the number of residents in the five boroughs grew by 2.7% between 2010 to 2018. "You cannot maintain that level of growth forever," added Joseph Salvo, city planning’s chief demographer.
Bloomberg adds some more interesting details about the population changes for the entire state: "From April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018, domestic migration left the Empire State with 1.2 million fewer inhabitants, though foreign immigration cushioned the loss. Also offsetting the loss, births outnumbered deaths. The overall change from April 1, 2010 is a modest gain of 164,085."
Overall, New York state's population dropped by about 45,000 over the period in question, which is actually significant because New York could theoretically lose a congressional seat after the 2020 Census. However, there may be some problems with the census, as experts believe it may be undercounting certain residents in the city. Via the WSJ:
The new data show international migration into New York grew slower in recent years than in previous estimates. Census officials previously estimated the city added an annual average of 78,000 residents from abroad from 2010 to 2017. It was actually about 54,000 annually, according to the revised numbers.
However, city planning officials said a change in how the census counts international migration is likely undercounting this category, producing a lower overall number for New York. The Census Bureau’s population estimate is likely too low considering the number of new housing units built over the past few years, city planning officials said.
— Cuomo Watch (@CuomoWatch) April 18, 2019
Public policy experts previously said about the population trends, "The historical trend is that out-migration grows when the economy is getting better. As the economy gets better, there are more jobs outside the region and by the same token...more people to buy your house if you’re a baby boomer looking to move to Boca Raton or Myrtle Beach."