BUFFALO, NY - 2 On Your Side continues to look at issues facing the state following Governor Cuomo's budget address last week - and now, we're looking at the state population, which has been falling for years.
Last week, we heard the Governor using phrases like, "seeing signs of progress everywhere" across the state. Taking a look at the population is key with issues like economic development and jobs - you can't have any of that without residents. So, we spent a lot of time looking at Census data.
New York State has 19 million people in it. Since Cuomo took office in 2011, the state's population has grown by about 470,000 people when you consider births, deaths, and other factors. But, the state has had a big problem with keeping people here.
Since Cuomo took office, about one million people have left the state. Helping to address that has been a high number of foreigners coming to the state. But the bottom line is, since Cuomo took office, there's been a net loss of roughly 150,000 people who've fled the state.
"I think in upstate New York it's a lack of economic opportunity that causes people to look elsewhere for jobs and to build a future downstate its the cost of living as much as anything its a very expensive place to live," said EJ McMahon, the research director at Empire State.
We did look at population locally. In Erie County, there has been a slight population increase since 2010; Only about 2,000 people. Buffalo has seen a slight population decrease. So where are people going?
Census data shows people here are choosing places like Charlotte, NC, Fort Meyers, FL, and Houston, TX.