NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — After decades of "brain drain" and young people leaving Western New York in droves, the governor said that the trend has reversed, but is that true?

2 On Your Side wanted a VERIFIED answer.

"You now have a nation that says, did you hear what's going on in Buffalo and Niagara and Western New York and young people coming back," Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday in Niagara Falls. "We have young people coming back to Western New York."

Our source is the U.S. Census Bureau.

Based solely on the governor's words, we started by looking at people in their 20s.

Wooten Brain Dain 20-29
WGRZ

Census figures from 2010 show there were 206,465 people aged 20-29 living in our eight-county region. By last year, that dropped to 203,416. That's a slight 1.5% decrease.

Then we heard back from the governor's office. A spokesperson clarified that he was referring to people age 25-34. To be fair, that's probably a better indicator, since it represents a post-college age group.

Are those young adults who left for school coming back to be part of the "new Buffalo"?

According to the Census Bureau, in 2010 there were 178,901 people between 25 and 34 years old who lived in our eight-county region. By 2018, that number rose to 204,079. That's a dramatic 14.6% increase.

Wooten Brain Drain 25-34
WGRZ

So 2 On Your Side can VERIFY, based on Census data, that the number of "young people" -- defined by the governor as those 25-34 -- is growing in Western New York.

Have something you want us to VERIFY? Reach out on social media or email us at VERIFY@wgrz.com.

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