early and often

People Are Still Getting the Hell Out of New York

Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Christmas came early for data nerds this week with the release of preliminary census numbers for 2022, which documented where Americans have been moving to and away from in recent months. And it turns out that a regional pandemic trend continues to hold true: A lot of people are still fleeing New York.

In 2022, the Empire State’s population appears to have dropped by 101,984 people, the largest decrease in the nation. Second on this dubious leaderboard was California, another expensive state that had already been bleeding population in recent years after decades of unabated growth. (75,423 people left the Golden State in 2022.)

The numbers reflected overall trends in recent years. People like warm weather and comparatively cheaper living: The eight states with the highest levels of growth are in the South. Texas led with a staggering 473,453 new residents; Florida picked up over 365,000; and North Carolina and Georgia both saw six-figure growth. In total, the U.S. gained over 1.6 million people, putting the population at just under 335 million.

The grim New York numbers follow a 180,341 population decrease in 2021 and a 319,020-person drop in 2020, the largest in state history. Earlier this year, Florida — a longtime destination for former New Yorkers looking for a warmer or more politically friendly climate — surpassed the Empire State as the second-most valuable real-estate market, according to a study by Zillow. Unlike during the pandemic, this does not appear to be a city issue: Manhattan’s population actually grew last year by over 17,000 people after losing nearly 100,000 the year before.

If such trends continue, they will also have major political implications in a few years. We’re still a long way out from 2030 — when the decennial census results determine reapportionment in Congress — but the preliminary data suggests a national shift similar to that in 2020, when New York and California lost a seat each (with New York missing out by just 89 people) while Texas picked up two and Florida picked up one.

People Are Still Getting the Hell Out of New York