New York's Cities- An Economic and Fiscal AnalysisIndustrial Development Agencies
A Short Economic History
With the exception of New York City, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Yonkers, most of New York’scities are relatively small. Of the State’s 62 cities, 10 have populations below 10,000, 39 have populationsbetween 10,000 and 50,000 and eight have populations between 50,000 and 100,000. Four cities(Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Yonkers) have populations over 100,000. The City of Sherrill inOneida County is the smallest city in New York with a population of 3,071, while New York City is by far the largest with a population of approximately 8.2 million.For many of these cities, the early to mid-20th century was a time of prosperity, with growth inpopulation and employment as the national and State economies expanded. During the second half of the 1900s, the broad decline of manufacturing employment and other factors combined to drain jobs andpopulation from many of New York’s cities, increasing regional competition for businesses and jobs. The largest decline in population in the State of New York occurred in the 1970s. However, unlike theCity of New York and many cities in the Hudson Valley and Long Island, New York’s upstate citieshave continued to lose population through 2010. Since 1980, New York’s upstate cities have seen a netpopulation decline of about 279,000 or 14.9 percent from the 1980 total of 1.9 million. This loss inpopulation between 1980 and 2010 for the upstate cities followed a loss in population of approximately 514,000 between 1960 and 1980. In the upstate area, only six cities have seen increases in populationsince 1980: Saratoga Springs (2,680), Ithaca (1,282), Oneida (583), Rensselaer (345), Sherrill (241), andCanandaigua (126), all quite modest-relative to the overall scale of the general decline. With the exception of the decade of the 1970s, the cities in the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New York City have all gained population. Cities located in Hudson Valley and Long Island saw solid growthof about 41,000 people or 6.8 percent since 1980. New York City incurred an increase in population of 1.1 million or 15.6 percent.
New York Cities – Change in Population
Hudson Valley and Long Island
New York City
Source: U.S. Census, 1960, 1970, 1980, 2010
As a point of comparison, total population in New York State has increased by 1.8 million or 10.4percent since 1980, and by 2.6 million or 15 percent since 1960.