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Westchester, Hudson Valley see slight population growth

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Population in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley continues to outpace the statewide average, which is weighed down by population loss upstate.

Annual estimate reports from the U.S. Census Bureau have followed a pattern since the 2010 official decennial Census; people are leaving the majority of counties upstate, but still coming to the New York City metro region. Orange and Rockland both rank among the state’s top three counties for population growth. Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Sullivan counties all posted growth, as well.

Westchester County’s population grew to 980,244 in 2017, according to yearly Census estimates released last week. That’s up 0.2 percent from 2016. Westchester’s population has grown about 3 percent since the 2010 official Census.

The yearly estimates, released March 22, measure July 2016 through July 2017.

Both Rockland and Orange’s population grew about 0.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, placing the counties second and third among the state’s 62 counties. Only Saratoga County, at 1 percent, grew faster in the past year.

Rockland’s estimated population was 328,868 in 2017, up 1,993 residents. Orange’s population added 2,311 resident to reach an estimated 382,226 in 2017.

Rockland’s population has grown about 5.5 percent since the 2010 Census, while Orange County’s has increased about 2.5 percent in the same time frame.

Putnam County has lost about 0.4 percent of its residents since the 2010 Census, but the county managed to add residents last year. It’s 2017 estimated population of 99,323 residents is up 216 from last year’s estimates.

Sullivan County also saw a small increase last year amid a trend of overall decline in population. The county added an estimated 115 residents to reach a population of 75,485 in 2017, but it’s population is still down about 2.7 percent from its official 2010 Census total.

Dutchess County, meanwhile, reversed population loss in 2016 to add about 1,000 residents in 2017. It’s estimated population of 295,568 is up about .3 percent from 2016, but still down about .7 percent from 2010 Census totals.

The New York City metropolitan region, which includes parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, grew about 0.2 percent last year, from an estimated population of 20,275,876 in 2016 to 20,320,876 last year.

The state’s overall population stayed basically flat last year. New York added just 13,000 new residents from 2016 to 2017. That’s an increase of just .07 percent from its population estimated around 19.8 million in 2016.

The U.S. population overall grew about 0.7 percent, according to Census estimates.

Of the state’s 64 counties, 38 saw population decreases from 2016 to 2017. While almost all of those counties are upstate, there are a few in the New York Metro region. Both Suffolk County on Long Island and King County (Brooklyn) posted slight population decreases below 0.1 percent.

Ulster County was the only lower Hudson Valley county to lose residents. The county lost an estimated 129 residents, .07 percent, to reach an estimated 2017 population of 179,417. The county’s population is down about 1.7 percent from its 2010 total.

The state’s largest population decrease by percentage was in Hamilton County. Population in the county, which is situated entirely within the Adirondack Mountains, dropped about 1.7 percent from 2016 to 2017, to an estimated 4,485 residents.

Since the 2010 Census, 52 of 62 New York counties have had population declines.

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