Shuffling away from Buffalo!

Buried next to the obituary page in today's Buffalo News - Report Deplores Population Drain.
A state government association released a report on New York’s demographic trends Wednesday in an effort to raise the level of urgency about the population losses suffered throughout the state.

The policy brief issued by the New York State Association of Counties, an association of the state’s 62 counties, is an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates released earlier this year. The numbers are sobering.

The Empire State saw its population grow just 1.7 percent since the start of the decade, compared with the national rate of 6.4 percent.

Twenty-nine of the state’s 62 counties lost population since 2000 — 28 of them from upstate. And no other county in the state lost more people during that period than Erie County — a loss of 28,875, or an average loss of 4,800 people a year. Read the rest...
Here's the link to the full report (.pdf). The Population Shuffle.

Wonder if anyone in the Erie County Comptrollers office has already contacted the Dr. Warren Brown at Cornell University. From the above study on page 11.
If you believe that your population estimates are inaccurate, you should contact New York's population estimates liasison:

Dr. Warren Brown
Program on Applied Demographics
Cornell University
Do the math! 4800 people/year leaving Erie County. That's about 100/week, 13/day. If you're in the market UHaul is up today.

Remember this post? - Ouch! or, Our Inconvenient Truth. There's always Charlotte, oh well...
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smlg.ca said...

That is startling.

Anonymous said...

and Rochester, and Syracuse, and.....

Holy Mackeral said...

Simple math ... 4800 people /52 weeks is 92.3 people a week leaving the county --- divide by 2.3 people/household gives us 40 more vacant housing units per week !!! 40 units x 52 wks. = 2080 more vacant housing units per year in Erie County.

Resiodents, policy makers, urban planners and politicians need to recognize and wake up to this fact as it is decided what to build, what to demolish, where and when.

b said...

In the 30 years from 1970-2000 (actual Census counts, not estimates), Erie County lost an average of 5441 people per year.

1970: 1,113,491
1980: 1,015,472
1990: 968,532
2000: 950,265

(1113491 - 950265) = 163226
(163226 / 30) = 5441

So I suppose if we're estimated to be losing "only" 4800 per year at this point, it would actually be a slight improvement compared to 1970-2000.

Then again, there's not as many still here to have an opportunity to leave.

Perhaps the Old Home Week recruiting effort can help replenish us so we can return to our pace of losing 5441/tear.

STEEL said...

There is another interesting thing about this post. Look at the ridiculous shape of the Buffalo (slaughter) congressional district. It is gerrymandering at its best it also serves to reduce Buffalo's influence in Congress. This is one of the side effects of population loss = power loss.

Anonymous said...

How does having three congressional seats representing the same county of less than one million people help to diminish Buffalo's political influence?

smlg.ca said...

Of note, using b's numbers, things aren't as bleak they appear.. 5441 is the average for 30 years, however, from 1990-2000 there was an average of "only" 1826 a year lost. The numbers are skewed because of an extreme 9800+ loss per year average in the 1970s.

STEEL said...

well because there used to be 4 and now 2 of the 3 remaining congressmen are split between the Buffalo and Rochester metro areas and of those 2 one of them is actually FROM Rochester. THAT is a loss of power.

After the last census NYS lost 2 seats in congress. One of them was taken out of WNY. NY will loose congressional representation after the next census as well. I wonder who will loose out this time? Hmm would it be WNY?

b said...

smlg, good point - looks like the exodus did slow during the 1990-2000.

But unfortunately as David mentions in post above, Census estimates are that the county's losses have jumped back to 4800/year between 2000 and now.

Yearly estimates are less reliable than 10 year counts, but the estimation methodology sounds pretty good: basically they add births, subtract deaths, and add/subtract as appropriate to account for people's IRS forms that use a new location that indicates a move.
So in the 2010 count if the 4800/year estimate is confirmed to be close, then the decline worsened from the 1990-2000 which as you point out was lower at 1826/year.

Interesting that the 1970s had so huge a rate - maybe that corresponds to some of the larger layoffs at steel plants.

Steel -- yeah but NYS as a whole went down over past few decades from like over 40 congress seats to around 30 now - so there'd have to be some loss in districts that touch WNY. I agree the gerrymandering of Louise Slaughter's district is particularly crazy, but I can't think of any way that's had much effect here - it means there's 3 congress people brining back pork money to the county - her, Higgins, Reynolds - instead of only 2 which would make more sense given our population. Anyhow her district will probably merge with another in 2012 when NYS and WNY lose even more seats.

olygirl said...

I am doing MY part to re-populate Buffalo! My family makes four new Buffalonians. We are heading East Monday from the West Coast and we intend to become urban pioneers.

I realize that four hopeful folks cannot make a dent compared to the many more who are leaving, but I have to wonder how many of those folks might make their way BACK to Buffalo once they realize that things are not neccessarily better anywhere else.

I have lived in several cities in the U.S. and can say that I feel blessed and lucky to have the opportunity to CHOOSE Buffalo as my new hometown.

Keith said...

After I read the report I began to think about what they are doing in Youngstown, Ohio. The report basically said, "Hey fellow government employees---federal money is on the line if more people leave", but in Youngstown they are saying, "What is our natural population size?" The first is short-term thinking, the second approach is long-term thinking.

fix buffalo said...


please email me...


I've been profiling some of what's happening by design in Youngstown, OH. Here's a recent post - Visiting Youngstown...

Would very much like to bring Mayor Jay Williams to Buffalo.

Keith said...

Yes, I have been following your posts. Why don't you run for mayor?