NEWBURGH – The populations in Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties grew in the last six years from 2010 to 2016, according to the Census Bureau.
In just released figures, the other Hudson Valley/Catskills counties – Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster – experienced population declines.
Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress President Jonathan Drapkin said the growth of more than 25,000 people in Westchester may be the result of two factors. As residential costs increase in New York City, people are moving to the next adjacent county to the north for less expensive rates and commute back to their jobs. The other factor is Westchester has lower costs for commercial space than the Big Apple.
As for Orange and Rockland counties, Drapkin is waiting for the municipal census numbers to be released.
“Is it occurring in certain villages because then it will tell you that it has a lot to do with ethnic and demographic and we need to pay attention because it may not be a sign that the economy is growing as much as it is certain groups are growing,” he said.
Both counties have Hasidic villages with expanding populations and they could have an impact on the local census figures, which are expected to be released in the weeks ahead.
Rockland population grew by 15,000 in the last six years while Orange County population grew by just under 6,400.
Drapkin said the decline in population in the other counties is a reflection of an ongoing trend of people moving out, likely to find jobs in other areas.