Counties in New York With the Most Rapid Population Decline

Exploring the 5 Counties in New York With the Most Rapid Population Decline

New York stands out as one of the most populous and diverse states in the United States, boasting over 19 million residents spread across 62 counties. Nevertheless, the demographic landscape varies across these counties. While some are witnessing rapid growth, others grapple with a substantial decline in population.

This article delves into the causes and repercussions of this phenomenon, pinpointing the specific counties most impacted. By drawing on the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we identify the five New York counties experiencing the swiftest population decline.

Examining contributing factors sheds light on the potential reasons behind this downturn, encompassing elements like the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges posed by the cost of living, limited economic opportunities, and an aging population.

This exploration aims to provide a nuanced understanding of New York’s intricate landscape and its future trajectories. The following five counties have registered the most significant decline in residents, expressed in percentage terms between April 2020 and July 2021:

CountyPopulation (July 2021)Population Change (2010-2021)
New York1,585,873-6.90%

Hamilton County

As of July 2021, Hamilton County in New York boasts the smallest population among all counties, with a mere 4,485 residents. Additionally, it holds the record for the most significant population decline in the state, experiencing a decrease of 7.58% since the 2010 census.

Situated in the Adirondack Mountains, Hamilton County is renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery and abundant outdoor recreational activities.

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Delaware County

This area is located in the Catskill Mountains and had a population of 43,474 as of July 2021. It has seen a 6.03% decrease in population since the 2010 census, possibly due to an aging population and a scarcity of economic opportunities.

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Chenango County

This region in Central New York is home to a population of 47,207 as of July 2021. Over the past decade, it has experienced a population decline of 5.03%, possibly linked to its lower median household income and elevated poverty rate, factors highlighted in the 2010 census.

Counties in New York With the Most Rapid Population Decline

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New York County

As of July 2021, this county in New York boasts the highest population in the state, with 1,585,873 residents. It holds the title of the most densely populated county in the entire United States, encompassing the island of Manhattan.

Between April 2020 and July 2021, there has been a notable 6.9% decrease in population, marking the highest decline among major counties in the country.

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Kings County

This county, as of July 2021, is the second most populous in New York, boasting a population of 2,538,705 residents. Encompassing the borough of Brooklyn, renowned for its diversity and cultural vibrancy, it stands as one of the most dynamic areas in the state.

Notably, between April 2020 and July 2021, the county faced a population decrease of 3.5%, ranking among the highest declines observed in any major county nationwide.

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Final Words

In summary, New York is a state characterized by a variety of counties, each possessing distinct strengths and facing unique challenges. Nevertheless, certain counties have experienced a notable decline in population over the past year, influenced by factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of living, limited economic prospects, and an aging demographic.

To address these issues, these counties may need to implement strategies to both attract and retain residents while enhancing overall quality of life.

Through an examination of these counties, we gain valuable insights into the present state and future prospects of New York.

These five counties showcase diverse aspects of New York’s history, geography, and culture, each grappling with specific challenges and opportunities amid evolving demographics and economic conditions at the state and national levels. The exploration of these counties unveils the intricate diversity of New York as a whole.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.