Census figures show decline of New York’s rural areas

State News

FILE – In this Dec. 11, 2013 photo, the General Electric plant is seen through a fence in Fort Edward, N.Y. Rural counties suffered the sharpest population drops in New York since 2010, according to Census estimates released Thursday, March 26, 2020, the latest sign of a long-running exodus of people and jobs. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New census figure show rural counties suffering the sharpest population drops in New York since 2010.

The population estimates for 2019 released Thursday show Hamilton County in the Adirondacks posted a state-high drop of almost 9%. Delaware County posted an almost 8% drop and Chenango County saw a loss of close to 7%.

Experts say rural areas are caught in a mutually reinforcing down-cycle in which businesses shutter and people move away.  

There are fewer manufacturing jobs and fewer farms.

There are even fewer prisons, a longtime durable source of rural employment.   

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