Capital Region

New Census data show Saratoga County fastest growing in upstate

Construction continues at the Regatta View development by Belmonte Construction in Saratoga Springs on Thursday.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Construction continues at the Regatta View development by Belmonte Construction in Saratoga Springs on Thursday.

CAPITAL REGION — Census data released Thursday show the Capital Region as one of the few islands of growth amid the wide swaths of upstate New York that lost population from 2010 to 2020.

And within the region, Saratoga County once again showed the largest population growth — 7.24%. 

Statewide, nearly two-thirds of all counties saw population loss, which with other factors will cause New York to lose a seat in the House of Representatives.

No remedy appears to be coming in the near future: New Yorkers continue to move out of the state at a brisk pace and those that remain continue to have fewer children.

The population under age 18 dropped 1.4% over the decade nationwide, 4.9% across New York, and by double-digit figures in some New York counties.

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission went to work analyzing the data immediately Thursday, but found it slow-going. Basic data such as population numbers were issued in easy-to-digest formats but more-detailed data are contained in databases that require processing and analysis. 

Thursday’s data release was meant to aid the redistricting process, by which states must redraw election districts before the 2022 Congressional elections; additional simplified data are scheduled to be publicly released next month.

“The positive take is our region is one of the only regions in upstate New York that’s growing,” CDRPC Executive Director Mark Castiglione said Thursday.

There weren’t a lot of surprises: Saratoga County has been growing strongly for years and the birth rate has been lagging for years.

“It certainly is a continuation of a trend,” Castiglione said of the shrinking juvenile population. “And that has a number of ramifications for our society and our region.”

Notably, the fastest-growing county upstate had a greater decline than average in its juvenile population: There were 2,963 fewer Saratoga County residents under age 18 in 2020 than in 2010, a 5.9% decrease.

That could be a result of younger adults moving to Saratoga County with no plans to have children soon or ever, Castiglione said, or it could be a trend of empty nesters remaining in the county or moving there upon retirement.

Here are some other data points from the 2020 Census:

BIRTH RATE DOWN

A long-term trend toward a lower birth rate and, in some localities, a smaller population of women of child-bearing age, has led to a decrease in the number of residents younger than age 18.

POPULATION

The following list shows the 2020 population and the percentage change from 2010 for select places, as well as the national, statewide, and select countywide birth rates, as reported Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau:

2020 population Percentage change since 2010 Birth rate
National (+7.35%) (-1.4%)
Statewide (+4.25%) (-4.9%)
Counties
Albany County 314,848 (+3.50%) (-2.7%)
Fulton County 53,324 (-3.90%)
Montgomery County 49,532 (-1.37%)
Rensselaer County 161,130 (+1.07%) (-8.6%)
Saratoga County 235,509 (+7.24%) (-5.9%)
Schenectady County 158,062 (+2.16%) (-4.9%)
Schoharie County 29,714 (-9.27%) (-17.7%)
Municipalities
City of Albany 99,224 (+1.40%)
Town of Amsterdam 5,557 (-0.16%)
City of Amsterdam 18,219 (-2.15%)
Town of Ballston 11,831 (+21.02%)
Village of Ballston Spa 5,111 (-5.51%)
Town of Broadalbin 5,145 (-2.19%)
Town Clifton Park 38,029 (+3.61%)
Town of Colonie 85,590 (+4.90%)
City of Gloversville 15,131 (-3.41%)
Town of Guilderland 36,848 (+4.38%)
Town of Duanesburg 5,863 (-4.23%)
Town of Glenville 29,326 (-0.52%)
Town of Greenfield 8,004 (+2.95%)
Town of Halfmoon 25,662 (+19.16%)
City of Johnstown 8,204 (-6.16%)
Town of Johnstown 6,867 (-3.25%)
Town of Malta 17,130 (+16.02%)
Town of Mayfield 6,146 (-5.37%)
City of Mechanicville 5,163 (-0.64%)
Town of Milton 18,800 (+1.21%)
Town of Niskayuna 21,781 (+6.87%)
Town of Rotterdam 30,523 (+4.91%)
City of Saratoga Springs 28,491 (+7.17%)
Town of Saratoga 5,808 (+2.36%)
City of Schenectady 67,047 (+1.38%)
Village of Scotia 7,272 (-5.91%)
City of Troy 51,401 (+2.54%)
Town of Waterford 8,208 (-2.55%)
Town of Wilton 17,361 (+7.35%)

OTHER FACTS

Some other details within the data released Thursday by the Census Bureau:

  • The adult population of Saratoga County grew 11.1% from 2010 to 2020, the second-largest adult increase among New York counties after Kings County (12.0%).
  • Schoharie County’s 9.3% population loss over the decade was the largest of any county in the state; it dropped from 32,749 in 2010 to 29,714 residents in 2020. (The devastating floods of 2011 ruined many homes and livelihoods and led to a mini-exodus.)
  • All six counties in the Mohawk Valley region lost population from 2010 to 2020; three of the eight Capital Region counties (Columbia, Greene and Washington) lost population and a fourth (Warren County) saw zero growth. 
  • At 67.0%, Schenectady County had one of the higher resident response rates to the Census in the Capital Region, but participation varied significantly within the county: Niskayuna’s rate was 80.1%, for example, while the neighboring city of Schenectady was just 53.4%. The statewide rate was 64.2% in 2020, a tiny decrease from 64.6% in 2010.
  • An estimated 439,708 New Yorkers age 1 or older left the state in 2019; the most popular destinations, in order, were New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, California and Connecticut.

FULTON COUNTY

Here are some highlights from Fulton County:

  • The adult population decreased 1.1% and the juvenile population decreased 14.4%.
  • 1.8% of the population is foreign born and 2.9% speak a language other than English at home.
  • For 2015-2019, the owner-occupied housing rate was 70.7% and the median housing unit value was $109,600; among all residents age 1 and older, 89.0% lived in the same home as a year earlier.
  • For 2015-2019, 18.2% of residents held a bachelor’s degree or higher.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Here are some highlights from Montgomery County:

  • The adult population dropped 0.4% and the juvenile population dropped 4.4%.
  • 3.9% of the population is foreign born and 14.8% speak a language other than English at home.
  • For 2015-2019, the owner-occupied housing rate was 68.4% and the median housing unit value was $105,400; among all residents age 1 and older, 87.8% lived in the same home as a year earlier.
  • For 2015-2019, 17.8% of residents held a bachelor’s degree or higher.

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