Ithaca, N.Y. — Say hello to the new neighbors – according to newly-released census estimates, Tompkins County is growing.

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Estimates released earlier this week (link here) suggest that Tompkins County added 1,074 new residents between July 2013 and July 2014, bringing the estimated county population to 104,691.

Since the last formal census conducted in 2010, the county is estimated to have added 3,127 residents, a population growth of about 3.1%.

Throughout New York State and its 62 counties, Tompkins County is the 6th-fastest growing county statewide, and the fastest or second fastest-growing upstate, depending on whether one counts Rockland County as upstate. The fastest growing counties are Kings County (Brooklyn) with 4.7% growth since 2010, and Queens County (Queens) with 4.1%.

For neighbors of Tompkins County however, populations are estimated to be holding steady or declining. Schuyler County is the only neighboring county that is estimated to have increased in population since the 2010 census, with an increase of 136 residents, or 0.7%. Cortland County and Seneca County have calculated decreases of less than 1%, Chemung County and Cayuga County are estimated to have lost between 1% and 2% of their 2010 populations, and Tioga County has declined the fastest, with an estimated 2.5% decrease in population since 2010.

The steepest drop statewide has been in Schoharie County outside Albany, with an estimated 3.6% population loss (part of that may be the effect of severe damage caused by 2011’s Hurricane Irene). More New York counties are shrinking than growing (40 of 62 have estimated population loss), but the large numerical increases in population in the New York City metro have offset the losses and given the state a modest population increase.

While the U.S. Census Bureau only conducts a formal census every ten years, estimates are determined each year using birth rate, death rate, and migration in and out of the county. Population estimates for individual cities and towns will be released in May.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.