The Empire Center for New York State Policy, a fiscally conservative think tank, analyzed US census data and found that the median age outside NYC–a.k.a. the Hudson Valley and Long Island suburbs and upstate–is rising sharply as young adults flock to the city. The study found that the median age of those downstate suburbs rose from 34.7 in 1990 to 39.9 in 2010, while the median age upstate rose from 33.4 to 40 in the same period. The median age of the city itself rose slightly from 33.6 to 35.5, but the report found that many young adults who reached the city in 1990 left by the time they reached middle age. Contrast this with the overall increase of median age in the US, from 32.9 to 37.2, and it’s clear that the city’s fluctuating population is getting younger.
The reasons young adults flock to the city are, unsurprisingly, job and housing-related, as WNYC finds:
“Even though the patterns are similar, the causes are different from the upstate problem, which is…purely a problem of economic opportunity,” explained E.J. McMahon, one of the report’s authors. “The problem in the suburbs, I think, is to a great degree a problem of cost of living.”
Another fascinating tidbit: the state lost 2.9 million residents to the rest of the country between 1990 and 2010, but an influx of immigration reduced the net loss to 800,000.