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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

August 2, 2006

Report finds Upstate's population aging as younger adults move away

Upstate New York’s population is aging faster than the rest of the nation, while the number of young working adults declines, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Buffalo.

The report said that in 2000 Upstate New York’s 65-and-over population had risen to 14.4 percent of its total population, almost two percentage points higher than that of the nation.

“While some regions have aged more rapidly than the nation due to the in-migration of retirees, Upstate New York’s trend has been driven by the out-migration of non-elderly adults, especially those aged 20 to 34,” the report said.

More than 20 percent of Upstate’s population will be 65 or older by 2030, slightly higher than the national average, the report added. “By 2030, over three-fourths of upstate New York’s counties are projected to have a 20 percent or greater share of elderly.”

“The aging of Upstate New York’s population has significant implications for the region and its counties,” the report said. “The need for services among the elderly may be greatest in older Upstate New York counties that have experienced the slowest economic growth.”

Counties with the oldest populations tend to be located in areas that have experienced “significant out migration,” the report said. Those areas include Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Jamestown, and Utica.

And while Upstate’s population ages into retirement, Upstate’s support ratio, the number of working-age adults per older adult, is declining, the report noted.

“A declining support ratio may identify regions with a weakening ability to support their dependent elderly populations,” the report said.

In 2030, projections indicate there will be only 2.5 working adults per older adult in Upstate New York. The nationwide number is projected to be 2.8.

“The declining support ratio suggests that the region has fewer working-age adults to support the need for locally provided services and infrastructure.”

For more information, visit www.newyorkfed.org/buffalo.