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Columbia County sees a 204 percent jump in NYC migration

May 04, 2021 5:45 am

Cloey Callahan is reporting for the Times Union that an analysis of 29 million address changes reported by the U.S. Postal Service in 2020, showed an increase in move-outs in nearly all urban centers. In New York state, that meant the Hudson Valley and upstate were prime destinations for New York City residents looking for better places to live. Of all Hudson Valley counties, Columbia and Ulster saw the highest year-over-year change in people moving there from New York, Queens, Kings and Bronx counties from 2019 to 2020. While 412 people changed their address from New York City to Columbia County in 2019, the data shows a 204 percent increase in 2020, with 1,254 people moving there. In Ulster, 951 people moved from New York City to the county in 2019, and in 2020, that number grew to 2,647 people, a 180 percent surge. The New York Times, using the same data set, reported that Hudson and Kingston are the top two metro spots nationwide seeing the biggest change in net relocations. While the upstate metros are highlighted, more rural areas, such as Phoenicia and Copake, have also seen considerable shifts in net migration from the city since 2019. Bloomberg reports that 197 people moved to the Hudson area during the pandemic for every 100 who moved out — the largest increase in the country for a metro area in the nationwide analysis. But while the data shows big changes in residency, it does not capture whether newcomers are contributing to the local economy. An address change alone does not necessarily assure that new residents are shopping locally instead of ordering goods from major nationwide retailers like Amazon, if they are sending their kids to local school districts, or if they are patronizing local restaurants. Other data indicate that transplants are spending locally although the address-changers may have been part-time locals all along. “We had approximately 4,200 second home-owners to begin with who generally use their homes for seasonal weekends or a long vacation,” said F. Michael Tucker, president, and CEO of Columbia Economic Development Corporation. “A portion of the people who changed their mailing address may have already owned homes here.” Read the full story in the Times Union.

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