August 15 2019
General,Regional/County Profiles

3 Capital Region Counties Among NY’s Top 10 for Growing Young Adults

The Capital Region is one of only three state economic development regions that has maintained its ranks of young adults grow over the last five years – and New York City is not one of them. In fact, out of New York’s 62 counties, only 17 grew their young adult populations between 2014 and 2018 – and five of them were in the Capital Region, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau data.


In 2018, the Capital Region had 250,853 young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. This includes most Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and early members of Generation Z (1997 and onward), according to the Pew Research Center. The Capital Region’s 2018 young adult total was up 0.7 percent from five years earlier. The Hudson Valley and Long Island regions were the only other regions statewide to see their young adult populations grow during that period, by 1.3 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. The New York City region experienced a 3.8 percent decline during that period.

Capital Region

At 4.4 percent between 2014 and 2018, Saratoga County had the state’s fastest-growing young adult population. Also among the state’s top 10 fastest-growing counties for young adults were Greene County, ranking eighth at 0.9 percent, and Albany County, ranking 10th at 0.7 percent. Schenectady and Rensselaer counties were other Capital Region counties with more young adults at the end of the five-year period.

More than a third (34.2 percent) of the region’s young adults are in Albany County, and even though Saratoga County is the region’s fourth largest county by total population, it has the second greatest concentration of them (18.7 percent). The county with the third highest concentration of young adults is Rensselaer (15.4 percent), followed by Schenectady County (13.8 percent).

Regional Branding Initiative

CEG, in collaboration with the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy (ACE) and other partners, are mounting a multi-platform cultural tourism initiative. This initiative aims to present the eight-county region plus Fulton County as a culturally vibrant and diverse place for young adults – Millennials, in particular – to not only visit but in which to live, work and play. In July, CEG and ACE submitted a $225,000 consolidated funding application to support this initiative, which will improve the region’s visibility and brand by utilizing a variety of new media and other resources.


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