March 24 2022
General,News,Regional/County Profiles

Capital Region Sees Pandemic Population Gain, Led NY in Net Domestic Migration in 2021


  • Capital Region was 1 of 2 NY region’s to annually grow population in 2021
  • Capital Region was NY’s leader for annual net domestic movers
  • Saratoga County saw NY’s 2nd biggest gain in annual net domestic movers
  • Saratoga County had third largest total population annual gain in state
  • Greene County was NY’s second fastest-growing county
  • Greene County ranked seventh for annual net domestic movers
  • Columbia County ranked eighth for annual net domestic movers
  • Warren County ranked 12th for annual net domestic movers
  • Schenectady and Columbia counties tied as 10th biggest gainers for total population


ALBANY, NEW YORK – The Capital Region continued to grow through the pandemic, making it one of only two economic development regions in the state to see total population gains between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021. Even more, the eight-county region had New York’s greatest number of annual net domestic movers during that period, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau estimates.1

“We are a million-strong region and getting bigger. The Center for Economic Growth launched our CapNY talent attraction campaign in April 2021. We sensed that if we could raise awareness about all the opportunities and lifestyle in the Capital Region, then more people would want to come here to work and live. We were onto something, and these Census Bureau population estimates show that. The website is attracting much traffic, especially from the New York City and Boston areas, and we will be launching new initiatives to engage and connect with interns this summer,” said CEG President and CEO Mark Eagan.


Regional Performance

Between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, the eight-county region’s population grew by 1,212, or 0.1 percent, to 1,106,274. The only other Regional Economic Development Council region to see population growth was the Hudson Valley, which picked up 3,032 people, or .01 percent. The New York City region sustained the largest population loss of -305,465, or -3.5 percent. The statewide population declined by -1.6 percent. The five-county Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) also saw a 0.1 percent population gain to 918,259.

County Performance

Among the eight counties in the Capital Region, half grew their populations over the year: Saratoga (+1,670), Greene (+609), Schenectady (+228), Columbia (+228). Rensselaer County sustained the biggest loss (-691), followed by Albany (-625), Washington (-187) and Warren (-20).

Saratoga County had the state’s third largest total population gain (+1,670). Greene County had the eight largest gain (+609) and Schenectady and Columbia counties tied as 10th biggest gainers (+228). 



Driving the Capital Region’s growth was an annual net domestic migration of 3,176 and a net international migration of 541. The Capital Region’s domestic annual net migration was by far the largest in the state, with the North County region trailing at 239. At 883, Greene County had the seventh largest net domestic migration in the state. Columbia County ranked eighth with an annual net domestic migration of 605 and Warren County ranked 12th at 315.


CEG launched a talent attraction campaign in April 2021 using the CapNY brand. The talent campaign works collaboratively across target industry sectors and organizations to attract and retain talented, diverse people who want to live in New York’s Capital Region because of its lifestyle and opportunity. The CapNY website – – and its associated social media channels are key elements of CEG’s talent campaign, which markets New York’s eight-county, million-resident Capital Region as a destination of choice, specifically highlighting its quality of place. To achieve these objectives, CEG is also targeting out of market social media placements, piloting outreach to universities and colleges to engage students and local companies to engage interns, as well as connecting regional companies and HR professionals to tools for recruitment.



1 Annual population changes are for the annual population estimates for 2020 and 2021 as of July 1, not against the July 1, 2020 estimate base.


About CEG

The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is dedicated to driving economic growth in New York’s eight-county, 1.1-million-person Capital Region. As the nonprofit regional economic development organization, we do this by attracting investment and talent; growing manufacturing and workforce capabilities, leveraging industry clusters, and developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We serve as a catalyst and work with partners and stakeholders to prepare the region to compete and move high-impact strategies and projects forward. An affiliate of the Capital Region Chamber, CEG is supported by investors in business, government, education, and the nonprofit sectors who are committed to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity. For more information on CEG, visit




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