May 12 2021
Regional/County Profiles

These 3 Capital Region Counties Boosted Domestic Migration in 2020

Faced with slowing international migration and a widening gap between births and deaths, the Capital Region sustained a slight annual population decline in 2020 – the smallest in the state. However, at the same time, the region housed the state’s fastest-growing county and three of New York’s seven counties that had domestic migration gains, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Total Population

The eight-county region had an estimated population of 1,078,491 as of July 1, 2020. That marked a decline of -2,366, or -0.2 percent, compared to a year earlier. Among New York’s 10 economic development regions, the Capital Region had the smallest population loss, while the New York City region had the largest at -89,712. In the Capital Region, Saratoga County was the only county to see a population gain of 663, or 0.3 percent. That was largest population gain in the state and the second-fastest growth rate. Albany County had the region’s largest population loss of -1,098, which was the 14th largest in the state.

Domestic Migration

Saratoga County also led the state in domestic migration, with 830 people moving into the county from within the country. Columbia and Greene counties were also among the seven New York counties that experienced domestic migration gains, with the former’s totaling 176 and the latter’s totaling 103. Despite these gains, the region’s net domestic migration was -2,236, which was below the 10-year average.

Population Growth Factors

Several other factors played into the region’s population decline. For example, international migration also fell to 921 – its lowest level since the 481 recorded in 2010. Births fell to the decade’s lowest level (10,179) and deaths climbed to the decade’s highest level (11,265). That resulted in a natural growth of -1,086, compared to the 10-year average of 556. As of July 1, 2020, only 295 Capital Region residents had died from COVID-19, or 2.6 percent of those 2020 deaths, according to New York State Department of Health statistics.

CEG initiatives

To attract more people to the Capital Region, CEG recently launched the CapNY, with CAPable of aNYthing, campaign to market the region for new talent.  A new website, ( and its associated social media channels (@GoCapNY) will act as key modes of communication to interact with the brand and serve as primary platforms to market the region. The campaign focuses on mobile Millennial and Gen Z professionals and highlights for them the unique attributes of the eight-county, 1-million-strong Capital Region, including its vibrant urban centers, affordability, educated workforce, cultural assets, recreation, creative businesses, innovation, and proximity to major international cities.


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