With the release of the 2017 population estimates, it is increasingly clear that population growth for the region’s municipalities remains stable and concentrated in Saratoga County.
Of the region’s top 10 fastest growing municipalities, seven are located in Saratoga County. Halfmoon remains the fastest growing municipality in the region, growing just over 2,900 (13.5%) residents since the 2010 census. The Town of Ballston is second, growing by an estimated 1,247 (12.8%) residents since 2010. Of the region’s 56 towns and cities, these were the only two that experienced double-digit population growth.
The Town of Bethlehem and the City of Cohoes are the only two municipalities from Albany County to break the top 10, growing at 5.3% and 4.4% respectively. The Town of Brunswick represented Rensselaer County in the top 10, growing by 8.0%. Within Schenectady County, municipal growth was stable, but no municipality cracked the top-10.
Mixed results in region’s cities
The region’s four largest cities have experienced mixed results. Saratoga Springs was among the top 10 fastest growing municipalities at 5.4%. The other three cities have seen their populations largely remain flat. Albany’s population is estimated to have grown by 395 (0.4%) residents, while Schenectady and Troy declined by 510 (-0.8%) and 564 (-1.1%) respectively. However, the nature of the estimates would suggest that the populations of all three cities have changed little since 2010. Barring any significant changes to the trends, the cities are likely to experience very modest population change through 2020.
New residential units a leading indicator?
The remaining cities of Schenectady and Troy have an even more pronounced discrepancy. The population of both cities is estimated to have decreased since 2010, albeit slightly. However, the construction of new residential units has numbered in the hundreds. By this measurement, the cities are adding capacity, while total population is declining according to estimates. The data, however, does not account for demolitions, or the replacement of aging structures, Troy, in particular, has been the center of much excitement in recent years, with the downtown area attracting extensive development. Currently, a number of large apartment buildings are coming online, or are under construction. The long-term question is whether or not the market will continue to support such extensive new development in a city whose population is flat or declining. A recent conference hosted by Sunrise Management and Consulting on the housing market suggest that the multi-family construction boom may be nearing an end as the market becomes saturated.