Census Shows Regional Population, Income Growth

Census releases 2011-2015 American Community Survey

Today, the US Census Bureau released the latest American Community Survey 5-year data.  The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey performed by the US Census Bureau.  It provides key information annually about the nation, down to individual communities.  The ACS helps us better track trends in population, income, poverty, and more.  CDRPC uses this information to plan for the future by examining what has happened in the past.

Capital District Population

The data, collected between 2011 and 2015, shows increases to populations in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady Counties over 2006-2010, which is the prior non-overlapping 5-year period.  Saratoga County saw a 3.0% rate of growth in its population, which was ahead of the state’s rate of 2.31%.  However, collectively, the Capital District lagged behind the state’s rate with 1.53% growth in the four-county population.  None of the counties experienced a loss in overall population.

Towns in the Capital District continue to outpace cities for total population growth, with eight towns and two cities showing the largest gains in overall population.  The Town of Halfmoon in Saratoga County had the largest overall gain between the two 5-year periods.  It saw total population growth of 1,772  between 2010 and 2015.  When we look at rate of population nine towns and one city make up that list.  Leading the list is the Town of Grafton in Rensselaer County with 10.23% growth between 2010 and 2015.

Comparing Metro Areas

We took a look at how the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) stacked up against other MSAs in Upstate New York during the 2011-2015 ACS period.  We looked at Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Glens Falls, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica-Rome, and Watertown.

Median Household Income

The Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA led the group with the highest median household income in Upstate New York’s MSAs.  For 2011-2015, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy  MSA had a median household income of $62,283, more than $3,000 above the state’s median household income.  Utica-Rome was at the bottom of the MSAs with $47,695.

Median Age

The median age in the Capital District during the 2011-2015 period was 40 years, which was above the statewide median age of 38.1.  The Ithaca region had the youngest median age at 30.2, likely due to the influence of colleges in the area.  Utica-Rome had the oldest median age at 41.4 years.

Unemployment Rate

The Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA came in nearly 1.5 points below the state’s unemployment rate according to the American Community Survey.  Compared to a state rate of 8.20% for 2011-2015, the Albany- Schenectady-Troy MSA saw an unemployment rate of 6.78%.  The lowest rate belonged to Elmira wile the highest rate was seen in Watertown.

Poverty Rate

Once again leading other MSA, Albany-Schenectady-Troy showed the lowest percentage of persons in poverty from 2011-2015.  According to the data, 11.35% of the region fell below the poverty line.  This is more than 4 points below the statewide figure of 15.69%.  The Ithaca region had the highest level with 20.55% of people falling below the poverty line, which may be the result of colleges in the area.

In the weeks and months ahead, the Capital District Regional Planning Commission will continue to analyze this information and update its reports and data products.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for updates on this information and more.