New York State leads the nation when it came to losing residents, a new report finds.
Between July 2012 and July 2013, the state saw a net domestic migration of 104,470 residents while several states like Florida, North Carolina and Texas saw hundreds of thousands of newcomers during the same period, according to the report by nonprofit think-thank The Empire Center.
Although the study didn't have specific data regarding New York City, urban planning experts say trend could be consistent in the Big Apple, thanks to the rising costs of living and better job prospects in smaller markets.
"It's not the weather. The largest population growth in a state, percentage wise is North Dakota, because of their job market," said E.J. McMahon, the president of the Empire Center.
The report said 328,538 people have left the Empire State since 2010. Data on how many of them lived in New York City will be released in the spring.
Mark D. Naison, who used to chair Fordham University's urban studies program, said unlike the rest of the state, which is still recovering from the economic downturn, city housing costs scare people away.
"You can't afford to live in Park Slope on two teachers' salaries anymore," said Naison. who currently teaches African American studies at Fordham.
Maegan Ortiz, 36, who moved from her hometown in Queens to Los Angeles a 18 months ago, agreed. The mother of two said rising rents and costs of health insurance for her kids forced her to look elsewhere.
"When you look at the economics of it, it was not a hard decision at all," said Ortiz, a freelance writer..
The loss of New Yorkers was offset by the increase in immigrants and families who come to the state with about 318,000 moving to New York between 2010 and 2013, the report said. McMahon added that the city is also big in attracting young college students and professionals who begin the careers.
That population, however, is the one that is more likely to head to other pastures in due time, McMahon said.
"It's a great place to come when you're young, single and getting experience but if you're raising a family it's a different story," he said.
McMahon said the figures aren't worrisome because migration out of the state is normal and was higher during worse periods in New York's history, especially during recessions. People will always be interested in the New York experience, he said.
"We lose the most people, it's been that way for decades. It's not a positive thing, but in total terms the worst decade was the 70s," he said.