This morning's New York Times (registration required) has an article on the graying of upstate, noting that:
Upstate New York is staggering from an accelerating exodus of young adults, new census results show. The migration is turning many communities grayer, threatening the long-term viability of ailing cities and raising concerns about the state's future tax base.
From 1990 to 2004, the number of 25-to-34-year-old residents in the 52 counties north of Rockland and Putnam declined by more than 25 percent. In 13 counties that include cities like Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton, the population of young adults fell by more than 30 percent. In Tioga County, part of Appalachia in New York's Southern Tier, 42 percent fewer young adults were counted in 2004 than in 1990.
There's one exception, Tompkins County:
The sole gainer was neighboring Tompkins County in the Finger Lakes, where Cornell University, Ithaca College and tourism have boosted the job market.
I'm not sure that's exactly an adequate explanation, since I keep hearing about all the amenities younger residents supposedly want, and 'central isolation' isn't usually high on the list. It seems that Tompkins County is becoming a destination for a lot of people, both young and old, perhaps the most attractive part of beautiful upstate New York..
So I guess the question becomes: what are we doing right? And what can we do better? How is this playing out within the county? And is there anything we're doing well that we can share with our neighboring counties?
(And yes, I just contributed to upstate's age problems, turning 35 last year.)
Update: NYCO has comments on the upstate situation more broadly.Posted by simon at June 13, 2006 7:36 AM in Tompkins County , demographics