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As of 2006, New York was the third largest state in population after California and Texas, with an estimated population of 19,306,183.[16] This represents an increase of 329,362, or 1.7%, since the year 2000; it includes a natural increase since the last census of 601,779 people (1,576,125 births minus 974,346 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 422,481 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 820,388 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of about 800,213.
In spite of the open land in the state, New York's population is very urban, with 92% of residents living in an urban area.[17]
New York is a slow growing state with a large rate of migration to other states. In 2000 and 2005, more people moved from New York to Florida than from any one state to another.[18] New York state is a leading destination for international immigration, however. The center of population of New York is located in Orange County, in the town of Deerpark.[19] New York City and its eight suburban counties (excluding those in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania) have a combined population of 13,209,006 people, or 68.42% of the state's population.[20]

Racial and ancestral makeup

The major ancestry groups in New York state are African American (15.8%), Italian (14.4%), Irish (12.9%), and German (11.1%).[21] According to a 2004 estimate, 20.4% of the population is foreign-born.
New York is home to the largest Dominican and Jamaican American population in the United States. The New York City neighborhood of Harlem has historically been a major cultural capital for sub saharan African-Americans and Bedford Stuyvesant is the largest in the United States. Queens, also in New York City, is home to the state's largest Asian-American population, and is also the most diverse county in the United States.
In the 2000 Census, Italian-Americans make up the largest ancestral group in Staten Island and Long Island, followed by Irish-Americans. Albany and southeast-central New York are heavily Irish-American and Italian-American. In Buffalo and western New York, German-Americans are the largest group; in the northern tip of the state, French-Canadians. New York State has a higher number of Italian-Americans than any other U.S. state.
6.5% of New York's population were under 5 years of age, 24.7% under 18, and 12.9% were 65 or older. Females made up 51.8% of the population.
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 13.61% of the population aged 5 and over speak Spanish at home, while 2.04% speak Chinese (including Cantonese and Mandarin), 1.65% Italian, and 1.23% Russian [4].


Catholics comprise more than 40% of the population in New York.[22] Protestants are 30% of the population, Jews 8.4%, Muslims 3.5%, Buddhists 1%, and 13% claim no religious affiliation. The largest Protestant denominations are the United Methodist Church with 403,362; the American Baptist Churches USA with 203,297; and the Episcopal Church with 201,797 adherents.[23]

Cities and towns

For lists of cities, towns, and counties in New York, see List of cities in New York, List of towns in New York, List of villages in New York, List of counties in New York, List of census-designated places in New York and Administrative divisions of New York. The largest city in the state and the most populous city in the United States is New York City, which comprises five counties, the Bronx, New York (Manhattan), Queens, Kings (Brooklyn), and Richmond (Staten Island). New York City is home to more than two-fifths of the state's population. The ten largest cities are:[24]
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  1. New York City (8,274,527)
  2. Buffalo (279,745)
  3. Rochester (211,091)
  4. Yonkers (196,425)
  5. Syracuse (141,683)
  6. Albany (93,523)
  7. New Rochelle (72,967)
  8. Mount Vernon (67,924)
  9. Schenectady (61,280)
  10. Utica (59,336)
The location of these cities within the state stays remarkably true to the major transportation and trade routes in the early nineteenth century, primarily the Erie Canal and railroads paralleling it. Today, Interstate 90 acts as a modern counterpart to commercial water routes.
Grouped by metropolitan statistical area,[25] the twelve largest population centers in the state are:

  1. New York City (18,815,988 in NY/NJ/PA, 12,381,586 in NY)
  2. Buffalo/Niagara Falls (1,128,183)
  3. Rochester (1,030,495)
  4. Albany and the Capital District (853,358)
  5. Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley (669,915)
  6. Syracuse (645,293)
  7. Utica/Rome (294,862)
  8. Binghamton (246,426)
  9. Kingston (181,860)
  10. Glens Falls (128,886)
  11. Ithaca (101,055)
  12. Elmira (88,015)
The smallest city is Sherrill, New York, located just west of the Town of Vernon in Oneida County. Albany is the state capital, and the Town of Hempstead is the civil township with the largest population.
The southern tip of New York State—New York City, its suburbs including Long Island, the southern portion of the Hudson Valley, and most of northern New Jersey—can be considered to form the central core of a "megalopolis", a super-city stretching from the northern suburbs of Boston south to the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. and occasionally called "BosWash".
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