New report reveals the pull of the Hudson Valley
Ja Hudson Valley saw a net gain in migration in 2019-20 for the first time in a decade and it was a byproduct of Covid-19, according to “Moving In, Moving Out,” a special report released by Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress (HVPFP), which is based in Newburgh. The report says 48,642 people left the city for the Hudson Valley while 15,248 left the region to settle in the city, resulting in a net gain for the Hudson Valley of 33 394 people.
Portions of the Hudson Valley north of Highway 84 have seen quite a large migration of people into the area. A similar migration has also been noted in Westchester County.
Founded in 1965, the regional nonprofit HVPFP is a policy, planning, and research organization that promotes balanced, sustainable, and equitable regional solutions that enhance the growth and vitality of the Hudson Valley.
“While the data does not explain why they moved here, we know from interviews and other qualitative information that people were looking to move out of densely populated areas and more into smaller towns and rural towns. This trend was born out of fear that people were at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus if they lived in densely populated environments,” Adam Bosch, president and CEO of HVPFP told The Business Journals. He said many people were familiar with the Hudson Valley, had second homes or vacationed in the area, and through the use of digital software they were still able to maintain their businesses in the city.
“A lot of things are attractive in the Hudson Valley. Its proximity to the city makes it a good place to live and go to work. We also have a lot of great employers in the area,” Bosch said. “The Hudson Valley is also attractive to new residents because of its natural beauty, mix of urban centers, mountains and unspoilt forest lands, great restaurants and craft beverage companies, and more. Again. Our region also has growing and thriving industries, such as television and film, biotechnology and life sciences. In the case of this particular migration, I think it’s fair to say that people were drawn to the Hudson Valley because it was less densely populated than the places they came from. It was an escape with outdoor spaces to recreate safely during the pandemic.
Bosch said the HVPFP has long been respected as an objective voice for planning and advice.
“For more than five decades, Pattern has focused on government efficiency and effectiveness, community development, urban planning, demographic analysis, housing, transportation, infrastructure, main street revitalization and other topics that affect the lives of our neighbors,” Bosch said.
The “Moving In, Moving Out” report was based on data released in late spring by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which uses tax returns to track the movement of people between counties.
“These data are important for several reasons. We know many people moved to our area during the pandemic, but this migration data from the IRS offers the first quantitative assessment of this trend,” Bosch said. “They put actual numbers on a trend that has been largely anecdotal so far. This data does not include the entire period of the pandemic. We expect to get a fuller picture when the IRS releases its next batch. of data, probably next year.
According to Bosch, this is the first time in recent years that the Hudson Valley has gained population through migration.
“The region was losing about 5,000 people a year to emigration, usually young families and retirees leaving the region,” Bosch said. “For about 15 years, these people had generally left the Hudson Valley for two categories of places. Many moved to New York or Albany because of well-paying jobs and a general return to urban centers and walking life. Others have moved to Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona – places that fit the bill for better weather and a cheaper standard of living.
Bosch said area leaders must continue to work on strategies that can attract and retain young families in the Hudson Valley.
“It’s important for the health of our communities, enrollment in our schools, having the right workforce for our businesses, and many other reasons,” Bosch said. “New residents often bring creativity, new business ideas, investment and other benefits to our communities.”