More residents escaped from New York over the last year than from any other state, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday.
Some 126,355 people high-tailed it out of the Empire State between July 2019 and July 2020, a dip of 0.65 percent, the preliminary figures show.
New York has been losing locals since 2016, but the most recent drop was significantly larger than in years past.
It was also the state with the nation’s biggest population decline, followed by Illinois with a 0.63 percent dip; Hawaii with 0.61 percent and West Virginia with 0.58 percent.
The estimates are based on the 2010 Census and the official 2020 Census results will be released next year, along with a new legislative map.
The once-a-decade national head count determines how the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are divided among the 50 states based on the population changes recorded.
If the numbers hold, New York could lose one seat, dropping to 26, according to an analysis by William Frey, chief demographer for the Brookings Institution, The New York Times reported.
That would leave the Empire State with fewer seats than Florida for the first time ever, the report said.
Overall, the US population grew at the smallest rate in at least 120 years from 2019 to 2020, according to the figures from the Census Bureau. Demographers attributed the trend to the coronavirus pandemic’s toll on the nation.
Population growth in the US had already been sluggish even before the virus, because of a dip in fertility and immigration restrictions.
But Frey pointed to the at least 322,000 American lives lost to COVID-19 since March as making the stagnant-growth trend worse.
"I think it’s a first glimpse of where we may be heading as far as low population growth," Frey told The Associated Press.
"It’s telling you that this is having an impact on population."