NYSAC Population Trends in New York State
In 1960, New York State had the highest population in the nation with about 16.8 million people. By 1970, the rapid population growth in California had positioned that state as the most populace and New York dropped to second with about 18.2 million people. The 1970's was a tumultuous decade for many urban and heavily industrialized states.
New York, along with other similarly situated states, saw significant population losses during that decade. New York City's population alone dropped by more than 1 million people during the 1970's as suburban communities blossomed and there was a large migration to southern states and the West Coast.