Orange County’s population soars

Census. Orange saw an increase of 28,497 people between 2010 and 2020; the Town of Palm Tree is now its largest municipality.

| 18 Aug 2021 | 10:33

    Orange County gained 28,497 people, or 7.6 percent, between 2010 and 2020, according to the initial release of data from the Census Bureau as reported by the Orange County Planning Department.

    That number may actually be greater, considering the state of the real estate market in the county since the COVID pandemic shut down metropolitan areas and forced urban dwellers to consider less crowded conditions in the Hudson Valley.

    The Town of Palm Tree did not exist 2010; it was created by the annexation of land from the Town of Monroe into the Village of Kiryas Joel. This municipality is now the largest in Orange County with 32,954 residents. The 2010 Census listed Kiryas Joel’s population as 21,175, indicating an increase of 63 percent.

    The next largest municipalities are the Town of Warwick (which actually saw its population decline by 38 people in the last decade), the Town of Newburgh and the Town of Wallkill.

    Aside from Palm Tree, the most concentrated sections in the county are the Middletown (30,345 people) and Town of Wallkill (30,486) communities and the City of Newburgh (28,856 people), Town of Newburgh (31,985) and Town of New Windsor (27,805) area.

    Most of the growth in the county occurred in the southern and eastern communities. That demographic parallels the population increase in New York State.

    The state’s population grew by 828,346 people, which included an increase of 629,051 people who now call New York City home. The Empire Center, an Albany research organization, indicated that almost of the state’s growth took place in 12 downstate counties plus the city.

    Despite the state’s population growth, New York is one of seven states that will lose one Congressional seat. New York, by the way, fell 89 people short of retaining all of its 27 congressional districts. The average congressional district has about 700,000 people.

    The state lost two seats in Congress following the 2010 Census.

    - Bob Quinn