Population measures provide insight on the changing size and face of communities, and an area's needs and assets.
In this section, we highlight the trends for 4 demographic indicators: 1) total population; 2) age; 3) race and ethnicity; and 4) household type.
In all cases, comparisons to state statistics reflect the state excluding New York City.
The population of the Mid-Hudson Valley Region continues to increase, with the elderly and Hispanic and Asian segments of the population growing fastest. Married couples without children are the most common household type in the region.
The total population of the Mid–Hudson Valley Region is growing.
Counter to the population declines experienced in Western and Central New York, all counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley region have gained residents since 2000. From 2000 to 2015, the region gained 7% more residents, higher than the state (3%), yet below the rate for the nation (14%). Orange led the region with its robust 11% growth, followed by Dutchess (6%) and Ulster (1.4%).
The population over the age of 60 has been growing the fastest, while the population under 40 has been shrinking.
All counties in the region are experiencing the “graying” phenomenon affecting much of the country. Since 2000, the 85 and over age group grew the fastest, at 58% for Dutchess, 53% for Ulster and 48% for the region overall. Orange was the only county in the region where the 60 to 84 group had the greatest increase (50%) followed by the 85 and over group (36%).
The under 20 group shrank 8% throughout the region. Orange remained steady in the under 20 group, but this was countered by decreases in Dutchess (13%) and Ulster (18%). The 20 to 39 age group also shrank 4% throughout the region, or by 8% in Ulster, 6% in Dutchess, but increased 0.4% in Orange.
While the counties are gradually becoming more diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, they remain overwhelmingly white.
Despite the large percentage increases in minority populations and a modest growth in the white population (1%), the region remains predominantly white, representing 83% of total residents. Hispanics were the region’s fastest growing racial group, up 86% from 2000. Dutchess had the greatest increase in Hispanic population, at 94%, followed by Orange with 88% and Ulster with 66%.
The Asian population was the second fastest growing group. Regionally, the Asian population grew by 78%, driven in large part by the 98% growth in Orange, significantly more than neighboring Dutchess (66%) and Ulster (67%) counties.
Regionally, married couples without children were the most common household type, similar to state and national trends.
In 2011-15, 29% of households were made up of married couples without children and 23% were married couples with children. Among the counties, Ulster had the largest share of households composed of people living alone at 30%, and Orange had 27% of households made up of married couples with children.