NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — More people are leaving the Empire State, according to a new report.

An analysis of US Census data by the Empire Center for New York State Policy found 1.6 million New Yorkers moved to other states between 2000 and 2010, the highest number in three decades.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

That number totaled more than the populations of Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, White Plains and West Babylon combined.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he isn’t surprised by the report.

“Just look to see where we send pension benefit checks. An awful lot of them are outside of New York,” said Bloomberg. “Those are the very people who are represented by unions who say, ‘oh you could afford to tax more.'”

Mike Durant, New York state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says the exodus from New York is because of a bad job market and taxes.

“What we are seeing is a result of a decade-long decrease in the ability of New Yorkers to either find a job or to create a job,” said Durant. “Employers are leaving the state, people are leaving the state for a lower tax burden.” 

Durant also says losing population means we lose representation in Congress.

“That lack of political clout has a pretty hefty impact on New York because it impacts are ability to get federal dollars and our influence on issues that are more national,” he said.

Some of the losses in the state were offset by the steady influx of immigrants to New York City.

The US Census numbers show the state’s population did grow by 2 percent over the decade to 19.4 million.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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