Andy MattisonMay 25, 2017, 8:04 pm

Why Rockland County is seeing a big population increase

Over the last decade, data from the US Census Bureau shows that the county is growing faster than Orange and Westchester

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If you've moved to Rockland County in the last six years, you've definitely had plenty of company.

Recent data from the U.S Census Bureau shows that Rockland County’s population is growing faster than its neighboring counties with an increase of almost five percent since 2010.

Jonathan Drapkin, CEO of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, says the data isn't surprising given the county's proximity to New York City. And given the existence of mass transit, people have the option to live in the county while working in the city.

The largest growth has been in the county's Hassidic Jewish population. This demographic has also increased the population of Kyrius Joel, a small village in Orange County. A good snapshot of this can be found at the village's annual Lag Boemer Festival which drew tens of thousands to the village recently.

"By 2040, 20 percent of the population of Orange County would be simply Kyrios Joel," Drapkin said.

While Westchester County has also shown some growth, other areas in the Hudson Valley remain stagnant, mostly because millennials are choosing not to have families.

"Millennials are even larger than the baby boomers. However, they're just not having kids the way the baby boomers did," he said.

Drapkin says population growth is always good for the Hudson Valley but could pose a problem for Rockland because it is the smallest geographic county in the state.

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