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What census numbers could mean for WNY

Posted at 11:57 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 23:57:08-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New numbers from the federal government show people are moving back into Buffalo and the rest of Erie County.

Census figures released Thursday show more than a 6-percent increase in Buffalo's population from a decade ago. Erie county's population also rose.

Buffalo and Erie County politicians are celebrating.

“This is a great moment for the City of Buffalo, to see population growth in our city for the first time in 70 years,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

What can these numbers mean to Western New Yorkers?

Redistricting.

With an accurate count of people, different bodies of government can draw lines to better represent the population.

With Erie County's population rising, it would be more difficult for the area to lose representation in the US Congress. New York City saw a significant gain in population, there will likely be less representation in all Upstate New York.

“That would mean that you're going to see representation in the state legislature shift more downstate and also, within Upstate, it would seem that it would shift even within that area, into some of the more urban counties,” said Shawn Donahue, a political professor with the University At Buffalo.

Nearly every rural county in the state lost population since 2010.