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Providence Journal: RI experiences historical decline in population

Susan Strate, manager of the Population Estimates Program at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute was quoted in article in the Providence Journal outlining Rhode Island’s decline in population.

Since 2004, Rhode Island’s population has dropped by more than 24,000 people, an exodus unprecedented in the state’s history, estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show. That loss easily exceeds the 2,569 person loss Rhode Island experienced from 1970 to 1980, the only other decade the state had shown a population loss from one census to the next.

Factors influencing Rhode Island’s population numbers include shifting immigration patterns, economic recession and declining birth rates.

Strate commented on the impact that population loss has on a state’s economy. “We tend to think of having more people in an area as generally better for an economy,” she said. An increasing population means more workers available to fuel the economy and more people spending money. It also marks a state as a great place to live. “People want to be there, see opportunity there.”

Read article: R.I. experiences historical decline in population

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