The Big Apple is still the country's biggest draw.
A yearly estimate from the U.S. Census says New York City grew by more than 53,000 residents for the 12-month period ending July 2008, the biggest numerical increase of any city in the country.
The city's population was estimated at more than 8.36 million people, up from about 8.31 million in July 2007. That makes it by far the most populous city in the country, more than double Los Angeles' estimated population of 3.83 million. While a population increase has been the pattern of the past several years, the latest numbers show a shift in the pattern of who's moving into and out of the city, said Joseph Salvo, chief demographer for New York.
Historically, New York City has had residents moving out to other states, a departure offset by an immigrant population moving in as well as new births.
In the 12-month period ending in July 2008, Salvo said, fewer immigrants have been coming in but fewer residents have been leaving.
"Our inflows and outflows are balancing each other in ways we haven't seen in 25 years," he said.
The increase in city residents contributed to an increase in the overall state population, and offset the continued population decline found in much of upstate New York over the years. Albany declined from 93,900 to 93,539, while Buffalo went from 272,401 to 270,919 and Syracuse declined from 138,699 to 138,068.
Rocky Ferraro, executive director of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, attributed the loss of residents to the declines in job availability.
"Employment is a primary driver of why people move into and out of a region," he said.
The state population overall rose from 19.42 million to 19.49 million.
While the Big Apple had the highest number of new residents, the Big Easy took first place at the country's fastest-growing city. New Orleans saw an increase of an estimated 23,740 people, an 8.2 percent change that brought the population to 311, 853. New York City's population growth was a 0.6 percent change over the year before.
Other cities faced a population decline. Detroit fell to 912,062 from 916,936, while Cleveland went from 438,013 to 433,748.