Last August, officials at the U.S. Census announced New York's population had surpassed 20 million. 

But the Post-Enumeration Survey based on a survey of households shows New York's population may be below the 20 million mark, reflecting a decade of little growth in state residents, according to an announcement Thursday by the U.S. Census. 

New York was among seven states that may have had their populations overcounted by the once-a-decade survey.

Ten years ago, the 2010 Census reported New York's population at 19,378,102 people. 

The state has struggled with a slowing population growth for more than a generation. The trend has accelerated in recent years in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In December, the Census reported New York had the steepest 12-month decline in population in the United States from July 2020 to July 2021, losing 1.5% of its residents during that time. 

The flat population growth has resulted in decreased political clout for New York on the national level. The state will lose a congressional district in the new Congress next year because of faster population growth elsewhere in the country.

And it has stirred concern from the business community. 

“Today’s stunning announcement by the United States Census Bureau confirms that New York has gone from being the Empire State to the Stagnant State," said Justin Wilcox, the executive director of the pro-business organization Upstate United. "While many other states have gained residents over the last decade, New York’s population was essentially flat. Meanwhile, the state’s annual budget grew by 31% from 2010 through 2020. This imbalance is simply unsustainable."