ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After decades of holding the title as the third-largest city in the state of New York, that title now goes to Yonkers by a few hundred people.
“We’re number four and not number three, you know we can be sad about that for a few minutes, but put it aside, let’s get the work done and move forward,” Harry Bronson, a Democratic assemblymember from Rochester, said.
The city of Rochester lost the bragging rights title by 241 people, according to the 2020 census results released Thursday.
“The reality is, it’s not going to significantly change the funding,” said Bronson. “It’s not going to significantly change the way things are going to happen in state government.”
Monroe County saw its population grow to 759,443 people, an increase from 744,344 people in 2010.
Although Rochester saw a drop to fourth in the state, the population grew over the past decade to 211,328, an increase from the 2010 census when the population was 210,565.
“Importantly, we stayed above 200,000, which is critical for community development block grant funding, which ensures that we get that money,” Justin Roj, communications director for the City of Rochester, said.
While there’s plenty of good news for Rochester in the census count, Roj pointed to several issues with the census process last year that likely led to undercounting in urban areas nationwide.
“It’s kind of humorous to say, ‘hey, we want a recount because we dropped from third to fourth,’ but really why we want a recount is every person matters in terms of making sure we have proper representation in Congress, making sure we have proper funding coming to us from the federal government for the variety of programs and quite frankly just the fundamental issue of fairness,” said Roj.
The city says it will reach out to the Census Bureau to refine the numbers because Rochester has seen growth in rental units and increased property values.
Local leaders are hopeful the population for the city will continue to grow and regain that third place title from Yonkers.
“They have the trophy until the next census, but we’re not going to quit and we’ll get back at it,” said Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.