From 1930 to 1960, Utica maintained a population of about 100k. Then from 1960 to 2000 Utica struggled, like many rustbelt cities. It lost 40% of its population as manufacturers and other employers left the area.

Throughout the 1990s, Utica suffered an arson epidemic as property values plummeted.

The influx of refugees beginning in the 1980s and really taking off in the 1990s has stabilized the population. If not for refugees, Utica would have otherwise lost its status as an urban center (population over 50k) and the financial benefits tied to that status.
16,000 refugees have passed through the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and now make up nearly 20% of Utica’s population.
Research by local economist Paul Hagstrom finds that by their 7th year refugees are an annual net positive to the local economy. By their 13th year, they have repaid all local debt incurred on their behalf.
A 2013 John Zogby poll, determined that 69% of Utica residents feel immigration is good for the area.


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