Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released a report confirming troubling demographic trends. The study finds that the County population has remained stagnant since 2000 and will decline by 3% over the next 10 years while the 60 and over population will be increasing from about 22% of total population today to over 27%. More worrisome is that our young adults between the ages of 10-19 years old and our children between 0-9 years are declining at alarming rates. This highlights that about 11% of our young adults go off to college and do not return for local careers and our school age children (0-9) population will decline by over 60,000 by 2024 compared to 2000. These trends will have serious negative consequences on our local economy, our schools, property taxes and housing values.
“The demographic trends are alarming,” said Comptroller George Maragos. “We are not only losing our young adults but we are having fewer children. These trends should be a wakeup call to local civic, industry and political leaders to find policy solutions to reverse these trends.”The study proposes a new Economic Vision for Nassau County as a starting point for a public debate on revitalizing our local economy and reversing the demographic trends. The vision is to harness our local natural advantages, including a highly educated work force, excellent schools and universities, leading hospitals, and proximity to New York City, to become the Health Care and Medical Research Capital of the World. This vision adopts economic models successfully achieved in other fast growing regions in the nation such as Information Technology in Silicon Valley, the Financial Industry in New York City and the Government in Washington DC.“Nassau County should become the destination where people want to come for the best medical treatment and where the next cures will be found for cancer, diabetes, dementia, Ebola and Alzheimer’s,” said Comptroller George Maragos.
In order to accomplish the Vision, large investments will be required to attract the best minds in the Health Care Industries. These investments should also go toward building the best medical research centers in collaboration with our universities and medical centers all linked with ultra high speed communications and state-of–the-art public transportation infrastructure with further linkage to New York City. This will probably require updating the LIRR, extending the AirTrain JFK to MacArthur Airport and interconnect all major commericial, hospital and university locations on Long Island with monorail or light rail. Combined with Long Island’s excellent schools, Nassau County can be the best place to live, have an exciting career and raise a family. “We need to have a public debate on Nassau County’s economic future,” Comptroller Maragos added. “I hope this report provides a starting point to stimulate discussion and action on the part of our civic, industry and political leaders. The proposed Economic vision will boost smart growth housing projects already underway, stimulate investment and spur even greater economic growth and exciting opportunities for all residents and new residents.”The complete report is available on the Comptroller’s website and social media links.