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First park-wide demographic study released

In the past two decades Newcomb Central School District has lost over 84 percent of its student body. Concurrently, the median age of the town has spiked to 51.4 years of age, making it one of the oldest communities in the country.

Park-wide, student populations have declined 31 percent since 1970, while the number of teachers has increased about 34 percent.

After graduation, only 36.5 percent of in-park residents attend four-year colleges compared to 53.6 percent statewide. Nearly 13 percent of local high school graduates immediately enter the workforce, 7 percent over statewide totals.

"This data is essential in understanding the communities in the park," Monroe said.

The study states, 76 percent of in-park land is rendered unable to be developed after state holdings, easements and defined wetlands are accounted for.

New York State has direct ownership of 45 percent of the 5.8 million acres which comprise the park.

The 120 page study includes a CD-ROM which provides data from each of the 103 towns and villages sampled.

Other topics of considerable discussion include availability of technological infrastructure, unemployment rates -- which tend to spike in 'off seasons' -- and types of jobs available.

The total population of the park has doubled since 1950, but adjusted income levels have declined considerably. Most of the population increases are in towns which sit on the Blue Line.

The APRAP study included data provided by a 90 question survey, U.S. and state Census data and APA data. It was conducted by the LA Group of Saratoga at a cost of $93,000.

Throughout the study, a distinction is often made between municipalities wholly within the park and those only partially in the park.

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