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Youth fleeing Adirondacks

The median age of an Adirondack resident is 43 years of age, while New York State as a whole has an average population age of 35.5 years.

The report states that the Adirondack population mirrors the retirement communities of Western Florida, and ranks among the oldest in the nation.

School enrollment plunging in Park's core

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

Throughout the Adirondacks, student populations have declined 31 percent on average since 1970, while the number of teachers has increased about 34 percent.

After high school graduation, only 36.5 percent of Adirondack 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 above statewide totals.

"This data is essential in understanding the communities in the Adirondacks," said Monroe, who is supervisor of the town of Chester and serves as chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

The study states that 76 percent of land in the Park 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 bound, illustrated Assessment report includes a CD-ROM which provides data from each of the 103 towns and villages sampled.

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

The population of the communities on the perimeter of the Adirondack Park has doubled since 1950, but the core Park hamlets and villages have seen only modest growth on the average. But during that time, adjusted income levels have declined considerably.

The Assessment report included data provided by a 90-question survey, U.S. and state Census data and Adirondack Park Agency data. It was conducted by the LA Group of Saratoga Springs on behalf of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages and the Adirondack North Country Association at a cost of $93,000.

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