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US Census Bureau: Huge metropolis losses early in COVID pandemic | Health & Health



Ko Im at all times thought she would reside in New York ceaselessly. She knew each nook of Manhattan and had labored exhausting to construct a group of mates. Living in a small condominium, she discovered her perspective shifting early within the coronavirus pandemic. After her brother accepted a job in Seattle in the summertime of 2020, she determined to maneuver there too.

“It was fine until it wasn’t,” Im, 36, stated of her time in New York. “The pandemic actually modified my mindset about how I wished to reside or how I wanted to reside.”

Eight of the 10 largest cities in the U.S. lost population during the first year of the pandemic, with New York, Los Angeles and Chicago leading the way. Between July 2020 and July 2021, New York lost more than 305,000 people, while Chicago and Los Angeles contracted by 45,000 residents and 40,000 people, respectively.

San Francisco suffered the largest rate of decline, losing almost 55,000 residents, or 6.3% of its 2020 population, the highest percentage of any U.S. city.

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The inhabitants estimates launched Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau seize a time early within the pandemic and don’t replicate adjustments since final summer time. Whether the virus has completely altered the city panorama of America stays an open query.

Brookings Institution demographer William Frey stated he believes the inhabitants declines in many of the largest U.S. cities from 2020 to 2021 have been “short-lived and pandemic-related.”

Among the ten largest U.S. cities, solely San Antonio and Phoenix gained new residents, however they added solely about 13,000 folks every, or lower than 1% of their populations, in accordance with the bureau’s 2021 classic inhabitants estimates.

Justin Jordan’s transfer to Phoenix a 12 months in the past was motivated by a job supply paying him extra money than the one in Moundsville, West Virginia, the place he had been residing. He has needed to regulate to temperatures of 110 levels Fahrenheit (43.3 levels Celsius) and unwieldly site visitors.

“I love the weather, the atmosphere, and all the stuff to do,” stated Jordan, 33, a senior operations supervisor for a enterprise companies agency.

Among the biggest U.S. cities, Austin and Fort Worth in Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Columbus, Ohio additionally registered modest inhabitants features.

In March, the Census Bureau launched estimates for metro areas and counties exhibiting adjustments from mid-2020 to mid-2021. The estimates launched Thursday supply a extra granular perspective. For occasion, the March knowledge confirmed metro Dallas had the biggest inhabitants acquire of any metro space within the U.S., including greater than 97,000 residents, however Thursday’s estimates present town of Dallas misplaced nearly 15,000 residents. The development occurred in Dallas suburbs like Frisco, McKinney and Plano.

Reasons for inhabitants adjustments differ from metropolis to metropolis, pushed by housing prices, jobs, births and deaths. The pandemic and the lockdown that adopted in spring 2020 made residing in a crowded metropolis much less interesting for a time, and people who may go away — staff who may do their jobs remotely, for instance — typically did.

Daniel Akerman, a New York actual property agent, stated the Census Bureau knowledge, which don’t go previous July 2021, fail to seize how folks have returned to town previously 12 months. He stated actual property transactions have skyrocketed and out there rental flats have dropped.

“People have definitely returned to the city. There are a lot more people on the streets,” Akerman stated. “In July 2021, people were still guarded about COVID and a lot of that has gone away. People are a lot more free. They are out and about, going to restaurants.”

When it got here to development charges, versus uncooked numbers, the fastest-growing cities with populations of at the least 50,000 residents have been within the suburbs of booming Sunbelt metro areas. They included Georgetown and Leander exterior Austin; the city of Queen Creek and the cities of Buckeye, Casa Grande and Maricopa, exterior Phoenix; town of New Braunfels, exterior San Antonio; and Fort Myers, Florida. They had development charges of between 6.1% and 10.5%.

As metro Austin has grown by leaps and bounds, so has Georgetown, positioned greater than 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of the Texas capital, stated Keith Hutchinson, town’s communications supervisor. The metropolis grew by 10.5%, essentially the most within the nation final 12 months, and now has 75,000 residents.

“It’s not really a surprise,” Hutchinson stated. “People are moving here for jobs.”

The estimates additionally confirmed inhabitants declines of three% to three.5% in New Jersey cities exterior New York, resembling Union City, Hoboken and Bayonne. Similar declines occurred exterior San Francisco in Daly City, Redwood City and San Mateo, in addition to Cupertino in Silicon Valley.

Lake Charles, Louisiana, which was devastated by Hurricane Laura in 2020, misplaced nearly 5% of its residents, the second-highest charge within the U.S. behind San Francisco.

Though the Category 4 storm was the driving force there, elsewhere, the pandemic created alternatives to maneuver. Andrew Mazur, 31, had been wanting for a while to go away Philadelphia for South Florida the place he grew up, and the possibility to work remotely in his job at a big skilled companies agency arrived in November 2020. He joined nearly 25,000 residents who left Philadelphia between 2020 and 2021.

Although he now wants a automobile to get round, Mazur loves {golfing} each weekend and going to the seashore. He lately moved out of his mother and father’ residence, getting his personal condominium in Fort Lauderdale. He made the transfer official three weeks in the past by acquiring a Florida driver’s license.

“I’m not going again. It has been nice,” Mazur said. “Philly, New York, Chicago — tons of people from there are moving down here.”

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

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