U.S. Census Bureau Finds Americans Fled Big Cities During Pandemic in Favor of South West

by Megan Molseed
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Some of the largest cities in the U.S. saw a decline in population during the pandemic. However, other areas, primarily in parts of the U.S. southwest saw an influx in their population numbers. This, the U.S. Census Bureau says suggests that many Americans decided to flee the bigger cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, in favor of the southwest region of the country. New York lost the most residents with the state seeing a population decrease of over 300,000. Los Angeles came in second along these lines with a population drop of over 175,000 residents.

At A Glance

  • The U.S. Census Bureau has released information noting that big cites such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago saw marked population decreases during the pandemic.
  • New York City saw the biggest population decrease with a population difference of 328,000 while Los Angeles saw a decrease of around 176,000 residents.
  • In contrast to these decreases, many ares in the southwest are seeing spikes in overall population numbers.

American Counties Are Seeing Major Decreases In Population Numbers Compared To Previous Years

New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago are among some major metropolis areas that are seeing marked decreases in populations since the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. According to information released by the U.S. Census Bureau about 75% of counties throughout the U.S. experienced some loss in population numbers.

However, notes the Census Bureau report, some areas saw marked growth in populations. This suggests that Americans are choosing to leave the larger cities in favor of the smaller cities throughout the southwest region of the country. These population increases are occurring in areas such as Texas cities Dallas, Houston, and Austin as well as areas such as Phoenix Arizona.

From New York To Los Angeles Residents Are Leaving American Big Cities

New York City was hit the hardest when it comes to populations decline. There are about 328,000 fewer residents residing within the city’s four major boroughs. The population of New York City has decreased from 8,308,443 in April of 2020 to around 7,980,443 as of July 2021. 

Los Angeles County is seeing the second-largest decrease in population numbers. Since spring of 2020, the California county dropped to a population of 9,829,544 from 10,014,009.

Illinois’ Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago reports a decrease in residents as high as around 102,395. The population decreased from 5,275,541 to 5,173,146 between April 2020 and summer 2021. San Francisco is seeing a population decrease of about 55,000 residents. Overall numbers there have dropped from 873,965 to 815,201.   

Conversely, Texas has seen a marked increase in population numbers during this same time. The number of residents in Dallas increased by nearly 100,000 soaring from 7,637,387 to 7,759,615. Houston is seeing an increase of about 69,000 people. And Austin reports an increase in population moving 2,283,371 residents to 2,352,426.

Even some famous names are taking part in this trend. Recently, longtime California resident Elon Musk made the move from California to Texas.