NYC has lost nearly half a million residents since start of COVID pandemic
NEW YORK - Some of America's largest cities have seen a significant decrease in population since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with the Big Apple topping the list during the three-year period.
A report by the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday estimated more than 468,200 residents left New York City between April 2020 and July 2022, accounting for a 5.3% decrease in the city's population. The largest loss came between 2020 and 2021 when the population declined by just over 281,000.
Only three other U.S. cities saw worse percentages during the same time period, with San Francisco, California losing 7.5% of its residents, Louisiana's Lake Charles losing 6.9% and Revere, Massachusetts losing 5.9%.
Despite the loss of hundreds of thousands of residents, NYC remains America's largest city by a long shot as more than 8.3 million people call it home.
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Los Angeles, which also saw a population decline of about 76,000, is the country's second-largest city with over 3.8 million residents. Chicago is the third-largest with an estimated 2,665,039 residents as of July 1, 2022, although it has also seen a decrease of more than 81,000 since April 2020.
Rounding out the top five most-populated cities in America as of July 2022 are Houston, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona.
Though Houston saw a decline from 2020 to 2021, its estimated population surged back up to more than 2.3 million by last July. Phoenix has seen a steady increase of nearly 46,000 people during the three years, recording an estimated 1,644,409 residents in July 2022.
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The report also revealed that most of the people leaving the metropolitan areas are hunkering down in the Southern states. Nine of the country's 15 fastest-growing cities are below the Mason-Dixon line, and six of them are in Texas.
Georgetown, Texas had the largest population boom in 2022, with an estimated 14.4% increase.
The state of Florida has also gained approximately 655,200 residents since the start of the pandemic, according to the report.
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Data from Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showed more than 126,000 New Yorkers had exchanged their Empire State licenses for Florida IDs since the beginning of 2021.