Census data shows that in the first full year of the pandemic, residents left major metros outside of Texas
So he started looking elsewhere, settling in Houston last year.
“In Houston, I can be a blue-collar contractor. With Houston’s housing market, it made sense to come here,” said Giusti, who started a house painting business.
Giusti was one of tens of thousands of residents who left some of the country’s largest, most densely populated and costliest metropolitan areas in favor of Sunbelt destinations in the first full year of the pandemic, from mid-2020 to mid-2021, according to new data released Thursday by the US Census Bureau.
The pandemic has intensified population trends of southward and westward migration, as well as a slowdown in growth in the largest cities of the United States
The exodus from America’s largest metropolitan areas was led by New York City, which lost nearly 328,000 people. It was driven by people moving elsewhere, even as the metropolitan area gained new foreign residents and births exceeded deaths.
Metro Los Angeles lost nearly 176,000 people, the San Francisco area saw a loss of over 116,000 people, and greater Chicago lost over 91,000 people from 2020 to 2021. San Jose areas, Boston, Miami and Washington also lost tens of thousands of residents. mostly people moving away.
On the other hand, the Dallas area grew by over 97,000 people, Phoenix jumped by over 78,000, and greater Houston added 69,000, including Giusti. In the Phoenix metro area, growth was driven by moves from elsewhere in the United States, while it was propelled by a combination of migration and births exceeding deaths in Dallas and Houston.
“Texas has something about it, a romantic thing, with the cowboys, and there’s the idea here of the Lone Star State,” Giusti said in describing Texas’ appeal.
The US Census Bureau’s Vintage 2021 estimates also showed that micro-areas – defined as having a downtown area of less than 50,000 people – were gaining population from mid-2020 to mid-2021, following years of growth. slow or declining population. The small population gains were driven by people moving there, as deaths continued to exceed births in many of these communities. Growth in micro-zones was led by Kalispell, Montana; Jefferson, Georgia; and Bozeman, Montana.
Demographer William Frey said he believed the growth of micro-zones and decreases in larger metros would be temporary, occurring at the height of people’s shifts during the pandemic when work-from-home arrangements freed up people. workers from the obligation to go to their offices.
“There’s clearly a scatter, but I think it’s a blow,” said Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s metropolitan policy program, Brookings Metro. “We’ve been at one of the lowest levels of immigration for a long, long time, and it’s affecting major metros like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. It’s going to come back. With the natural decline, we’ll go back to Ordinary. “
Between mid-2020 and mid-2021, there was a sharp increase in deaths exceeding births across the country. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. counties saw a natural decline in deaths exceeding births, down from 55.5% in 2020 and 45.5% in 2019. The trend was fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a declining births and an aging population.
“You have more older Americans, and the birth rates are low, so you don’t have many unborn children, and then comes COVID, and it hits older adults the most, often in areas without access to good health care,” said Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire. “It’s like a perfect storm, if you will, that produced this natural decrease.”
Pittsburgh and Tampa recorded the largest natural declines of US metropolitan areas, on the order of 10,000 residents each. Pittsburgh’s overall population has shrunk by almost 14,000 because people have left. But the Tampa area grew due to an influx of more than 45,000 new residents, like Jennifer Waldholtz who moved from Atlanta with her husband in 2020. They had previously lived in Orlando and lacked the palm trees and the blue Florida skies.
“We wanted to come back to Florida. It was state-specific,” said Waldholtz, who works in nonprofit development. “We loved the Florida way of life. It’s a vibe, the way of life, the sun, the palm trees, but definitely not politically.”
Here’s a look at how the 10 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States have changed over the first full year of the pandemic, from mid-2020 to mid-2021, according to population estimates from the US Census Bureau. released Thursday. Population estimates calculate births and deaths, as well as national and international migration.
NEW YORK CITY: The exodus from America’s largest metropolitan areas was led by New York City, which lost nearly 328,000 people. The drop was driven by people moving elsewhere in the United States, even as the metro area gained new foreign residents and births exceeded deaths. Its population has dropped to 19.7 million.
LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles lost nearly 176,000 residents, the second largest drop among US metropolitan areas. As in New York, births have exceeded deaths and there has been an increase in the number of international residents. But that wasn’t even close enough to overcome the loss of tens of thousands of residents who moved out. Its population fell to 12.9 million.
CHICAGO: The loss of more than 91,000 residents in greater Chicago was caused by people who moved away. As in New York and Los Angeles, births exceeded deaths in Chicago, but the increase was much smaller than in the other two metropolitan areas. Its population was 9.5 million.
DALLAS: The Dallas area grew by more than 97,000 people, the most of any metropolitan area in the United States in 2021. Nearly two-thirds of the growth came from people moving in from elsewhere, and the rest came from births. Its population jumped to 7.7 million.
HOUSTON: The 69,000 residents Houston gained was the third highest of any US metropolitan area. Births accounted for more than half of the growth, although the migration of new residents was not far behind. More than a third of migration to the Houston area came from outside the United States. Houston’s population was 7.2 million.
WASHINGTON: The nation’s capital lost nearly 29,000 residents in its metropolitan area. A net gain of 25,000 births over deaths was not enough to overcome the tens of thousands who left the region. Its population was 6.3 million.
PHILADELPHIA CREAM: Greater Philadelphia lost over 13,000 residents. About three-quarters of the loss came from people leaving, and the rest was due to more deaths than births. The metropolitan area had 6.2 million inhabitants.
ATLANTE: The Atlanta area grew by nearly 43,000 residents. Nearly 60% of new residents were people who had moved from elsewhere, while the rest were from births. It had 6.1 million inhabitants.
MIAMI: Greater Miami has shrunk by more than 34,000 residents. Residents leaving the metropolitan area accounted for more than double the substantial growth of new residents arriving from abroad. Deaths accounted for about 5% of population loss. The metro had 6 million inhabitants.
PHOENIX: Greater Phoenix saw the second-largest population gain among U.S. metros, jumping more than 78,000. Almost all of the growth was driven by residents from other places who settled in the Valley of the Sun. More than in Dallas or Houston, the natural increase in births represented only a very small part of the growth – about 10%. Its population has grown to 4.9 million.
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