Brookings, April 19, 2023, Pandemic-Driven Population Declines In Large Urban Areas Are Slowing Or Reversing, Latest Census Data Shows
The first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the populations of many of the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan areas. During the peak pandemic year (July 2020 through July 2021), national population growth dropped to a new low due to diminished immigration from abroad as well as more deaths and fewer births. But it was the movement of residents within the U.S.—from cities to suburbs and away from large metro areas—that made the biggest impact on urban areas’ population declines. Such movement was prompted by a fear of proximity to others in dense urban centers and, for some, the ability to work virtually.