Since the epidemic began in early 2020, there has been much discussion about the influence of COVID-19 on demographic fluctuations across the country. The majority of this discussion has centered on how COVID-19 has influenced moves across the United States—from large metropolitan areas to smaller ones and cities to suburbs—mainly reflecting a "flight from density" and increased telecommuting capabilities.
However, other demographic components have been impacted by the pandemic. They have significant implications for these shifts—a substantial decrease in immigration to the United States from abroad, well-documented reductions in births, and rising deaths. Since the pandemic began, changes in each component have impacted population growth across much of the United States, particularly in large metropolitan regions and their urban cores.
Decline Of Post-Pandemic Urban Population
One of the most hotly debated aspects of the COVID-19 epidemic has been its effect on urban and city growth. The emphasis on migration from cities and large metropolitan regions ignores the equally essential demographic aspects of immigration from abroad.
According to newly revealed census estimates, much of the population slowdown in major metropolitan centers and their densely populated core counties was caused by more deaths, fewer births, and a prolonged decline in immigration from outside, as well as the out-migration of current residents. Much of this out-migration was part of a more significant pre-pandemic population dispersal.
Where are Individuals Moving Post-Pandemic?
During the pandemic, the number of people living in densely populated counties dropped by a lot. Most of this was because people left the country. Still, it helps to look at this in the context of how urban core counties have grown over the past ten years. Early in the 2010s, many of the major metro areas' core counties and cities also had higher growth rates than usual. Part of the reason for this was that young adults were "stuck in place" and didn't move until the middle of the decade.
Manhattan (New York County) and San Francisco County, contiguous with the city of San Francisco, are two urban core counties with high domestic migration-driven population reductions. Both counties represent congested core areas, are home to many young people and professionals, and rely on public transportation—all of which have been linked to pandemic-related flight. These counties suffered high out-migration and population decreases during the pandemic between 2020-2021.
Aside from Manhattan and San Francisco, the urban core counties with the highest rates of population loss post-pandemic were: Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, and Bronx counties in New York; Suffolk County, Mass. (home to Boston); Washington, D.C.; St. Louis County, Mo.; Santa Clara County, Calif.; Alameda, County, Calif.; Cook County, Ill. (home to Chicago); New Orleans Parish, La.; Los Angeles County; Philadelphia County; and Ram (home to Saint Paul).
The pandemic drastically affected the US population and how it is dispersed. To understand this population movement more thoroughly using location data analytics, contact AirSage.