The Big Population Shift

June 21, 2022
The big population shift
The top 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities are in the South and West, while eight of the 10 largest cities report substantial population drops.


Sun Belt cities have benefited from U.S. population shifts over the past several decades, the Census Bureau reported recently; new data shows the top 15 fastest-growing U.S. cities are entirely in the South and West. Meanwhile, urban areas continue to face fallout from pandemic-induced trends, with eight of the 10 largest American cities reporting substantial population drops, Census said. The data shows eight of the 15 fastest-growing large cities or towns by percent change were in the West — with five in Arizona — and seven in the South. The South and West also contained the top 15 cities with the largest numeric gains — 11 in the South and four in the West. “While only 4% of all cities and towns had a population of 50,000 or more in 2021, collectively they contained 129.3 million people — nearly 39% of the U.S. population,” said Crystal Delbé, a statistician in the Population Division at the Census Bureau. “On the other hand, of the 19,494 incorporated places in the United States, more than 75% had fewer than 5,000 people.” The report noted the nation’s housing stock grew by 1.3 million units between July 2020 and July 2021, reaching a total of 142.2 million. The annual growth rate of 1.0% from 2020 to 2021 increased slightly from 0.8% between 2019-2020. California had the largest number of housing units (14.5 million) on July 1, 2021, followed by Texas (11.9 million) and Florida (10.1 million). 

Source: The Census Bureau