The fastest growing and shrinking United States post-COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the US states of Florida, Idaho and Montana grew the most by population, while New York, Illinois and Louisiana suffered the largest contraction from July 2020 through July 2022, according to new data from the US Census. office.
The changes occurred as overall population growth in America dropped to a new low.
“It dramatically increased the number of deaths, also decreased the number of births, and decreased the number of international immigrants who came to the United States,” says demographer William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
A demographer is an expert in statistics regarding the human population.
“The overall population nationwide, especially from 2020 to 2021, has had the lowest growth in over 100 years,” Frey says.
Among the hardest hit were 56 cities and metropolitan areas in the country with a population of more than one million. Fry said this is the first time this has happened since at least 1990 [the first year that data was kept] Perhaps decades earlier.
“They were all affected by national patterns of more deaths, fewer births, and lower immigration, but also local migration,” says Frey, who is also a research professor at the University of Michigan’s Center for Population Studies. “People leave because maybe their jobs didn’t necessarily require them to be in it [an] office. … people who don’t want to be in crowded places interacting closely with people.”
However, the most recent census figures, which cover the period between July 2021 through July 2022, indicate that major cities are now recovering after the pandemic has been downgraded and is no longer considered a global health emergency. For example, New York City experienced a 6% decline in population between 2020 and 2021, the first full year of the pandemic, but showed a slight uptick between 2021 and 2022.
“We’re not going to sustain this level of out-migration and population loss to big cities and metropolitan areas,” Frey says. “There is a chance, from these new numbers, that things will go back a little bit towards normal.”
When it comes to the states with the most growth between 2020 and 2022, Americans have continued the trend of moving to Florida due to the climate and lower cost of living. Many of the newcomers to Idaho and Montana were people who had left California.
In terms of the largest contraction, it’s the ninth consecutive year that Illinois has experienced significant population losses, while Louisiana also continues a downward trend exacerbated by deadly hurricanes. Some have interpreted the numbers as showing that people are leaving Democratic-led “blue” states for Republican-led “red” states.
Usually, when people decide to move, it’s usually based on jobs or cost of living and housing, and maybe living close to family members,” Frey says. “To move somewhere because of politics, some people probably do but… states that have gained a number Large populations, like Texas and Florida, have gained huge populations for decades regardless of politics.”
The most expensive states to rent an apartment are in Massachusetts ($2,632 per month), New York ($2,552 per month) and California ($2,506 per month), according to RentCafe, a listing service for apartments.
Jesse Rhodes, a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, co-administered a survey that found that 39% of Massachusetts residents — nearly 4 in 10 people — have considered leaving the state in the past year.
Census figures show that 47,853 people left Massachusetts from July 2020 to July 2021, while 47,318 people left out of the state from July 2021 to July 2022.
“The main reason people who said they’re considering leaving the state indicate they’re leaving is to escape the rising cost of living,” says Rhodes. Massachusetts is a relatively expensive state. In some ways, it’s a victim of its own success. It is attractive, and many people want to live here, especially relatively wealthy individuals. And what that means is that they can raise the cost of living, especially the cost of housing.”
The poll also found that more than half of the state’s Republicans, 53%, and 60% of conservatives, are considering leaving.
“Massachusetts is one of—if not the most—progressive in the entire country, and Republicans are in many ways denied significant political power,” says Rhodes. “So, this leads to great frustration.”
What matters to Rhodes are the numbers of young people, 43% of those ages 18 to 29, who are considering moving, including 41% with undergraduate degrees and 42% with graduate degrees.
“States need a growing and dynamic population to maintain a strong economy, and to maintain a vibrant social and cultural life,” says Rhodes. “We have to maintain a healthy population, but also politically, in terms of the state’s ability to influence national affairs, having a large population is very important.”
The US population grew by 0.38% between July 2021 and July 2022, faster than the historic decline of 0.16% during the first full year of the pandemic, according to Frey, who adds that most of that increase was due to immigration. And while major cities appear to be recovering, it may be years before the full impact of the pandemic is felt.
“We really won’t know for three, four, five years down the road, when we see how workplaces adapt, if people decide they’re going to do a hybrid or not do a hybrid, and all that,” Frey says. “So cities have to deal with the blows. .”
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