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New York City has lost 5.3% of its population — about 468,000 people — since the beginning of the pandemic, and many are setting up new homes down south

New York City has lost 5.3% of its population — about 468,000 people — since the beginning of the pandemic, and many are setting up new homes down south
New York City has lost 5.3% of its population — about 468,000 people — since the beginning of the pandemic, and many are setting up new homes down south

It’s no secret that some of America’s largest cities have lost residents since the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped how we approach work and leisure time. Although this leak in residents appears to have begun slowing, the country’s largest metropolitan area has seen substantial declines over the last few years.

So where is everyone headed? South, it turns out.

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New York is shrinking

According to Census Bureau data, between April 2020 and July 2022, New York City’s estimated population slumped from 8.80 million to 8.34 million, a drop of roughly 468,000 residents — nearly 5.3% of the city’s total population. Much of this loss was recorded between 2020 and 2021.

Of course, New York isn’t the only major city to see a decline in population. San Francisco lost 7.5% of its residents between 2020 and 2022, accounting for a greater loss of total population than the Big Apple.

So where did all those residents land? Census data indicates many went south. Georgetown, Texas saw a huge spike in population: more than 14.4% in 2022 alone. In fact, four out of the top five cities with populations of 50,000 or more that saw the biggest population increases were in Texas.

Additionally, as of mid-May, more than 126,000 New Yorkers have exchanged their drivers licenses for Florida identifications since the beginning of 2021, according to Fox Business, which cited data from the Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Read more: Super-rich Americans are snatching up prime real estate abroad as US housing slumps — but here's a sharp way to invest without having to move overseas

What comes next?

The end of lockdowns and the return to office life seems to have lured some people back to the Empire City. New York County, which includes Manhattan, added more than 17,000 residents in the year ending July 2022.

Will New York resume its pre-pandemic growth trajectory? Big metros will always have the headaches of bad traffic, a high cost of living and overcrowding.

But it’s not as though New York doesn’t have advantages, either. And when you include the city’s sports scene, attractions, culture and vast public transit network, it’s no wonder the “I Love New York” slogan has been a keeper since 1977.

What to read next

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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