It’s a story all too familiar for Californians – friends, family, neighbors and even tech companies leaving the Golden State in search of cheaper rent and improved quality of life.
Data shows that Los Angeles County lost more than 159,000 residents in 2021 — the most significant population decline of anywhere in the U.S.
Between 2020 and 2021, a total of 116,385 residents moved out of the Bay Area, which includes San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, according to the Census data.
The Census also looked at the U.S. counties that saw significant population decreases between April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, coinciding with the start of the pandemic.
Here are 10 counties that topped the list, based numerical declines:
- Los Angeles County, California — Decline of 184,465 residents
- New York County, New York — Decline of 117,375 residents
- Cook County, Illinois — Decline of 102,395 residents
- Kings County, New York — Decline of 95,022 residents
- Queens County, New York — Decline of 74,321 residents
- San Francisco County, California — Decline of 58,764 residents
- Santa Clara County, California — Decline of 50,751 residents
- Bronx County, New York — Decline of 47,706 residents
- Alameda County, California — Decline of 33,797 residents
- Miami-Dade County, Florida — Decline of 38,990 residents
The data shows a different perspective when you compare percentages. San Francisco County lost 6.7% of it’s population during the same time period — making it the county with the second-highest population decline in the country.
The only county higher than San Francisco was New York County, which saw a decline of 6.9%, or about 117,000 people.
And though Los Angeles County lost the highest number of residents among U.S. regions, with a population of more than nine million, the percentage is much smaller.
As for the U.S. region that saw the biggest population growth from 2020 to 2021 -- that recognition, unsurprisingly, goes to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington region of Texas, which saw a spike of more than 97,000 residents.
To take a closer look at the Census data, click here.