It’s Official: A Quarter Million Folks Fled the Bay Space Since Covid

San Francisco and the Bay Space continued their inhabitants declines in 2022, in response to Census knowledge launched Thursday, however not on the clip witnessed throughout the first yr of the pandemic. 

Although the primary 2022 state and nationwide knowledge got here out in December, the brand new county figures present the primary take a look at how the 9 counties of the Bay Space gained—or misplaced—inhabitants in comparison with different giant counties across the nation. 

The underside line? Although charges of decline within the inhabitants of enormous U.S. counties leveled off from these seen throughout the first yr of the pandemic, San Francisco and the Bay Space proceed to shrink from their pre-Covid populations, whereas different counties have expanded.

What Is the Inhabitants of San Francisco and the Bay Space?

The U.S. Census estimates the 2022 inhabitants of the Metropolis and County of San Francisco to be 808,437, representing a lack of 65,000 folks and seven.5% in comparison with 2020. The town’s inhabitants dropped by 7.2% between 2020 and 2021, however solely by 0.3% from 2021 to 2022.

A more in-depth take a look at the Bay Space numbers tells a extra dramatic story: The nine-county area has misplaced 1 / 4 million residents between 2020 and 2022, or a 3.2% decline. The exodus left the 2022 inhabitants of the SF Bay Space at 7.5 million.

How Does SF Rank Amongst U.S. Counties?

Sadly, San Francisco nonetheless leads all giant U.S. counties when it comes to its price of inhabitants decline throughout the pandemic. The town’s 7.5% lack of inhabitants ranks it No. 1 amongst all U.S. counties with greater than 100,000 residents. 

Counties in New York and Louisiana spherical out the ten U.S. counties with the largest price of pandemic inhabitants decline. In distinction, counties in Texas and Florida logged the largest development in residents between 2020 and 2022.

The Census reported that the Lone Star State surpassed 30 million residents final yr. And although Texas runs a distant second place to California for the title of probably the most populous state, Texas added almost half 1,000,000 folks throughout the pandemic whereas California shrank by 113,000.

Which U.S. Counties Have the Largest Populations?

A broader take a look at how the Bay Space stacks up towards different giant counties reveals an enormous hole between many traditionally giant jurisdictions and those who have quickly expanded within the twenty first century. 

With 9.7 million residents, Los Angeles continues to be the biggest county within the land, regardless of shedding almost 300,000 residents because the starting of the pandemic. In reality, extra folks moved out of LA County in 2022 than some other county within the U.S., leaving it greater than 90,000 residents in need of its 2021 whole. 

And although Manhattan’s residence in New York County misplaced 5.8% of its folks between 2020 and 2021, the pendulum swung again in 2022 because the borough regained 1.1% of its inhabitants. The identical can’t be stated for the counties of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, all of which stay in adverse development territory.

What Drives San Francisco’s Inhabitants Progress?

One essential driver of San Francisco’s inhabitants ranges is immigration. The lifeless cease placed on overseas arrivals to the town throughout the pandemic has now abated. And home outmigration—particularly to different California cities—dropped dramatically throughout 2021-2022.

It is very important notice that the state’s official 2022 estimates for the inhabitants of every county differ from these of the U.S. Census Bureau. The figures for SF and LA counties, particularly, are considerably increased than these reported by the federal authorities.

The California Division of Finance depends on quite a lot of extra up-to-date datasets to create its inhabitants estimates than the Census’ surveys do, together with data from the Division of Motor Automobiles, the U.S. Postal Service and the Inner Income Service. 

Maybe the state’s uptick in figures for a few of California’s largest counties bodes effectively for a return to inhabitants development within the Golden State in 2023.

Maryann Jones Thompson might be reached at [email protected]