LA sheds 1 percent of population in pandemic era

Drop part of trend in large U.S. cities, with outflows of residents seeking cheaper, larger homes for remote work

Los Angeles /
May.May 26, 2022 02:48 PM
A photo illustration of Los Angeles' population falling by 1 percent during the pandemic (iStock)
(iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

The population of Los Angeles has fallen by 1 percent during the pandemic, as some residents left for cheaper homes with more space for remote work.

The drop mirrors other big-city declines in the year that ended July 1, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Collectively, in the nine cities with more than one million people, the population fell 1.7 percent, a loss of 419,000 residents. Only two cities in that group grew: Phoenix and San Antonio.

New York, the nation’s largest city, lost 3.5 percent of its residents, or about 305,000 people. The 1 percent dip for Los Angeles, the second-largest city, came to 41,000 people. The population of the third-largest city, Chicago, fell by 1.6 percent, or 45,000 people.

Nowhere was the population drop felt more than San Francisco and other Bay Area cities, which generally led the pack in the percentage of residents who left town.

San Francisco’s population fell 6.3 percent during the pandemic – the most of any U.S. city, according to the latest census data. The Bay City lost nearly 55,000 people as residents bailed out for remote work.

In July, the city had 815,201 people, the lowest since 2010, erasing a decade-long population run-up fueled by the tech and social media sectors. Chicago’s population also dropped close to the 2010 level.

Several large cities that had logged recent annual gains saw losses, including Denver, Nashville, Seattle and Atlanta.

Midsize cities, or those with populations between 500,000 and one million, also saw their populations dip. Together, they declined 0.7%, losing 148,000 people.

Among those was San Jose, the Bay Area’s largest city, which saw its population fall 2.7 percent, dropping below 1 million people for the first time since 2013. It remained the 10th-most populated city in the U.S., with 983,489 people.

The Bay Area’s high housing costs and remote work policies in industries such as tech spurred out-migration during the pandemic as residents sought cheaper homes with more space, experts say.

Almost all California coastal cities lost population, while inland cities in the more affordable Central Valley and Inland Empire experienced population growth.

Across the nation, cities with fewer than a half-million people in effect saw flat growth. The group that ranges from 250,000 up to a half-million residents collectively lost 0.1 percent of its population, while those with 100,000 up to 250,000 people together grew 0.1 percent.

The 15 fastest growing cities across the nation were in the west and south, with Arizona, Texas, Florida and Idaho among the leaders.
Housing construction in Central Texas outpaced Los Angeles County, with Travis County, which includes Austin, adding 25,693 housing units in the year ended July 1. That’s more than the 22,925 in L.A. County, which has almost eight times as many people, according to census data.

The nation’s population grew only 0.1 percent between July 2020 and 2021, the slowest pace on record as births fell, deaths rose and international immigration plunged. California’s population fell slightly for the second year in a row in 2021, according to state figures.

[Wall Street Journal] – Dana Bartholomew





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Clear Capital LLC founding partners (L-R) Daniel Hardy, Eric Sussman, Paul Pellizzon and Greg Worchell with Foothill Ridge apartments, 1334 W. Foothill Blvd., Upland (Clear Capital LLC, Foothill Ridge Apts.)
    Clear Capital buys 232-unit apartment complex in Inland Empire
    Clear Capital buys 232-unit apartment complex in Inland Empire
    CenterPoint Properties' Bob Chapman and 10855 Philadelphia Avenue (Loopnet, CenterPoint Properties)
    CenterPoint pays $101M for Jurupa Valley industrial
    CenterPoint pays $101M for Jurupa Valley industrial
    Clarion Partners’ David Gilbert with Eucalyptus and Euclid Avenue in Ontario Ranch (Loopnet, Clarion Partners)
    JV scores construction financing for 1.7M sf Ontario Ranch industrial complex
    JV scores construction financing for 1.7M sf Ontario Ranch industrial complex
    From left: AXCS Capital's John Day and George Smith Partners' Steve Bram (AXCS, George Smith Partners, iStock)
    Tech focused AXCS Capital acquires veteran multifamily financier George Smith Partners
    Tech focused AXCS Capital acquires veteran multifamily financier George Smith Partners
    Harry Gesner (inset) and Ravenseye, one of the homes he designed. (File Photo and Getty)
    Iconic Los Angeles-area architect Herry Gesner dies at 97
    Iconic Los Angeles-area architect Herry Gesner dies at 97
    A photo illustration representing the increased sales tax on mansions (iStock)
    Measure to add tax on property sales over $5M set for November ballot
    Measure to add tax on property sales over $5M set for November ballot
    Silver Lake co-ceo's Greg Mondre and Egon Durban (Silver Lake, Wikipedia)
    Silver Lake invests $500M in Hollywood soundstages
    Silver Lake invests $500M in Hollywood soundstages
    From left: Karen Bass and Rick Caruso (Getty Images, iStock)
    Karen Bass overtakes Rick Caruso in primary vote for LA mayor
    Karen Bass overtakes Rick Caruso in primary vote for LA mayor
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...