Did you move to New York last spring? Or seek warm weather in Phoenix or Houston?
If so, you’re part of a larger trend of populations returning to several major Americans cities after the urban areas lost residents during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates released by the Census Bureau on Thursday.
Several large counties in the United States gained residents, or at least or slowed declines in populations, in the year ending last July.
But not all cities saw population increases. Los Angeles County in California, Cook County in Illinois, home to Chicago, and other regions still saw declines over the period.
“The migration and growth patterns for counties edged closer to pre-pandemic levels this year,” said Dr. Christine Hartley, assistant division chief for estimates and projections in the Census Bureau’s population division. “Some urban counties, such as Dallas and San Francisco, saw domestic outmigration at a slower pace between 2021 and 2022, compared to the prior year."
Here’s what you need to know.
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What cities are growing?
Maricopa County, Arizona, which contains Phoenix, was the largest-gaining county in the country, according to the Census Bureau. It added 56,831 residents in 2022, with domestic migration making the biggest contribution to the county’s growth. That includes births and deaths, as well as actual migration.
Harris County, Texas, which contains Houston, saw the second-largest increase, with more than 45,626 residents. The growth was driven largely by international migration and natural increases, which means births exceeded deaths.
New York County, which contains Manhattan, added more than 17,000 residents in the year ending last July. That’s after the county lost more than 110,000 residents in the previous 12 months.
Dallas County, Texas, which contains Dallas, gained almost 13,000 residents, driven by international migration and births outpacing deaths.
The Washington, D.C., metro area gained 8,849 people after losing 1,772 the year before, The Washington Post reported.
One half of the top 10 fastest-growing counties were in Texas, according to the Census Bureau. The remaining counties were in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.
What large cities had population declines?
Los Angeles County had the largest population decline, a loss of 90,704 residents.
Cook County, home to Chicago, lost more than 68,000 residents last year.
Los Angeles County and Cook County are still the two most populous counties in the country.
What happened to smaller counties?
The Census Bureau said that in 2019, smaller counties with fewer than 30,000 people were largely losing population through domestic migration. But during the pandemic’s highest points in 2020 and 2021, these smaller counties saw the reverse, and they began gaining residents.
In 2022, these counties still saw increases, but they were smaller bumps from previous years.
Where are younger people moving?
Migration patterns haven't been the same for all age groups in recent years. For example, while many millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers left large cities during the pandemic, some members of Gen Z did flock to urban areas.
The five largest U.S. cities, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia, all saw net migration increases for Gen Z, according to a recent analysis of Census Bureau 2021 American Community Survey by Today's Homeowner.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NY, Houston: The cities growing after pandemic, census estimates show