By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — City-level population data from the U.S. Census shows Bay-area cities lost a significant number of people while those along Southern California’s beachlines held largely firm.
Multiple California cities remain among the top in the nation despite experiencing population losses from July 2020 to July 2021, according to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday.
With over 3.8 million, Los Angeles remains the second most populous city in the nation despite seeing a -1.04% change in population between July 2020 and July 2021 – equivalent to a loss of 40,537 people.
Los Angeles saw a smaller population loss than New York City, which lost more than 305,400 people in a population of almost 8.5 million. Chicago, which has a population of about 2.7 million, also saw greater losses than Los Angeles, with a population shift of around 45,000 between July 2020 and July 2021.
San Diego and San Jose also remain among the 15 most populous cities in the nation, ranking eighth and 10th, respectively. San Diego’s population shifted -0.27% between July 2020 and July 2021, equivalent to the loss of nearly 3,800 residents.
The population loss was much starker in San Jose, where the population declined by more than 27,000 — a loss of about 2.71% between July 2020 and July 2021. The population in the city is now officially under one million people. The Census Bureau estimates that, as of July 1, 2021, the city’s population is roughly 983,500. Comparatively, the population was estimated to be over 1 million as of April 1, 2020.
In addition to San Jose, the city of San Francisco saw a -6.3% population change between July 2020 and July 2021, equivalent to the loss of more than 54,800 people.
Patrick Heuveline, association director of the California Center for Population Research at UCLA, told The Center Square that a contributing factor in the population losses witnessed in San Jose and San Francisco could be the rise of remote work.
“I think a general trend that probably applies to San Francisco and San Jose is that there is little sign that remote/hybrid work will completely cease soon,” Mr. Heuveline said in an email. “Under these conditions, expensive real estate near city centers, which may reduce commute time or allow use of alternatives to commuting with private cars, loses some of its appeal.”
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.