Updated Apr 9, 2023 - Economy

See the fastest growing (and shrinking) U.S. states

Change in population, 2020 to 2022
Data: U.S. Census; Note: County-level data not available for Connecticut; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Idaho, Montana and Florida saw the highest population growth among U.S. states between 2020-2022, per new U.S. Census Bureau data, while New York, Illinois and Louisiana suffered the most shrinkage.

The big picture: The past few years have been especially turbulent for population trends, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting birth and death rates, interstate and international migration, and more.

By the numbers: Idaho's population grew by nearly 4.9%, while that of Montana and Florida grew by 3.3% and 3.0%, respectively. Utah and South Carolina came in just a hair under 3%.

  • New York, meanwhile, shrank by 2.1%, while Illinois and Louisiana lost 1.6% and 1.3% of their populations, respectively.

Zoom in: Some cities have been hit particularly hard by population loss.

  • San Francisco, for example, lost a staggering 7.1% of its residents — a trend that was likely at least partially fueled by tech workers newly unshackled from their offices in the remote work era, combined with high housing costs in the area.
  • Manhattan, however, grew a bit, as Axios' Emily Peck reports, complicating the sweeping "big cities are dying" narrative of the late pandemic era.

The intrigue: Some of the fastest growing areas — we're looking at you, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico — are also some of the most vulnerable to the ongoing effects of climate change, like drought and a dwindling water supply.

The bottom line: It'll take a few more years for the effects of the pandemic to fully shake out, but there's never been a more fascinating time to look at data like this.

Editor's note: This story originally published on April 7.

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