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Census shows big city population improvements, countering predictions of the ‘urban doom loop’
Brookings
2024.06.11
Contrary to the “urban doom loop” scenario, recently released census statistics show that most big U.S. cities, with populations over 250,000, are now doing much better demographically than they were during the peak pandemic year of 2020?2021.
In each of the past two years, fewer of these 91 big U.S. cities showed population declines, an improvement from 2020?2021 when more than half of them (56) had falling populations.
In the most recent year’s census statistics (2022?2023), two thirds of these big cities showed demographic improvements―through greater population gains, fewer losses, or shifts from losses to gains―compared with 2020?2021. San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis, and Detroit were among the cities experiencing new gains in 2022?2023.
In most major metropolitan areas, the primary cities and suburbs increased their growth in the past year, and in many of these metropolitan areas―such as Washington D.C. and Atlanta―city growth now exceeds suburban growth.