With nearly nine million people, New York City reigns as the country’s largest city by population. However, since the pandemic, NYC’s population has observed a significant decline.
According to data from State Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, NYC experienced a 5.3% decline in population from April 2020 to July 2022. This equates to 468,293 residents—comparable to Miami’s entire population in 2020 (442,241 residents).
In contrast, NYC’s population had grown by 7.7 percent in the decade prior (2010-2020). Not only was that three times the amount that the NYC population had grown the decade before that (2000-2010), but it was an even greater rate of population growth than the entire nation, which was 7.4 percent.
During that period of time, boroughs such as Queens and Brooklyn guided the growth, with population rates increasing by 7.8 percent and 9.2 percent.
However, by the time the pandemic hit, New York City nearly eradicated three-quarters of the population obtained from the decade before. The population change was a result of the natural increase rate (difference between birth and death rates) and net migration (total of net domestic and net international migration).
“Even though the City’s population increased from 2010 to 2020, both the natural increase and net migration slowed during the decade. The pandemic accelerated these trends, leading to population loss in the following two years,” explained DiNapoli.
Residents’ choice to relocate to other areas of the country also explains the city’s decline in population post pandemic, in accordance to U.S. Census data. This outflow of residents is a pattern that’s actually been observed year over year since the 90s. However, the positive net international migration and natural increase allowed for previous population growth. Yet following 2020, the amount of people who left the city during this period of time was “not being offset fully by gains in natural increase and net international migration.”
The state of New York only saw a population decline of 2.6 percent between 2020-2022. This was because NYC became the first national epicenter for the outbreak. You can explore more data regarding NYC’s population changes prior and post pandemic here.