Here Are The Fastest-Growing And Fastest-Shrinking Counties In America
Lightvision, LLC via Getty Images

Counties home to major cities in California, Illinois, and New York witnessed the nation’s most stark numeric population decline last year, while those home to major cities in Arizona, Texas, and Florida saw the largest numeric population growth.

Los Angeles County, California, lost more residents than any other county in the United States as the population fell by 90,704 between July 2021 and July 2022, according to data released on Thursday by the Census Bureau. Cook County, Illinois, whose county seat is Chicago, saw its population decrease by 68,315 over the same time horizon.

Dr. Christine Hartley, the assistant division chief for estimates and projections in the population division at the Census Bureau, noted in a press release that “migration and growth patterns” for the nation’s counties approached levels previously witnessed before the lockdown-induced recession. Some urban counties saw “domestic outmigration at a slower pace,” while counties with large universities saw their populations “fully rebound this year” as the schools returned to conventional instruction rather than online courses.

Queens County, Kings County, and Bronx County, New York, which constitute the New York City boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, followed the counties dominated by Los Angeles and Chicago, which are the overall largest in the nation, with respect to numeric decline.

The largest counties for numeric population growth, on the other hand, were Maricopa County, Arizona, whose county seat is Phoenix, which gained 56,831 residents between 2021 and 2022. Harris County, Texas, whose county seat is Houston, gained 45,626 residents.

Collin County and Denton County, Texas, which are home to the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, followed the counties dominated by Phoenix and Houston as the most robust in the nation with respect to numeric growth. Polk County, Florida, which is near the Orlando and Tampa metropolitan areas, and Lee County, Florida, which is home to Cape Coral and Fort Myers, likewise followed the counties in Arizona and Texas.

Census Bureau officials noted that domestic migration patterns shifted considerably between 2021 and 2022, especially with respect to the number of Americans moving between different counties. Some 60% of counties witnessed positive domestic migration last year.

“During the height of the pandemic, many small counties experienced higher levels of domestic migration, while many large counties saw lower levels of domestic migration,” the agency noted. “This pattern has reversed between 2021 and 2022, where many of the small counties that experienced increases in domestic migration saw that pattern slow down. In the meantime, many large counties, particularly in the South and West, observed an uptick in domestic migration.”


Natural decrease, on the other hand, outpaced natural increase in more than 74% of counties; in other words, the majority of counties in the United States witnessed more deaths than births. “The incidence of natural decrease remains historically high,” the agency added. “Natural decrease counties are found nationwide but are especially prevalent in some states.”

The Census Bureau previously announced that the population of the United States expanded at the slowest pace since the American Revolution in 2021. Officials cited “decreasing fertility” and “increasing mortality due to an aging population” as two of the factors behind the phenomenon.

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Here Are The Fastest-Growing And Fastest-Shrinking Counties In America