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Philadelphia population continues downward trend: Census data

Digital Brief: May 24, 2023 (AM)
Digital Brief: May 24, 2023 (AM) 02:44

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia continued to slump behind major U.S. cities based on population, according to new data released this month from the United States Census Bureau. Philly remained the sixth most populous in the nation, behind Phoenix, but lost over 36,500 residents.

Philadelphia and Phoenix had nearly identical population numbers in the 2020 Census, but a trend continued in 2022. The Census data shows that Philly's population shrank while Phoenix's increased.

Phoenix saw its population increase by 36,219; Philadelphia's decreased by 36,541, as of July 2022.

Meanwhile, nine of the U.S.'s fastest-growing cities were in the South.

"Georgetown, Texas, remained the fastest-growing city by percent change in 2022, with the highest rate of growth among all U.S. cities and towns with at least 50,000 people," Crystal Delbé, a statistician in the Census Bureau's Population Division, said in a news release. "It wasn't the only city to retain its distinction over the year, however."

"New York remained the nation's largest city, despite its recent population decline," Delbé added. "At 8.3 million, its population was more than twice that of the next largest city, Los Angeles, with a population of nearly 4 million."

Philadelphia's population decline is consistent with the northeast cities as a whole, as people started leaving cities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2022, the northeast was estimated to lose 218,851 people.

Pennsylvania lost residents too in 2022 but remained the fifth most populous state. The commonwealth lost a little over 40,000 residents from 2021 to 2022.

But Delaware saw an increase in residential population, a trend since 2020, according to Census estimates.

Delaware's population grew from 989,957 in 2020 to 1,018,396 in 2022. The First State saw a 1.4% increase from 2021 to 2022, which was seventh in the U.S.

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