Manhattan claws back people as urban counties stem outflow

New York: Turns out the pandemic hasn’t permanently dissuaded people — especially immigrants — from seeking their fortunes amid Manhattan’s gritty streets and neon lights.

The county that encompasses Manhattan added more than 17,000 residents in the year ending last July after losing almost 111,000 people in the previous 12-month period, according to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The earlier decline was among the worst urban population losses from the COVID-19 outbreak.

New York County was among several large, urban U.S. counties that either gained residents or stemmed the rate of declines between July 2021 and July 2022 compared with a year earlier.

The reversal in population losses was particularly notable in King County, Washington, home to Seattle; as well as in large Sunbelt counties such as Dallas County, Texas; and two South Florida counties, Miami-Dade and Broward. The locations all had something in common: international immigration led the gains.

“The migration and growth patterns for counties edged closer to pre-pandemic levels this year,” said Christine Hartley, a Census Bureau official.

Population change is driven by migration, both within U.S. borders as people move around, and international trends, as people arrive from abroad. It also depends on whether births outpace deaths, or vice versa.

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