Immigration Grows, Population Drops in Many U.S. Counties

“The number of immigrants nearly tripled in the nation’s 20 most populous counties from 2021 to 2022, as immigration returned to prepandemic levels nationally, the Census Bureau reported on Thursday.” According to a New York Times article by Robert Gebeloff, Dana Goldstein, and Stefanos Chen, “Many of the newcomers were drawn to big cities with more liberal immigration laws and longstanding immigrant enclaves.” 

Despite the rebound in international immigration, many of the country’s top counties lost population overall. “Los Angeles County in California, Cook County, which includes Chicago, in Illinois, and the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York all lost population, but the loss was smaller than in 2021.” Meanwhile, more affordable Sunbelt metro areas continued to draw more new internal migrants. 

One exception was, surprisingly, New York City’s priciest borough. “Manhattan, the stand-in of choice for urban doomsayers, had a sharp turnaround: The borough added 17,472 residents in 2022, after a loss of nearly 100,000 the previous year — the biggest improvement in the nation.” The article notes it is the first time Manhattan saw a net gain in domestic migration since 2000 or earlier, despite sharply rising housing costs. “The median rent in Manhattan in June 2022, at the end of the census reporting period, was nearly $4,000, including landlord concessions — a jump of more than 28 percent from the same month the previous year.”

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