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Map of fastest growing and shrinking states

Axios News

People are moving out of Illinois. I'm shocked!

Idaho, Montana and Florida saw the highest population growth among U.S. states between 2020-2022, per new U.S. Census Bureau data, while New York, Illinois and Louisiana suffered the most shrinkage.

The big picture: The past few years have been especially turbulent for population trends, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting birth and death rates, interstate and international migration, and more.

By the numbers: Idaho's population grew by nearly 4.9%, while that of Montana and Florida grew by 3.3% and 3.0%, respectively. Utah and South Carolina came in just a hair under 3%.

New York, meanwhile, shrank by 2.1%, while Illinois and Louisiana lost 1.6% and 1.3% of their populations, respectively.

Zoom in: Some cities have been hit particularly hard by population loss.

San Francisco, for example, lost a staggering 7.1% of its residents — a trend that was likely at least partially fueled by tech workers newly unshackled from their offices in the remote work era, combined with high housing costs in the area.

Manhattan, however, grew a bit, as Axios' Emily Peck reports, complicating the sweeping "big cities are dying" narrative of the late pandemic era.

The intrigue: Some of the fastest growing areas — we're looking at you, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico — are also some of the most vulnerable to the ongoing effects of climate change, like drought and a dwindling water supply.

The bottom line: It'll take a few more years for the effects of the pandemic to fully shake out, but there's never been a more fascinating time to look at data like this.

Editor's note: This story originally published on April 7.

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