Population Loss

A small town in the U.S. Midwest at dusk, with cars parked on a street lined with historic buildings and a water tower in the distance.

Small Towns Grow Faster Than Cities for First Time in Decades

Cities of 4 million or more people lost 600,000 residents to domestic migration.

May 15, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Aerial view of homes on green hillsides in Daly City, California.

Depopulation Patterns Get Weird

A recent ranking of “declining” cities heavily features some of the most expensive cities in the country — including New York City and a half-dozen in the San Francisco Bay Area.

April 10, 2024 - California Planning & Development Report

Blurred close-up of movers in blue coveralls unloading cardboard boxes from moving van.

Population Losers

California's population dipped below 39 million as of July, according to the Census Bureau, after seeing its net domestic migration loss this year exceed last year's. Only New York has seen a greater loss as a percentage of population.

December 28, 2023 - San Francisco Chronicle

South Beach Open Streets

Miami Loses Population for the First Time Since 1970

Already one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets before the Covid-19 pandemic, the region became unaffordable for many middle-income households in the last few years.

August 2, 2023 - The Wall Street Journal

U-Haul moving truck with back door open and loading ramp down on residential street in Houston, Texas

Texas, Florida Saw Most Growth in 2021, Says U-Haul

Based on an index comparing inbound and outbound moving truck rentals, Texas had the largest population growth in the United States in 2021, while California and Illinois saw the biggest losses.

January 4, 2023 - U-Haul International

Vacant boarded-up storefronts along Powell Street in San Francisco, California.

The Demographics of San Francisco’s Pandemic Urban Exodus

New Census data break down San Francisco’s population losses during the first year-plus of the pandemic by race and age.

July 8, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

New York City Air Conditioners

Census: Big Cities Lost Population During the Pandemic

For the first time in at least three decades, major metropolitan areas in the U.S. showed negative population growth during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 17, 2022 - Brookings

Chicago Suburb

Study: Foreclosure Main Factor in Chicago's 'Black Flight'

More than violent crime or employment rates, foreclosure has largely driven the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Black residents from the city.

March 17, 2022 - Governing

2018 Razzle Dazzle Parade

The Midwest Paces the Nation in Population Loss

Two cities in Illinois are examined as case studies of population decline in the post-industrial economy.

June 10, 2020 - Chicago Tribune

Youngstown, Ohio

How Shrinking Cities Are 'Right Sizing'

Case studies in dealing with population loss from Ohio, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

March 2, 2020 - The Guardian

Welcome Sign

Leaving New York

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau showed New York with an estimated population of 19.5 million people as of July 1, 2019, making it the fourth largest state in the country, but also showed that New York’s population dropped.

February 4, 2020 - New York State Senate

School Chlidren

2019 Year-End Census Estimate: Slowest Growth in 100 Years

The 12-month period ending July 1, 2019, saw the lowest population growth rate, 0.5 percent, since 1918, reported the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday. Natural increase (births minus deaths) was the lowest in decades. Ten states saw population declines.

January 5, 2020 - U.S. Census Bureau

Texas residential

How Some Cities Are Losing People and Staying Prosperous

Population loss doesn't always equate to economic decline. Richard Florida discusses a study examining American metros that are retaining their economic vitality as they shrink.

July 1, 2019 - CityLab


Population Figures Tell a Tale of Two States in Arizona

Recent Census population estimates tell a story of quick growth in many parts of Arizona, but there are a few places that are quickly shrinking, too.

June 7, 2019 - Arizona Republic

The 1960s

Mourning the Loss of the Dairy Queen in Rural Texas

As populations shrink, small towns are losing an important place to get together,,

June 27, 2018 - Houston Chronicle

High Line

Richard Florida: 'The Urban Revival Is Over'

The author of the "The Rise of the Creative Class" and the "New Urban Crisis" says cities have had their moment.

September 5, 2017 - The New York Times

Akron-Cleveland Covered Bridge

Pondering the Continued Existence of the 'Rust Belt'

A recent spate of articles has pondered the concepts and planning strategies at work in the region of the country described as the Rust Belt.

July 26, 2016 - Notes from the Underground

Germany Has Fewer Children, More in Poverty

The population of children in Germany continues to fall, and those that exist are increasingly in poverty.

August 4, 2011 - Der Spiegel

D.C.'s Milestone Black Majority Lost

The first major American city to have a black majority, Washington D.C.'s demographics have shifted again.

July 19, 2011 - The New York Times

Misinterpreting Metrics in List of 'Dying' Cities

In this post on The Infrastructurist, Peter Kageyama looks at a recent listing of 10 "dying" cities, and how the metrics used to rate these places can be and have been misinterpreted.

June 14, 2011 - Infrastructurist

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.