Over 180,000 People Fled Los Angeles County In One Year. Two Cities In Texas Saw Huge Population Surge

Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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New census data released Thursday shows Los Angeles County, California, lost the most residents to domestic migration during the first year of the pandemic than any other U.S. county.

L.A. County lost over 180,000 residents to other states dropping the total number to just under 10 million residents from April 2020 to July 2021, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The patterns we’ve observed in domestic migration shifted in 2021,” said assistant division chief for estimates and projections in the Census Bureau’s Population Division Dr. Christine Hartley to the census.

“Even though over time we’ve seen a higher number of counties with natural decrease and net international migration continuing to decline, in the past year, the contribution of domestic migration counteracted these trends, so there were actually more counties growing than losing population,” Hartley said.

The California metro area census data showed San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley had the third-highest percentage of population decline, -2.5%, resulting in a loss of 116,385 metro residents from April 2020 to July 2021.

Comparatively, the Texas metro areas of Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land took two of the top three spots for metro area numeric growth during the first year of the pandemic. (RELATED: Census Data: Americans Are Fleeing Lock Down States)

Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington saw the largest numeric increase, growing by more than 97,000 residents, according to the census. The metro area of Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land gained over 69,000 residents, the data showed.


The moving company, U-Haul, shared in January the transactional data compiled for its annual growth index showing Texas was the top state customers moved to during 2021.

U-Haul Area District Vice President of the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex and West Texas, Matt Merrill, said their customers come from the East and West Coast.

“A lot of people are moving here from California (and) New York,” said Merrill in the U-Haul announcement. “I think that’s a lot due to the job growth – a lot of opportunity here. The cost of living here is much lower than those areas. Texas is open for business.”

Other California counties to see a significant numeric decline in population during the first year of the pandemic were San Francisco County and Santa Clara County.

U.S. Census Bureau data showed San Francisco County had the sixth-highest numeric decline of any county in America from April 2020 to July 2021, losing 58,764 residents. Santa Clara County lost 50,751 residents during the same period, according to the data.

Comparatively, the data showed Collin County, Texas, experienced the second-highest numeric growth of U.S. counties, gaining over 36,000 residents during the first year of the pandemic.