New York City, long the country’s largest metropolis, grew more populous over the past decade — adding 629,000 people to bring its population to more than 8.8 million, according to U.S. census data released Thursday, underscoring the demographic shifts that are further concentrating the country’s population in its largest urban areas.

Other surging large cities in the Sun Belt also gained ground and, despite the Big Apple’s growth, New York state overall did not keep pace with growth in some other big states because of continuing population declines upstate.

Los Angeles remained the nation’s second-largest city with nearly 3.9 million people. Phoenix, now the country’s fifth-most populous city, grew the fastest among the largest U.S. cities over the past decade with an 11.2% surge in population compared to the 7.7% increase in New York. Houston and Dallas also grew robustly.

“I think the magnitude of the increase was extremely impressive, and it bodes well for the growth and strength of New York,” said Steven Romalewski, the mapping service director at the CUNY Graduate Center.

“Many people were concerned that there had been an exodus of population. And that’s clearly not the case,” he said. “New York City’s population during the pandemic was especially challenging to count, and people were very concerned that there was going to be a huge undercount.”

The data on New York City’s growth contrasts with depictions of it by former President Donald Trump, who frequently claimed people were fleeing in droves because of high taxes, crime, and mismanagement by Democrats.

“The Big Apple just got bigger!” the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, proclaimed on Twitter.

“This is what happens when you invest in pre-K for all, safe streets and working families,” the mayor added.

It was already known New York state would lose a seat in Congress because some other states grew faster. New York would have kept all of its current 27 seats in Congress if just 89 more people had been counted in the state, according to a U.S. Census analyst, assuming no other states added to their tallies.

The new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau will guide a 10-member reapportionment commission in its work to adjust the borders of the state’s congressional districts to account for population shifts.

The new figures offered the most detailed portrait yet of how the country has changed since 2010, and they could help determine control of the U.S. House in the 2022 elections. The data will also shape how $1.5 trillion in annual federal spending is distributed.

The state’s shifting population will no doubt be fodder for political calculations in the coming months as the redistricting commission drafts new boundaries not only for congressional districts but also for those in the state Assembly and Senate. The commission, established by voters through a 2014 ballot proposition, has until Sept. 15 to present a draft of its redistricting plan.

It remains to be seen how the commission will redraw congressional lines after the state loses a seat in Congress. Given New York City’s significant rise in population, it is almost certain that the state’s diminished representation in Congress will come at the expense of upstate New York.

The 629,000 additional people in New York City could mean that an additional upstate district shifts further toward the city.

With just 26 seats after the 2022 election, each district would have to represent about 777,000 residents.

The release of the data culled from the 2020 census is coming more than four months later than expected due to delays caused by the pandemic.

The numbers states use for redrawing congressional and legislative districts show were white, Asian, Black, and Hispanic communities grew or shrank over the past decade.

It also shows which areas have gotten older or younger and the number of people living in dorms, prisons, and nursing homes. The data covers geographies as small as neighborhoods and as large as states. An earlier set of data released in April provided state population counts and showed the U.S. had 331 million residents last year, a 7.4% increase from 2010.

The census data released in April counted 20.2 million people living in New York last year, up from just under 19.4 million a decade earlier. New York is now the fourth most populous state, behind California, Texas, and Florida, which leapfrogged over the Empire State.

The once-a-decade battle over redistricting is set to be a showdown over the suburbs, as new census data released Thursday showed rapid growth around some of the nation’s largest cities and shrinking population in many rural counties.

From Texas to Florida, some of the biggest gains came in states where Republicans will control the redistricting process, but often in and around cities where Democrats have been faring well in recent elections.

The new detailed population data from the 2020 Census will serve as the building block to redraw 429 U.S. House districts in 44 states and 7,383 state legislative districts across the U.S. The official goal is to ensure each district has roughly the same number of people.

But many Republicans and Democrats also will be trying to ensure the new lines divide and combine voters in ways that make it more likely for their party’s candidates to win future elections, a process called gerrymandering. The parties’ successes in that effort could determine whether taxes and spending grow, climate-change policies are approved or access to abortion is expanded or curtailed.

Republicans need to gain just five seats to take control of the U.S. House in the 2022 elections — a margin that could potentially be covered through artful redistricting. As they did after the 2010 census, Republicans will hold greater sway in more states over the redistricting process.

“The question is going to be how creative this new data will force Republicans to get in maintaining or expanding their advantages, given an increasingly diverse, increasingly urban population,” said Joshua Blank, research director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.

Texas will be a major focal point in redistricting.

The Census Bureau said five of the 14 U.S. cities that grew by at least 100,000 people are located in Texas — Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. Four of the nation’s 10 fastest growing cities also were Texas suburbs — Frisco and McKinney near Dallas; Conroe near Houston, and New Braunfels near San Antonio. All are prime battlegrounds for redistricting.

By contrast, many Texas counties outside of its metropolitan areas saw populations decline, the Census Bureau said.

Republicans, who currently hold 23 of the 36 U.S. House seats in Texas, will have full control over the redistricting process, allowing them to decide where to draw the two new seats the state is gaining. But that could be complicated because Democrats generally have fared better in Texas suburbs in recent elections.

Though Republican Donald Trump carried Texas by more than 6 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election, he and Democrat Joe Biden essentially split voters who identified as suburbanites, according to The Associated Press’ VoteCast. Trump won decisively among men and Biden had a wide advantage among women in the Texas suburbs.

Hispanic residents accounted for half the population growth in Texas. In the last election, about 6 in 10 Texas Hispanic voters chose Biden over Trump, according to VoteCast.

“As the process of redistricting begins, the Legislature should be guided by the principle of fair representation for every Texan,” said state Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Democratic member of the House redistricting committee and chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

Texas had been among several states that needed advance approval from the U.S. Justice Department for its redistricting plans because of a history of racial discrimination. But the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that requirement in 2013 and, in a separate ruling in 2019, said it would not get involved in disputes over alleged political gerrymandering, leaving that to state courts to decide. Lawsuits are expected to challenge redistricting maps in many states.

The GOP will control redistricting in 20 states accounting for 187 U.S. House seats, including the growing states of Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, where the governor is a Democrat, but the legislature has complete control of drawing new electoral lines.

Courts ordered multiple changes to the pro-Republican maps drawn in North Carolina after the 2010 census. Lawmakers on Thursday voted not to use election or racial data in redistricting. State Rep. Destin Hall, a Republican leading the House Redistricting Committee, said he is committed to making “significant and reasonable efforts to attempt to limit the partisan consideration.”

Democrats will control redistricting in just eight states accounting for 75 seats, including New York and Illinois, where the loss of a seat in each gives them a chance to squeeze out Republican incumbents.

In 16 other states accounting for 167 U.S. House seats, districts will be drawn either by independent commissions or by politically split politicians with legislative chambers led by one party and governors of another. Six states have just one U.S. House seat, so there are no district lines to be drawn.

Outside of Texas, some of the largest growth occurred in Arizona’s chief city of Phoenix, including a nearly 80% population increase in its suburb of Buckeye. But Arizona’s voting districts are drawn by an independent commission, making it more difficult for Republican or Democratic officials to gain an edge in redistricting.

Census data also showed large growth in Seattle and Los Angeles and some of their suburbs. Other cities gaining at least 100,000 people included Charlotte, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Jacksonville, Florida; New York; and Oklahoma City. The suburbs of Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho, also ranked high in growth rates.

Simply because Democrats may be gaining strength in suburbs doesn’t mean maps drawn by Republicans will reflect that. The party in control can divide areas of strength for the opposition, said Republican pollster David Winston.

“When you’re talking about redistricting, it’s different than looking at a state as a whole,” said Winston, a longtime adviser to U.S. House Republican leadership.

The fastest-growing U.S. metropolitan area was The Villages in central Florida, which grew 39% from about 93,000 people to about 130,000. The largest retirement community in the nation is dominated by Republican voters and is a must-stop for GOP candidates. Though the Florida Constitution prohibits drawing districts to favor a political party, Republican leaders may nonetheless try to take advantage of the new population figures. Because of its growth, Florida is gaining a U.S. House seat, giving lawmakers more leeway in line-drawing.

After the 2010 census, Republicans who controlled redistricting in far more states than Democrats drew maps that gave them a greater political advantage in more states than either party had in the past 50 years, according to a new AP analysis.

But Republicans won’t hold as much power as they did last time in some key states. Republican-led legislatures will be paired with Democratic governors in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which both had full GOP control after the 2010 census. In Michigan, a voter-approved citizens commission will handle redistricting instead of lawmakers and the governor. And in Ohio, voter-approved redistricting reforms will require majority Republicans to gain the support of minority Democrats for the new districts to last a full decade.

Among four major cities in New Mexico, the state capital of Santa Fe was the fastest growing over the past decade.

The Census Bureau on Thursday released a trove of demographic data on how the U.S. population changed between 2010 and 2020.

The data show that Santa Fe grew by 19,558 people to a population of nearly 88,000, not including outlying areas. That represents a 29% population increase.

By comparison, Albuquerque grew by less than 4%. It expanded by 18,707 residents to reach a population of roughly 565,000.

Both Las Cruces and Rio Rancho grew at fast clips.

Las Cruces, located 50 miles (90 kilometers) north of El Paso, Texas, grew by 14% to a population of about 111,000.

Just north of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho grew by 19% to roughly 104,000.

New Mexico mimicked national trends in becoming more urban. The state’s under-18 population shrank. And the state’s housing supply grew faster than its population.

The Census Bureau on Thursday issued its long-awaited portrait of how the U.S. has changed over the past decade, releasing a trove of demographic data that will be used to redraw political maps across an increasingly diverse country. The data will also shape how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed each year.

Here are five takeaways from the latest census figures:



A U.S. headcount has been carried out every decade since 1790, and this was the first one in which the non-Hispanic white population nationwide got smaller, shrinking from 196 million in 2010 to 191 million in 2020.

The data also showed that the share of the white population fell from 63.7% in 2010 to 57.8% in 2020, the lowest on record, though white people continue to be the most prevalent racial or ethnic group. In California, Hispanics became the largest racial or ethnic group, growing from 37.6% to 39.4%, while the share of white people dropped from 40.1% to 34.7%.

Some demographers cautioned that the white population was not shrinking as much as shifting to multiracial identities. The number of people who identified as belonging to two or more races more than tripled from 9 million people in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020. They now account for 10% of the U.S. population.

People who identify as a race other than white, Black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander — either alone or in combination with one of those races — jumped to 49.9 million people, surpassing the Black population of 46.9 million people as the nation’s second-largest racial group, according to the Census Bureau.

But demographers said that may have to do with Hispanic uncertainty about how to answer the race question on the census form.



Almost all of the growth of the past 10 years happened in metropolitan areas. More people in smaller counties moved to larger counties. Around 80% of metropolitan areas saw population gains, while less than half of the smaller so-called micropolitan areas did.

Phoenix was the fastest-growing of the nation’s top 10 cities. It moved from sixth to fifth, trading places with Philadelphia, which is now the nation’s sixth-largest city.


The share of children in the U.S. declined because of falling birth rates, while it grew for adults, driven by aging baby boomers. Adults over age 18 made up more than three-quarters of the population in 2020, or 258.3 million people, an increase of more than 10% from 2010. However, the population of children under age 18 dropped from 74.2 million in 2010 to 73.1 million in 2020, a 1.4% decrease. Nationwide, children under age 18 now make up around 22% of the population, but it varies by region. The Northeast had the smallest proportion of people under age 18, around 20%, while the South had the largest at 22.5%.



The nation’s 7.4% percent growth rate over the decade, the smallest since the Great Depression, largely was propelled by a Hispanic boom. The Hispanic population grew by almost a quarter over the decade. By comparison, the non-Hispanic growth rate was 4.3%. Hispanics stood at 62.1 million residents in 2020, or 18.7% of the U.S. population, up from 16.3% in 2010. The most Hispanic growth was in Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California.

Meanwhile, Asian growth jumped more than a third over the decade, rising to 24 million people in 2020.



Among all U.S. metro areas, the fastest-growing one was in The Villages, the Florida retirement community built on former cow pastures. Other fast-growing areas in the U.S. were fueled by the energy boom, particularly in North Dakota, where McKenzie County was the country’s fastest-growing county. Its population increased by 131% from 2010 to 2020. Nearby Williams County, North Dakota, grew by 83%.