New York City’s Population Shrinks by 78,000

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New York City’s population declined again last year, according to new census estimates. But city officials said that those figures did not fully account for the growing number of migrants, which would have resulted in a minimal drop being reported.

The city lost nearly 78,000 residents in 2023, shrinking its population to 8.26 million people, according to the estimates, which were released on Thursday. In 2022, it lost more than 126,000 residents.

From April 2020 to July 2023, the city lost almost 550,000 residents, or more than 6 percent of its population.

Four of the five boroughs continued to see population declines in 2023, according to the latest census estimates.Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times

The Background: The city planners disagree.

City officials said that they were likely to challenge the 2023 census estimates, which they said had significantly underestimated the number of migrants and other people living in group settings, such as shelters and dorms.

A spokesman for the Department of City Planning, Casey Berkovitz, said that 180,000 migrants had come to the city since the spring of 2022 and that 64,600 were still in the city’s care. He added that the planning department would be “working with the Census Bureau to adjust the estimate.”

The city’s demographic experts believe that the population has stabilized after the early-pandemic declines, and that there are signs that the city’s long-term growth will resume in coming years.

The city had reached a record 8.8 million residents in early 2020. City officials had previously projected that New York City would reach 9 million within two decades.

The Numbers: Only Manhattan turned the corner.

Though the latest census numbers are a marked improvement over recent years, the turnaround has mostly benefited New York City’s more affluent areas, said Andrew Beveridge, the president of Social Explorer, a demographic data firm that analyzed the numbers.

“It’s very true that lots of well-off people left high-income areas temporarily, and many of them have come back,” Mr. Beveridge said. “But it’s the struggling people that leave for good.”

Four of the five boroughs continued to see population declines in 2023, according to the latest census estimates.

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