Data Show Population Losses for Most of Louisiana’s Biggest Cities
BATON ROUGE (The Center Square) — New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows most of Louisiana’s larger cities lost population between July 2020 and July 2021, despite gains elsewhere in the South.
“Eight of the 15 fastest-growing large cities or towns by percent change were in the West — with five in Arizona — and seven in the South,” according to the Census Bureau. “The South and West also contained the top 15 cities with the largest numeric gains – 11 in the South and four in the West.”
That trend, however, did not include Louisiana, according to data released Thursday.
New Orleans, the state’s largest city, had an estimated base population on April 1, 2020 of 383,997, and that figure was estimated at 383,282 in July 2020. Between then and July 2021, the city lost 6,311 residents, or about 1.65%.
The population estimate for Louisiana’s second largest city, Baton Rouge, was 225,128 in April 2020, then declined to 224,480 by July 2020. On July 1, 2021, the population was 222,185, a loss of 2,295 or 1.02%.
In Shreveport, the figures were 187,993 in April 2020, 187,338 in July 2020, and 184,021 in July 2021, which translates to a loss of 3,317 between July 2020 and July 2021, or 1.77% fewer residents.
Lafayette’s population also declined, though at a slower rate. The Census Bureau estimated the city’s population at 122,018 in April 2020, 121,996 in July 2020, and 121,771 in July 2021, or a drop of about 225 or .18% over the year.
Those figures contrast sharply with the top places for population growth, several of which were in neighboring Texas.
Georgetown, Texas, posted the largest growth from July 2020 to July 2021 with an increase of 10.5%, a rate that would double the population in less than 10 years, according to the Census Bureau.
Georgetown was followed by Leander, Texas with a 10.1% growth rate, Queen Creek Town, Arizona at 8.9%, Buckeye, Arizona at 8.6%, and New Braunfels, Texas with 8.3% growth.
Texas also topped the list of the largest numeric gains with San Antonio’s increase of 13,626 between 2020 and 2021. Other top cities with the most numeric gains included 13,224 more residents in Phoenix, Arizona, 12,916 more in Fort Worth, Texas, a gain of 10,771 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and 9,917 more residents in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
From a broader perspective, more than half of the nation’s largest cities experienced population decreases between 2020 and 2021, including a loss of 305,465 in New York, a 40,537 loss in Los Angeles, a decline of 45,175 in Chicago, and 24,754 fewer residents of Philadelphia.
“Despite decreasing in population, New York remained the nation’s largest city. Its July 1, 2021, population of 8.5 million was more than twice that of the next largest city, Los Angeles, with a population of nearly 4 million,” according to the Census Bureau.
“Following Los Angeles in population size were Chicago, Illinois (2.7 million); Houston, Texas (2.3 million); Phoenix, Arizona (1.6 million); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1.6 million); San Antonio, Texas (1.5 million); San Diego, California (1.4 million); Dallas, Texas (1.3 million); and San Jose, California (1.0 million).”