America’s Largest Cities Are Shrinking

America’s largest cities are shrinking but the Southwest continuing to boom. Fort Worth, Texas is now the 13th most populous U.S. city, surpassing both San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio, according to newly released population estimates from the Census Bureau.

Fort Worth grew by 19,552 residents during the twelve-month period ending in July 2018. That makes it the city with the third largest numeric population gain among U.S. cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. Only Phoenix and San Antonio had larger growth.

Besides Fort Worth, the fifteen most populous cities were largely unchanged from the prior year. However, a handful of large cities shrank last year including New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Despite a shrinking population, the top three largest cities — NYC, LA and Chicago — remain the same since the last decennial census.

About 39% of Americans live in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants yet these cities make up only a fraction of total land. Population in cities of that scale have increased the fastest, with an average 7.5% change between 2010 and 2018. In comparison, cities between 10,000 and 49,999 inhabitants grew 5.6% between these two dates, and towns of less than 5,000 only grew 0.8%.

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