The 20 most populated counties in the U.S. saw the number of immigrants nearly triple from 2021 to 2022, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The New York Times reported the increasing number of immigrants in those counties means immigration has returned to pre-pandemic levels nationally.
Still, many of those counties lost population as residents moved to the suburbs and other regions of the U.S.
This, coupled with the nation's low birthrate, means the nation is growing slowly as many areas of the U.S. are struggling to maintain population levels.
Los Angeles County, California, Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago, and the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in New York all lost population. However, the loss was smaller than in 2021.
According to the census data, a large portion of Americans who relocated were drawn to metro areas in the Sunbelt, including Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, and Tampa.
In total, the 20 largest counties saw more than 300,000 new residents between July 2021 and July 2022. The new residents are a result of international migration, which is made up of mostly immigrants. However, the number also includes people who have moved to the U.S. from overseas countries.
Immigration stabilized the counties of Miami-Dade, San Diego, and King in Washington. Without the immigrants, their population numbers would have declined, the Times noted.
Los Angeles County lost 90,000 residents in 2022, compared to 180,000 in 2021. Brooklyn's population dropped by 47,000, after declining by 82,000 in 2021.
The Census Bureau had reported in December that the U.S. population expanded by 1.2 million people in 2022, with growth largely driven by international migration, and the nation had 333.2 million residents, The Associated Press said.
Net international migration — the number of people moving into the U.S. minus the number of people leaving — was more than 1 million residents from 2021 to 2022, the AP reported. That represented a growth rate of 168% over the previous year's 376,029 international migrants, with every state gaining residents from abroad, according to the 2022 population estimates.
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