San Francisco Records Deepest Population Loss Among Major Markets

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San Francisco logged the deepest population loss among the nation’s largest apartment markets in 2020. San Francisco’s total population shrank 1.1% in 2020, according to population estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. While New York, Los Angeles and Chicago saw more residents leave their respective markets, the proportionate loss in San Francisco was deeper than any major market in the U.S. The population decline in San Francisco translates to a loss of nearly 19,000 residents between 2019 and 2020, with domestic out-migration weighing heavily on that loss. From 2019 to 2020, 26,700 people left the San Francisco market for other U.S. locations, the most domestic out-migration the market has witnessed over the past decade. San Francisco’s rate of population decline was followed by New York (-0.8%), Los Angeles (-0.7%), San Jose (-0.7%) and Chicago (-0.6%), with those markets each recording large volumes of domestic out-migration as well. Only eight other large markets recorded overall population losses in 2020, including Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Miami, Newark, Oakland, Anaheim and Baltimore.