New York City population hits 8.8 million

New York City, long the country's largest metropolis, grew more populous over the past decade — adding 629,000 people to bring its population to more than 8.8 million, according to U.S. census data released Thursday, underscoring the demographic shifts that are further concentrating the country's population in its largest urban areas.

Other surging large cities in the Sun Belt also gained ground and, despite the Big Apple's modest growth, New York state overall did not keep pace with growth in some other big states because of continuing population declines upstate.

Los Angeles remained the nation's second-largest city with nearly 3.9 million people. Phoenix, now the country's fifth-most populous city, grew the fastest among the largest U.S. cities over the past decade with an 11.2% surge in population compared to the 7.7% increase in New York. Houston and Dallas also grew robustly.

The data on New York City's growth contrasts with depictions of it by former President Donald Trump, who frequently claimed people were fleeing in droves because of high taxes, crime, and mismanagement by Democrats.

It was already known New York state would lose a seat in Congress because some other states grew faster. The new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau will guide a 10-member reapportionment commission in its work to adjust the borders of the state's congressional districts to account for population shifts.

Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app | Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters | Get the Fox 5 Weather App

The release of the data culled from the 2020 census is coming more than four months later than expected due to delays caused by the pandemic.

The numbers that states use for redrawing congressional and legislative districts show where white, Asian, Black, and Hispanic communities grew or shrank over the past decade.

It also shows which areas have gotten older or younger and the number of people living in dorms, prisons, and nursing homes. The data covers geographies as small as neighborhoods and as large as states. An earlier set of data released in April provided state population counts and showed the U.S. had 331 million residents last year, a 7.4% increase from 2010.

The census data released in April counted 20.2 million people living in New York last year, up from just under 19.4 million a decade earlier. New York is now the fourth most populous state, behind California, Texas, and Florida, which leapfrogged over the Empire State.