All 10 largest cities grew, Phoenix supplants Philly as 5th largest in US

Long-anticipated U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday showed population growth in the country’s 10 largest cities in the past decade, with Phoenix replacing Philadelphia as the nation's fifth-largest city. 

Out of the top 10 cities, the Census Bureau said that eight grew at a faster rate in the past decade than they did from 2000 to 2010: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Dallas and San Jose. 

Two cities — San Antonio and San Diego — both had slower rates of growth in the past decade compared to the previous one. 

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New York City had the largest population gains, adding more than 600,000 people from the 2010 census, and remained in the top spot for the largest U.S. city. 

The U.S. census recorded a total New York population of more than 8.8 million people, a 7.7 percent increase from 10 years prior when the census recorded a population of about 8.2 million. 

Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston each followed for the next largest cities in 2020, with Houston recording a 9.8 percent population growth from about 2.1 million in 2010 to 2.3 million in 2020. 

In addition to knocking Philadelphia out of fifth place, Phoenix also recorded the fastest growth of any U.S. city over the past decade, with the Census Bureau measuring an 11.2 percent increase. 

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Philadelphia now holds the sixth spot, followed by San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas and San Jose. 

Thursday’s data release will prompt state legislators and redistricting commissions to begin redrawing political boundaries, a process that is already underway in several states. 

The Thursday data also revealed that Hawaii, California and Nevada are currently the most diverse states in terms of racial and ethnic groups, while West Virginia, New Hampshire and Vermont ranked at the bottom. 

The census also revealed that American population growth over the past decade was driven entirely by minority communities, with the number of white Americans declining for the first time since the country’s founding. 

Groups have said they would closely watch the redistricting process, especially with concerns over gerrymandering. 

Sophia Lin Lakin, deputy director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, said Thursday following the release of 2020 census data that state legislatures “must ensure fair and equal representation for all.” 

“As redistricting begins nationwide, the ACLU will continue to monitor state legislatures and independent commissions across the country to ensure they heed these fundamental principles of democracy, representation, and equality,” she added.