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Florence has one of the fastest-shrinking populations among all major cities in the U.S., study finds

Florence, South Carolina – In recent years, the growth rate of the U.S. population has been notably slow. The slowest increase occurred in 2021 with a 0.2% growth rate, and there was only a slight improvement in 2022, as the rate climbed to 0.4%. The Census Bureau anticipates that the population might start to decline within the next 20 to 50 years if immigration remains low. Some of the country’s largest cities have already seen a reduction in population.

To identify which large cities are shrinking the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. examined data from the 2022 American Community Survey 1-year estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. They compiled a list of 43 metropolitan areas that experienced at least a 3% population decrease from 2017 to 2022, ranking them from the smallest to the largest drop. Additional information on employment and unemployment rates for December 2017 and December 2022 was sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is adjusted for seasonal variations. Data on home values were obtained from the same Census survey.

From 2017 to 2022, while the national population grew by 3.5%, the cities listed saw declines ranging from 3% to over 22%. Interestingly, the list starts with the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, known for its job opportunities. Despite employment growth in this area, high housing costs, which are the highest in the nation, may be driving people away.

A recent ranking identified a city in South Carolina, Florence, as one of the “fastest shrinking big cities” in the U.S. Positioned at number 36, Florence witnessed a 3.26% drop in population over five years, decreasing from 205,831 in 2017 to 199,119 in 2022. Florence’s additional data points include a 3.2% unemployment rate and a median home value of $167,100.

Read also: Florence County Council grants first responder status to telecommunicators

These are the 10 fastest-shrinking metro areas in the U.S.:

  1. Kalamazoo-Portage, Michigan
  2. Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
  3. Fort Smith, Arkansas/Oklahoma
  4. Grand Island, Nebraska
  5. Sioux City, Iowa/Nebraska/South Dakota
  6. Chico, California
  7. Panama City, Florida
  8. Bloomington, Illinois
  9. Blacksburg-Christianburg, Virginia
  10. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Read also: Florence maintains top 50 spot in Economic Health Rankings, Charleston/North Charleston also in top tier

The details about Florence, South Carolina

Flornce was placed on the 36th spot before the city of Kankakee, IL (37th spot) and after the city of New Bern, NC (35th spot). This is what the study found about Florence:

  • 2017-2022 population change:-3.26% (-6,712)
  • 2022 population:199,119 — #224 highest out of 387
  • 2017 population:205,831 — #215 highest out of 387
  • 2017-2022 employment change:+3.2% — #156 largest increase out of 257
  • Unemployment rate, Dec 2022:2% — compared to 3.5% national
  • 2018-2022 median home value change:9% — compared to 39.7% nationwide
  • Median home value, 2022:$167,100 — #334 highest out of 387

The full list can be found here.

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