Number of US Kids Has Fallen Since Pandemic, Except in Florida

(Bloomberg) -- The population of young children fell across most US cities since the start of the Covid pandemic, according to US Census Bureau data released Thursday.

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Most of the notable exceptions were in Florida, better known as a retirement haven. Several metros in the Sunshine State saw the fastest growth in the numbers of children.

In the US overall, the population of kids from 0 to 14 fell by 3.3% between April 2020 and July 2023, according to the report. That drop was particularly steep in the three largest metro areas, which include New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Those metros had a combined loss of more than 600,000 children, accounting for about 30% of the total US decline.

Regions with a large share of jobs in technology, a sector that’s among the most receptive to remote work, saw some of the sharpest declines in their young populations. San Jose, California, for instance, saw an almost 12% decline in the number of children during the period.

At the other end of the age range, the population of US adults 65 and older rose 9.4% to almost 60 million, according to the data. Increased longevity and the large baby boomer generation are behind the trend, and every metro area except Eagle Pass, Texas, had an increase in older adults since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, none of the three metros with the fastest-growing populations of older adults were in Florida.

Some metro areas saw double-digit growth in 15- to 64-year-olds, in contrast to the national increase of just 0.2%. Of the five regions with the fastest-growing population of these working-age residents, two were in Florida, two in Utah and one in South Carolina.

Areas around Atlanta, Phoenix, Austin, Dallas and Houston, Texas, also showed gains in working-age populations of over 100,000.

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