The San Francisco Bay Area still has one of the lowest COVID death rates of anywhere in the country, however, as you've surely heard, our population numbers dropped during the pandemic for other reasons, and those numbers have just been revised downward for last year.
Three years into the pandemic, the Bay Area still has not reached 10,000 deaths attributed to COVID — and San Francisco continues to have one of the lowest mortality rates, which is 62% below the national average.
But while we shined in terms of COVID safety, with many people working from home and businesses obediently staying closed, we lost a chunk of population in the city and across the Bay Area, some of whom may be working remotely on a permanent basis. We'll know better at this time next year how many people moved into the Bay Area last year, but we now have estimates from the U.S. Census and its American Community Survey for how many more people left (or died) between July 2021 and July 2022 that arrived.
Per the Census Bureau, California overall lost around 400,000 residents between the start of the pandemic, April 2020, and July 2021. The state lost another 100,000 over the following year, with an estimated 39,029,342 residents in July 2022 — down from 39,538,245 in early 2020.
Other large states like Texas and Florida saw population increases over the same period, while New York and Pennsylvania saw similar decreases.
Socketsite breaks out the nine-county Bay Area portion of those population changes, which comes to a net 2.3% decline between July 2020 and July 2022, or a loss of 177,400 residents.
During that two-year period, San Francisco saw a net drop in population of 36,084 (4.1%). But that shows a significant return-migration of people between 2021 and 2022 — we learned last year that the initial decline in the first year of the pandemic was 54,800 people, or 6.3% of the total city population.
Meanwhile, Santa Clara County saw the biggest overall decline in population between 2020 and 2022, with a 42,624-person or 2.3% drop.
State by state, New York and Illinois still saw far larger population drops by percentages between 2021 and 2022, with 0.9% and 0.8% declines respectively. California's loss was just 0.3% overall in that second year of the pandemic.
Also, across the country, the pandemic baby boom was real — the Census says that the July 2021 to July 2022 period saw the "largest year-over-year increase in total births since 2007."
Photo: Madeleine Maguire