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Mapped: A Decade of Population Growth and Decline in U.S. Counties



map showing changes in population in the us from 2010 to 2020

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A Decade of Population Growth and Decline in U.S. Counties

There are a number of factors that determine how much a region’s population changes.

If an area sees a high number of migrants, along with a strong birth rate and low death rate, then its population is bound to increase over time. On the flip side, if more people are leaving the area than coming in, and the region’s birth rate is low, then its population will likely decline.

Which areas in the United States are seeing the most growth, and which places are seeing their populations dwindle?

This map, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, shows a decade of population movement across U.S. counties, painting a detailed picture of U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2020.

Counties With The Biggest Population Growth from 2010-2020

To calculate population estimates for each county, the U.S. Census Bureau does the following calculations:

A county’s base population → plus births → minus deaths → plus migration = new population estimate

From 2010 to 2020, Maricopa County in Arizona saw the highest increase in its population estimate. Over a decade, the county gained 753,898 residents. Below are the counties that saw the biggest increases in population:

RankCountyPoint of ReferenceStatePop. Growth (2010–2020)
#1Maricopa CountyPhoenix, ScottsdaleArizona+753,898
#2Harris CountyHoustonTexas+630,711
#3Clark CountyLas VegasNevada+363,323
#4King CountySeattleWashington+335,884
#5Tarrant CountyFort Worth, ArlingtonTexas+305,180
#6Bexar CountySan AntonioTexas+303,982
#7Riverside CountyRiverside, Palm SpringsCalifornia+287,626
#8Collin CountyPlanoTexas+284,967
#9Travis CountyAustinTexas+270,111
#10Hillsborough CountyTampaFlorida+264,446

Phoenix and surrounding areas grew faster than any other major city in the country. The region’s sunny climate and amenities are popular with retirees, but another draw is housing affordability. Families from more expensive markets—California in particular—are moving to the city in droves. This is a trend that spilled over into the pandemic era as more people moved into remote and hybrid work situations.

Texas counties saw a lot of growth as well, with five of the top 10 gainers located in the state of Texas. A big draw for Texas is its relatively affordable housing market. In 2021, average home prices in the state stood at $172,500$53,310 below the national average.

Counties With The Biggest Population Drops from 2010-2020

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here’s a look at the top 10 counties that saw the biggest declines in their populations over the decade:

RankCountyPoint of ReferenceStatePop. Growth (2010–2020)
#1Cook CountyChicagoIllinois-90,693
#2Wayne CountyDetroitMichigan-74,224
#3Cuyahoga CountyClevelandOhio-50,220
#4Genesee CountyFlintMichigan-20,165
#5Suffolk CountyLong IslandNew York-20,064
#6Caddo ParishShreveportLouisiana-18,173
#7Westmoreland CountyMurrysvillePennsylvania-17,942
#8Hinds CountyJacksonMississippi-17,751
#9Kanawha CountyCharlestonWest Virginia-16,672
#10Cambria CountyJohnstownPennsylvania-14,786

The largest drops happened in counties along the Great Lakes, including Cook County (which includes the city of Chicago) and Wayne County (which includes the city of Detroit).

For many of these counties, particularly those in America’s “Rust Belt”, population drops over this period were a continuation of decades-long trends. Wayne County is an extreme example of this trend. From 1970 to 2020, the area lost one-third of its population.

U.S. Population Growth in Percentage Terms (2010-2020)

While the map above is great at showing where the greatest number of Americans migrated, it downplays big changes in counties with smaller populations.

For example, McKenzie County in North Dakota, with a 2020 population of just 15,242, was the fastest-growing U.S. county over the past decade. The county’s 138% increase was driven primarily by the Bakken oil boom in the area. High-growth counties in Texas also grew as new sources of energy were extracted in rural areas.

The nation’s counties are evenly divided between population increase and decline, and clear patterns emerge.

population changes in u.s. counties (%)

Pandemic Population Changes

More recent population changes reflect longer-term trends. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the counties that saw the strongest population increases were located in high-growth states like Florida and Texas.

Below are the 20 counties that grew the most from 2020 to 2021.

RankCountyPoint of ReferenceStatePop. Growth (2020–2021)
#1Maricopa CountyPhoenixArizona+58,246
#2Collin CountyPlanoTexas+36,313
#3Riverside CountyRiverside, Palm SpringsCalifornia+35,631
#4Fort Bend CountySugar LandTexas+29,895
#5Williamson CountyGeorgetownTexas+27,760
#6Denton CountyDentonTexas+27,747
#7Polk CountyLakelandFlorida+24,287
#8Montgomery CountyThe WoodlandsTexas+23,948
#9Lee CountyFort MyersFlorida+23,297
#10Utah CountyProvoUtah+21,843
#11Pinal CountySan Tan ValleyArizona+19,974
#12Clark CountyLas VegasNevada+19,090
#13Pasco CountyNew Port RicheyFlorida+18,322
#14Wake CountyRaleighNorth Carolina+16,651
#15St. Johns CountySt. AugustineFlorida+15,550
#16Hillsborough CountyTampaFlorida+14,814
#17Bexar CountySan AntonioTexas+14,184
#18Ada CountyBoiseIdaho+13,947
#19Osceola CountyKissimmeeFlorida+12,427
#20St. Lucie CountyFort PierceFlorida+12,304

Many of these counties are located next to large cities, reflecting a shift to the suburbs and larger living spaces. However, as COVID-19 restrictions ease, and the pandemic housing boom tapers off due to rising interest rates, it remains to be seen whether the suburban shift will continue, or if people begin to migrate back to city centers.

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United States

Visualizing the Most Sought-After Entry Level Jobs in 2023

Some jobs need a degree, while others don’t. Here are the top 20 most sought-after entry level jobs with and without a degree.



most sought after jobs

The Most Sought-After Entry Level Jobs of 2023

In the fast-paced realm of job hunting, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. And if you are an entry-level job applicant, the pressure is a notch higher.

New entrants in any job market today compete with groundbreaking technology like ChatGPT in addition to their peers. In the United States, these applicants have to also wade through an uncertain labor market, inflation, and long lists of job requirements. has identified the most sought-after entry level positions for applicants both with and without a degree in the U.S., and the year-on-year growth of these job postings.

Most Sought-After Entry-Level Jobs With a Degree

As the U.S. job market recovers from its pandemic slump, some careers are now booming. This in turn has opened up numerous opportunities for entry-level job applicants.

RankJob TitleAverage Annual SalaryChange in Postings
1Outside Sales Representative$60,000+258%
2Transportation Coordinator$47,500+227%
3Quality Auditor$84,500+131%
5Tax Preparer$67,500+123%
6Loan Processor$55,000+100%
7Retention Specialist$50,000+100%
8Network Operations Technician$85,500+94%
9Mental Health Manager$42,000+93%
10Speech-Language Pathologist$60,000+84%
11Geotechnical Engineer$65,000+80%
12Patient Access Manager$90,000+77%
13HR Coordinator$67,500+75%
14Lead Generation Specialist$62,500+73%
15Design Coordinator$55,000+73%
16Pharmaceutical Sales Representative$74,378+71%
17Behavioral Therapist$50,000+68%
18Special Events Coordinator$54,000+67%
19IT Engineer$92,500+67%
20Structural Engineer$90,000+63%

The demand for sales jobs multiplied this year as customer-facing businesses slowly returned to their pre-pandemic levels.

At the top of this list is the job for an Outside Sales Representative. Paying upwards of $60,000, postings for this job have grown by over 250% in a year, making it the most sought-after position for applicants with a degree.

The healthcare industry has secured its place in the top ranks too. Careers including mental health case managers, speech pathologists, behavioral therapists, and patient access managers dominate the Top 20 list.

Let’s not forget about the tech sector. While entry-level network technicians can earn upwards of $85,000 on average, while IT engineers are paid an entry package of over $90,000.

Most Sought-After Entry-Level Jobs Without a Degree

Nearly 65% of the U.S. working population does not have a four-year degree. However, millions of these workers continue to be highly skilled across professions and have a shot at some of the most sought-after entry level jobs in the country.

RankJob TitleAverage Annual SalaryChange in Postings
1Inventory Manager$59,000+189%
2Auto Body Technician$82,500+100%
3Environmental Health and Safety Specialist$65,000+100%
4Salon Manager$41,000+95%
5Drafting Technician$50,000+94%
6Business Analyst$72,500+82%
7Sheet Metal Mechanic$62,140+67%
8Aircraft Maintenance Technician$57,500+64%
9Catering Manager$47,500+56%
10Transportation/Logistics Coordinator$62,500+53%
11Route Sales Representative$50,000+51%
12Rental Agent$45,520+50%
13Distribution Center Coordinator$52,500+47%
14General Maintenance Technician$40,650+46%
15Patient Care Coordinator$43,152+44%
16Forestry Technician$45,760+43%
17Relationship Banker$43,576+43%
18Field Sales Representative$57,018+42%
19Park Ranger$45,912+42%
20Warehouse Receiver$45,000+39%

One example of this job is that of an Inventory Manager. The demand for skilled inventory managers in warehouses and companies post-pandemic has doubled the position’s job share in a year.

One of the highest paying non-degree jobs in this list—Auto Body Technician—can fetch highly-skilled entry-level workers a salary of $82,000 per year.

These jobs don’t seem to require a degree according to Indeed. However, the rising competition for these positions might give the upper edge to applicants with one, especially for jobs on the list such as Business Analyst and Relationship Banker.

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