BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Four of Louisiana’s parishes were among the top 10 counties in the U.S. with the largest percentage of population loss in 2022, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
All of the ranked parishes are in southeast Louisiana and surround the state’s most populous city, New Orleans.
The county in the U.S. with the largest percent decline in population from 2021 to 2022 was Lassen County, California, which saw a 6% decline. The county was closely followed by St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana, which saw a population decrease of nearly 2,200 people or 5.1%.
The third and fourth spots on the list were also occupied by Louisiana parishes — Terrebonne Parish with a 3.9% decrease and Plaquemines Parish, which saw a 3.3% decline.
Louisiana’s St. Charles Parish placed eighth on the list with a 2.7% decrease in population.
Overall, the Deep South state saw one of the steepest population drops in the country. Between 2021 and 2020, Louisiana’s population decreased by 36,857 people. The current population sits at about 4.6 million.
Experts have attributed the decline to the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating hurricanes that exacerbated the long-term downward trend, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.
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