San Francisco gained population in 2023, while most of the surrounding Bay Area lost population, though SF’s fraction-of-a-percentage-point increase still indicates a slow population rebound from the pandemic.

The United States Census Bureau released new population figures for the year 2023 Thursday morning (or rather, population estimates covering July 2022 to July 2023). And as the Chronicle reports, the numbers show that San Francisco’s population increased last year by .15%.

That’s great news! But .15% only represents an increase of about 1,200 people. Still, this is better than most of the Bay Area, where Alameda, San Mateo, Marin, and Napa counties all saw larger decreases than SF’s increase. The only other Bay Area counties to see increases were Sonoma County (.2% estimated growth), and Solano County saw (.1% growth).

And mind you, even with the increase, that still leaves SF with 65,000 fewer residents than before the pandemic. And as the Chronicle notes in their report, rents have not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels (though I’m not complainin’). Office vacancy remains high and diminished downtown foot traffic is still leading to business closures, though the switch to remote work may mean that even population increases aren’t going to change that.

According to the Census Bureau’s overall national assessment, the two counties that lost the most population were Los Angeles County and Cook County, Illinois (Chicago). The two biggest gainers were Polk County, Florida (near Orlando) and Montgomery County, Texas (north of Houston).

The national figures show that the majority of US counties (60%) did enjoy population gains in 2023.

“Domestic migration patterns are changing, and the impact on counties is especially evident,” US Census Bureau Population Estimates Branch chief Lauren Bowers said in a statement. “Areas which experienced high levels of domestic out-migration during the pandemic, such as in the Midwest and Northeast, are now seeing more counties with population growth. Meanwhile, county population growth is slowing down out west, such as in Arizona and Idaho.”

Related: San Francisco Metro Area Gains 300,000 People After Census Bureau Correction [SFNews]

Image: Cedric Letsch via Unsplash