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U.S. Census estimates for 2016 released Thursday show Charleston's population has dipped to 49,138 - down nearly 600 people from 2015's population estimate of 49,736.

Phoenix, Ariz. added 32,113 people from July 2015 to July 2016, the largest numeric increase in the nation, followed by Los Angeles, San Antonio and NY. That keeps the city as the eighth-largest in the US, behind San Antonio and ahead of Dallas, according to Census Bureau data.

Some 8,638 Chicago residents left the city in 2016.

But that finding conflicts with recent estimates from the Population Resource Center at Portland State University, which found that Portland grew faster in 2016.

The city-level data published Thursday showed that the areas within Lake County that suffered population loss were generally the lower-income communities along the northeastern Lake Michigan waterfront and cities and villages in the Chain O'Lakes area.

Mayor Hicks-Hudson said the new census data may not necessarily reflect what is actually taking place in the city.

Fourteen of Livingston County's 17 towns experienced population loss, according to the report. It remains the nation's 26th largest city. But the city added just 263 residents from 2015 to 2016. That is an increase of more than 4 percent from the 2000 Census. Houston clocked in fourth, with a population of 2.3 million.

Buckeye's estimated population in 2016 was 64,629. Pittsburgh, the region's largest municipality, lost 239 residents past year, dropping to a population of 303,625, according to census estimates.

Aroostook County lost the most residents, with a drop of 1.1 percent from 2015.

That said, New Orleans was not too far behind other well-known Southern cities in terms of percentage growth.

Brian Lawrence, deputy director of the Westmoreland County Department of Planning and Development, cautioned that Census estimates are hard to judge for accuracy and said the margins of error for such data can have a significant impact on smaller communities.

The Birmingham mayor's office sees the new Census estimates as a positive for the city compared to years' past.

But Denver saw gains of 18,582 people the previous year (ending July 1, 2015) and 17,607 the year before that (ending July 1, 2014). The number of people leaving the Chicago region is the highest since at least 1990.

Texas suburbs made up half of the country's 10 fastest growing cities with three cities outside Houston and Dallas topping the list, according to the census figures.

Some folks have other concerns about the growing population.


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