The Dallas skyline rises behind the Cotton Bowl stands as Texas fans watch during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, in Dallas. U.S. metropolitan areas increased their populations by almost half a percent last year in another sign that flight from urban areas during the first year of the pandemic either slowed down or reversed in its second year as people moved to Sunbelt metros in Texas and Florida by the tens of thousands. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter, File)
By Mike Schneider in Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The flight from urban areas that took place during the first year of the pandemic either reversed or slowed in its second year, as last year metropolitan areas in Texas and Florida boomed and declines in New York and Los Angeles were halved, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
During the first full year of the pandemic in 2021, more than half of the 20 largest U.S. metro areas lost residents, and all U.S. metro areas grew by just 0.1%, as fear of the virus sent residents fleeing the most densely-populated urban areas and the popularity of remote work allowed people to live far from their workplaces.
By comparison, only eight of the 20 largest metro areas decreased in 2022, and the growth rate for all U.S. metros was 0.4%. Among the largest U.S. metros that had gains in 2022 after experiencing losses in 2021 were Washington, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Seattle, Minneapolis and San Diego, according to 2022 population estimates released Thursday by the Census Bureau.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area grew the most among U.S. metros, jumping by six-digit figures for a second consecutive year, as it gained another 170,000 residents last year. Metro Dallas-Fort Worth’s 7.9 million residents made it the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area, behind only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, all of which lost population last year but with much smaller losses compared to the first year of the pandemic.
Other metropolitan areas which saw the largest growth in number were Houston, adding more than 124,000 residents; Atlanta, with almost 79,000 new residents; Phoenix, with an additional nearly 73,000 people; and Orlando, Florida, adding almost 65,000 new residents.
Metro Phoenix also surpassed the 5 million-person threshold for the first time last year.
There were other signs that 2021’s pandemic-related migration changed a year later.
Boise Idaho and Provo, Utah — two metros that were popular destinations in 2021 for residents fleeing the West Coast’s most populous cities — dropped out of the top 20 in population growth in 2022.
By that same token, smaller communities known as micropolitan statistical areas grew by 0.1% last year compared to 0.2% in 2021.
Metropolitan statistical areas consist of one or more counties containing a central city with a population of at least 50,000 residents that together have a high degree of economic and social connections. The central city in a micropolitan statistical area must have at least 10,000 residents but no more than 50,000 residents.
Population change is driven by migration, including within U.S. borders as people move around and internationally as people arrive from abroad. It is also dependent on a community’s number of births and deaths. Thursday’s data release doesn’t show the reasons behind population changes, but similar data at the county level released in March showed it was mostly driven by international migration.
Individually, cities that make up the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area were among those that grew the most in the U.S. last year. With 19,100 new residents, the city of Forth Worth led the nation, followed by the city Phoenix with more than 19,000 additional residents and the city of San Antonio, Texas, with more than 18,800 residents gained.
Two other cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area — Dallas and Frisco — also were among those whose numbers most dramatically spiked, jumping respectively by 8,800 residents and 8,500 residents. These new residents were lured by a strong economy, mild winters and good schools.
The Villages, Florida, a relatively new retirement communitynorthwest of Orlando, was the fastest-growing U.S. metro area between 2021 and 2022, increasing by 7.5%.
Cost of living: Pepsi and Coca-Cola absent in meeting with federal industry minister
Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. Canada’s industry minister made a point of calling out Pepsi and Coca-Cola for not sending representatives to a meeting he convened on Monday with manufacturing companies to discuss stabilizing grocery prices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s industry minister made a point of calling out Pepsi and Coca-Cola for not sending representatives to a meeting he convened on Monday with manufacturing companies to discuss stabilizing grocery prices.
François-Philippe Champagne singled out the two companies when asked by a journalist what the consequences would be if major industry players did not succeed in stopping high inflation.
“This morning, (their CEOs) did not attend the meeting,” Champagne said of beverage giants Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
“I intend to call on them and I will continue to do so. … I don’t stop,” he told reporters.
The Canadian leaders of seven international manufacturing companies, including Nestlé and Kraft Heinz, met with Champagne.
He summoned them to answer to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call earlier this month for Canadian grocers to come up with a plan to stabilize prices by Thanksgiving.
If major grocers fail to deliver ideas, Champagne said, “the consequence is for all 40 million Canadians because we will be able to see who is taking action and who is not.”
A government source told The Canadian Press that the CEOs of Pepsi and Coca-Cola responded to the federal government summons by stating they were not available Monday. The source was granted anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the matter.
It’s unclear, however, whether another meeting between major food companies and the government will take place.
Monday’s meeting brought together top Canadian executives from McCain, Unilever, Nestlé, Lactalis, Lassonde, Kraft Heinz, and Smucker Foods.
All avoided speaking with journalists. The CEO of the Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada association, Michael Graydon, attended the meeting and agreed to answer questions on their behalf.
Graydon called the meeting “very productive.”
”We’re very much about co-operation and support, collaboration,” he said. “It’s an industry that needs to align and work collectively to find a solution.”
He said manufacturers want to collaborate with other players in the supply chain, such as major retailers like Loblaw and Costco, whose leaders Champagne met with one week earlier.
In a statement, Pepsi said it is open to meeting with Champagne.
“We are pleased that our industry association, FHCP, led a productive conversation with the government and representatives from industry today,” it said.
“We were not able to attend today’s meeting, but we offered to meet with the minister. We are committed to collaborating with the government to identify solutions during this challenging time for Canadians.”
Trudeau has said that if the government isn’t satisfied with what major grocers come up with to stabilize prices, he would intervene, including with tax measures.
Graydon said it remains to be seen how detailed the plans will be by the government’s Thanksgiving deadline.
”We’ll have to see whether, you know, the detail of how much completeness can be done by that time. But I think everybody’s working very hard to achieve that,” Graydon said.
Champagne said he is happy Graydon “wants to do something,” because “it’s a gain for Canadians.”
“It’s clear that what’s important is that we have timelines, work plans, and obviously concrete actions,” the minister said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2023.
Moneris confirms credit and debit card processing outage, but offers few details
The Canadian payment processing firm Moneris confirmed Saturday that credit and debit card transactions were interrupted by a network outage earlier in the day.
The Toronto-based technology company issued a statement saying there was nothing to suggest the outage was related to a cyber attack.
Complaints about outages started rolling in to the Downdetector.ca website before noon eastern time, but Moneris did not say when the outage started.
About three hours later, Moneris posted a message on X — the social media site formerly known as Twitter — saying it had resolved the network problem.
It remains unclear how many businesses and transactions were affected, but data provided by Downdetector.ca indicated complaints had come in from across the country.
In a statement provided to The Canadian Press, the company said the outage lasted about 90 minutes.
“We have resolved the network outage and returned transaction processing to normal,” the statement said. “We continue to investigate the root cause of the issue. There are no indications this appears to be cyber-attack related and all transaction systems are functioning normally again.”
The company, a joint venture between Royal Bank and BMO Bank of Montreal, said transaction processing could be slow as its systems catch up with the backlog.
Moneris says it supports more than 325,000 merchant locations across Canada.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2024.
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