ALBANY, Calif. (KRON) – The city of Albany lost nearly 10% of its population in the past year, that’s according to new data from the California Department of Finance.
It’s not the only city to see a dip in population in the Bay Area but it is the biggest decline.
It’s a small city in the East Bay.
“We have little tiny houses on little tiny lots.”
Albany is known to some as a family-oriented community with a quaint downtown but it’s also now known as a city in California that saw a large decline in population over the past year.
According to the state’s Department of Finance, some cities in the Bay Area saw a population growth.
Santa Clara grew by 2.71% and Walnut Creek saw an increase of about 1% but San Francisco saw a 1.66% decline.
All cities in Marin County lost a portion of their population this year but the biggest loss was in Albany.
The city lost 9.6% of its population from 2020 to 2021 — They went from 18,871 residents to 17,055 residents.
So why the decrease in population? Was it because of the cost of living, the loss of jobs, or coronavirus?
Albany’s assistant city manager said in a statement that they’ll “be reviewing the information regarding the reported change in population to further understand the particular circumstances. While the city of Albany is a smaller-sized city in comparison with some neighboring cities, the city does also include the University of California Village “UC Village,” which is comprised of a student population that can be dynamic in nature as well.”
City officials say about 3,500 people lived in the village before the pandemic, mostly graduate students with children.
“When the lockdown came graduate students just as much as undergraduates tended to head for whatever they consider home if their kids didn’t need to be in the local schools and they didn’t need to be at the university they would likely go to where their grandparents were sometimes going back to home countries so if we lose half the population of the UC village we’ve lost well over 10% of our population,” City councilwoman Rochelle Nason said.
Nason says they are pretty much back to normal at UC Village and downtown.
The mayor of Albany has since released the following statement to KRON4:
This issue is prevalent with all Cities. Specifically, in Albany, Covid-19, loss of employment and the increase of housing needs may have contributed to the decrease in population. However, as we move forward it is important that we address economic changes through real estate investments, increase business development, educational levels and the racial makeup of the residents.MAYOR GARY GE’NELL