MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The U.S. Census says Memphis lost population in 2020, but Memphis’ mayor says they’re flat wrong — the city actually grew for the first time in decades.
Mayor Jim Strickland said Friday he is officially challenging the 2020 Census results that show Memphis lost about 13,000 residents since 2010.
Pointing to a slew of recent development projects in the cire city, Strickland said he asked the city’s Division of Planning and Development to take a look. They came up with a much different result.
“In all, the evidence our team found proves the Census undercounted our population by at least 15,895 Memphians. This means we gained population between 2010 and 2020 — the first time in over 50 years!” Strickland said in his weekly update.
The mayor said Census Bureau allows the city to challenge numbers through a boundary challenge and a housing count challenge.
“We found enough evidence in both cases to challenge their findings,” he said.
Memphis may have some recent history to back up its challenge.
Strickland pointed to a Census report that showed Tennessee among the most undercounted states in the U.S. at 4.78 percent. After the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau acknowledged undercounting Memphis by 1.42 percent, he said.
The 2020 Census found that Memphis’ population had dipped to 633,104, with most new growth happening outside the city limits.