As cities in the South and West continue to dominate the list of fastest-growing municipalities in the country, New York City had the largest numeric increase of any city between 2012 and 2013 -- as it has for the past two years -- according to population estimates the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

New York City gained 61,440 people between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, according to the bureau, for an estimated population of 8.4 million, a record for the city.

New York City is by far the most populous in the nation, followed by Los Angeles, with an estimated 3.8 million residents, and Chicago, with 2.7 million, according to the bureau's population estimates for cities and other incorporated places nationwide.

New York City's gains illustrated what a leading demographer called an "urban revival."

"I really think when you look at the broad picture, this is the decade for cities," said William Frey, a demographer at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and Population Studies Center.

"From my calculations . . . what New York gained between 2010 and now is more than any city gained, and it's more than New York City gained in the entire 2000 to 2010 period," said Frey, who is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

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Growth has occurred in other cities, as well, Frey said, citing Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington, among them. "We're really seeing among big cities somewhat of an urban revival," he said.

But Frey cited a "caveat," saying there has been a "down tick in growth" in many cities in 2013, resulting from the residual effects of the "aftershock of the recession and the housing crisis that still is impacting a lot of young people who may want to live in the suburbs or other places, but can't afford to, can't get a loan."

In March, when the bureau released 2013 population estimates for counties, New York City officials noted the combined population estimates of the five boroughs pushed its city population estimate to an "all-time high" of 8.4 million.

"The increase is fueled by people continuing to move to the city, a decline in the number of people leaving the city, as well as the continued surplus of births over deaths due to life expectancy in the city reaching new record highs," the city planning department said in a statement issued in March. International migration offset the loss from domestic migration.

On Long Island, the population estimates showed small, year-over-year changes for most of the 98 villages and the two cities, Glen Cove and Long Beach. However, Patchogue Village had the largest percentage increase, growing 3.3 percent between 2012 and 2013, with its estimated population rising from 11,863 to 12,253 during the period.


Hempstead Village, the largest village on the Island, saw its estimated population grow 0.9 percent, from 54,855 in 2012 to 55,361 last year.

The bureau reported in March that Nassau's estimated population grew by 3,863 people between 2012 and 2013, for a total population of 1,352,146; while Suffolk's inched up by 1,780, for a total population of 1,499,738.