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Census Bureau: Baltimore's population continues to shrink

Baltimore lost about 1,500 people from April 2010 to July 2011, according to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Baltimore's population now hovers around 619,500, according to the estimates — which showed that the populations of Boston, Seattle and Denver all surpassed Baltimore's total during the 15-month period.

Baltimore — the 10th-biggest U.S. city in terms of population in 1980 — now ranks 24th. The District of Columbia is a mere 1,500 people shy of overtaking that rank.

Washington gained more than 16,000 people from April 2010 to July 2011, according to the Census Bureau.

Among U.S. cities with populations over 100,000, New Orleans was the fastest-growing during the period — increasing 4.9 percent to just under 361,000 people. Two months before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans' population was 455,000.

Eight cities in Texas were among the top 15 fastest-growing large urban areas in the United States during the period.

Austin, Texas, has become bigger than San Francisco, which now ranks 14th in terms of population.

Robert Groves, the Census Bureau's director, said in a statement that the new estimates were the "first look at how much the total population has changed in each of our nation's cities since we conducted the 2010 Census."

The estimates are calculated using the number of housing units in a city as well as data on births, deaths and migration.

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