US cities with highest population densities: The thirty US cities with the highest population densities will be examined in this article. You can read about 10 of the US’s densest-populated cities without getting into the specifics.
In the United States, there were 19,495 incorporated cities, towns, and villages as of 2018, and 14,768 of those had fewer than 5,000 residents. Ten locations have more people living there than a million, and none have more than ten million.
310 cities having a population of 100,000 or more are regarded as medium-sized cities at the minimum. With 8.5 million residents, New York City, which is a component of the Northeast megalopolis, is the largest in the United States. The boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island make up New York City. In terms of both population (23.7% of the combined statistical area and the metro statistical area) and urban area (4,585 square miles), New York City is the world’s largest metropolitan metropolis.
Increased demand for goods and services is one of the most prominent effects of dense population on industries, while population growth can have many other effects as well. Larger and more varied consumer marketplaces can be found in densely populated cities, offering firms profitable chances to meet the demands and tastes of city people. To leverage dense population densities and meet the needs of urban shoppers, corporations such as Walmart Inc.
Walmart Inc. reported $611.29 billion in total revenue for the fiscal year 2023, up approximately 6.7% from the year before, according to their financial filings. In contrast, the fiscal year 2023 revenue of Costco Wholesale Corporation increased by 6.33% year over year to $245.6 billion. It is significant to remember that New York City accounts for a sizable portion of the revenue for both businesses. To satisfy the demands of densely populated urban markets, businesses such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, and entertainment must innovate and adapt. This will drive competition and promote dynamic economic ecosystems.
Furthermore, because of the concentration of talent, resources, and investment opportunities, densely populated areas frequently act as magnets for entrepreneurship and innovation. Dense urban settings provide a breeding ground for innovation havens like Silicon Valley, California, and the booming startup sector in Austin, Texas.
These places capitalize on the creative energy and collaborative spirit of densely inhabited surroundings to propel technical advancements and economic prosperity. But opportunities and diversity are not the only visible things. Challenges also exist. As populations increase and metropolitan boundaries widen, issues like housing affordability, transit congestion, and unstable living conditions have an impact on the general quality of life for people who reside in densely populated cities.
Information from the United States. According to data from the Census Bureau, overcrowding is more common in densely populated cities than in less densely populated places, with a higher percentage of households living in overcrowded conditions, which are defined as having more than one person per room. As a result, there is a correlation between greater housing instability and high population density.
Renters in densely populated places are more likely to face eviction and housing displacement due to rising rents and a lack of affordable housing options, according to an article on housing accessibility in densifying cities. It’s also stated that housing expenses are often far higher in high-density cities. For instance, in San Francisco, the median monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is approximately $3,400, but in less-populous towns like Indianapolis, it’s only $1,200. Because housing costs take up a large portion of an individual’s income in densely populated areas, a rent increase influences their entire purchasing power.
Apart from that, ineffective traffic management is another significant problem that residents of highly populated cities deal with. According to a study by the privately held transportation analytics firm INRIX, cities with dense populations typically have the worst traffic. New York City and Los Angeles are among the top cities in the country for traffic congestion, with commuters spending at least 100 hours a year stuck in traffic. Poor traffic conditions have several effects on cities and people.
According to research titled “Traffic Congestion’s Economic Impacts,” there are major financial consequences associated with traffic congestion in highly populated places, such as decreased productivity, higher fuel prices, and higher auto maintenance costs. According to the report, traffic congestion costs the US economy more than $160 billion a year, which is a substantial loss for any country.
The US’s 30 Densestly Packed Cities
30. Texas’s Houston
3,599 people per square mile are living there.
The largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the US, Houston is a thriving, varied city renowned for its entrepreneurial drive and rich cultural diversity. Houston, Texas, is a unique combination of Southern charm, cosmopolitan flare, and a robust economy that spurs innovation and growth across numerous industries. Houston is located in the southeast of the state.
29. Arizona’s Mesa
3,736 people per square mile are living there.
Mesa, an Arizonan city in the Phoenix metropolitan area, stands out for its desert landscape, extensive cultural legacy, and strong sense of community. Mesa, the third-biggest city in Arizona, has a population that is diversified and occupies an area of around 138 square miles (357 square kilometers).
28. Georgia’s Atlanta
3,745.5 people per square mile are living there.
With approximately 498,000 people living inside its borders, Atlanta is the biggest city in Georgia and the ninth-largest metropolitan region in the US. With nearly 6 million residents, the Greater Atlanta area—which encompasses the surrounding counties and suburbs—reflects the city’s reputation as a thriving metropolitan hub with a diversified population attracted from all over the world.
27. Texas’s Dallas
3,841 people per square mile are living there.
Dallas is the ninth-largest city in the US, home to about 1.3 million people living inside its borders. With a population of more than 7.6 million, the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area—also known as the DFW Metroplex—is one of the biggest in the nation. The cities and suburbs that surround Dallas and Fort Worth are part of the metroplex, which together create a dynamic and well-connected urban environment.
26. South Carolina’s Columbus
4,117 people per square mile are living there.
Within the city borders of Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina, live about 131,000 people. Over 800,000 people live in the Columbia metropolitan region, which also includes the nearby counties and suburbs. It occupies about 134 square miles (347 square kilometers) in total.
25. Virginia’s Arlington
4,160 people per square mile are living there.
With a population of over 237,000, Arlington is a county located directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The greater Washington metropolitan region, which is home to more than 6 million people, includes Arlington. The total area of Arlington is roughly 26 square miles (67 square kilometers).
24. California’s San Diego
4,256 people per square mile are living there.
Within its city limits, San Diego, a prominent metropolis on California’s Pacific coast, is home to about 1.4 million people. Over 3 million people live in the San Diego metropolitan region, which includes the neighboring towns in San Diego County.
23. Nevada’s Las Vegas
There are 4,527 people per square mile.
The total area of Las Vegas is roughly 135 square miles (350 square kilometers). Within the city limits, about 651,000 people are living there. More than 2.3 million people are living in the Las Vegas metropolitan region, which also includes the surrounding suburbs and towns in Clark County.
22. California’s Fresno
4,615 people per square mile are living there.
The city of Fresno, which is in the center of the San Joaquin Valley in California, is home to about 530,000 people. Over a million people live in the Fresno metropolitan region, which is made up of Fresno County and surrounding counties. It covers around 114 square miles (295 square kilometers) in total.
21. Colorado’s Denver
4,751 people per square mile are living there.
Denver, the state capital of Colorado, is home to about 715,000 people living inside its boundaries. More than 3.5 million people are living in the Denver metropolitan region, which is often referred to as the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan statistical area. It covers an area of around 401 square kilometers or 155 square miles.
20. Michigan’s Detroit
4,830 people per square mile are living there.
The total area of Detroit is roughly 142.9 square miles (370 square kilometers). This city, which lies in southeast Michigan, is home to about 670,000 people living inside its borders. More than 4.3 million people are living in the Detroit metropolitan region, which encompasses neighboring counties in Michigan and portions of Ohio.
19. Oregon’s Portland
4,888 people per square mile are living there.
With Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, and portions of Yamhill counties, the Portland metropolitan region is home to more than 2.5 million people. The total area of this city is roughly 145 square miles (375 square kilometers).
18. Ohio’s Cleveland
4,901 people per square mile are living there.
The population of Cleveland is estimated to be 380,000. It covers an area of around 214 square kilometers, or 82.5 square miles. With Cuyahoga County and adjoining counties in Northeast Ohio included, the Cleveland metropolitan region is home to more than 2 million people.
17. California’s Sacramento
5,209 people per square mile are living there.
With a population of over 525,000, Sacramento occupies an area of about 100.1 square miles (259 square kilometers).
16. California’s San Jose
5,683 people per square mile are living there.
San Jose, the third-largest city in California by population, is situated in the center of Silicon Valley and has 1.1 million people living inside its boundaries. At over 180.5 square miles (467 square kilometers), San Jose is the largest city in Northern California in terms of land size.
15. Wisconsin’s Milwaukee
6,136 people per square mile are living there.
Approximately 590,000 people live in Milwaukee, which is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. More than 1.5 million people are living in the Milwaukee metropolitan region, which is made up of Milwaukee County and the adjacent counties in southeast Wisconsin.
14. California’s Anaheim
6,969 people live there per square mile.
Within the city limits of Anaheim, about 355,000 people are living in an area that is roughly 50 square miles (130 square kilometers). Based on our ranking of the most densely populated US cities, Anaheim ranks 14th with 6,969 persons per square mile.
13. Maryland’s Baltimore
7,240 people per square mile are living there.
Located on the Chesapeake Bay waterfront, Baltimore is home to about 590,000 people living inside its municipal limits. More than 2.8 million people are living in the Baltimore metropolitan region, which consists of Baltimore City and the neighboring counties in central Maryland. This city is roughly 92.1 square miles (239 square kilometers) in size.
12. Oakland, California
7,746 people per square mile are living there.
More than 2.5 million people are living in the Oakland metropolitan region, which encompasses Oakland and nearby cities in Alameda County, and about 440,000 people live inside the city limits.
11. Minnesota’s Minneapolis
7,956 people per square mile are living there.
With 4,30,000 people living inside its borders and 7,956 people per square mile, Minneapolis, the largest city in Minnesota, is among the most densely inhabited cities in the country. Over 3.6 million people live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, popularly referred to as the Twin Cities.
10. California’s Los Angeles
8,304 people per square mile are living there.
With 3.9 million citizens, Los Angeles, sometimes commonly referred to as LA, is the second-largest metropolis in the United States. With a population of more than 18.7 million, the Los Angeles metropolitan area—also referred to as the Greater Los Angeles Area—is the second-largest in the nation.
9. Washington state of Seattle
8,795 people per square mile are living there.
Seattle, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, is home to about 769,000 people. Over 3.9 million people live in the Seattle metropolitan region, which is made up of Seattle and nearby King County communities.
8. California’s Long Beach
9,123 people per square mile are living there.
With 467,000 people living there, Long Beach is a city that is about 51 square miles (132 square kilometers) in size. With Long Beach and its surrounding cities included, the Long Beach-Los Angeles-Anaheim metropolitan statistical region is home to more than 13.2 million people.
11,286 people per square mile (population density)
The total area of Washington, D.C. is roughly 68.3 square miles (177 square kilometers). The states of Maryland and Virginia abut the city, which is situated along the Potomac River. Within the city’s limits, roughly 693,000 people are living there. Nonetheless, with a population of more than 6.2 million, the Washington metropolitan region—also referred to as the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia)—is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the country.
6. Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia
11,933 people per square mile are living there.
With 1.6 million people living in the metro region, Philadelphia is the biggest city in Pennsylvania. One of the most densely populated cities in the United States, the Philadelphia metropolitan area is home to more than 6.1 million people and spans an area of around 142.7 square miles (369 square kilometers).
5. Illinois’s Chicago
12,061 people per square mile (per capita).
With a population of over 2.7 million, Chicago occupies an area of about 234 square miles (606 square kilometers) on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan.
4. Florida’s Miami
13,005 people per square mile are living there.
Roughly 470,000 people are living in Miami, which is a city on Florida’s southeast coast. Over 6.1 million people live in the Miami metropolitan region, which is made up of Miami-Dade County and surrounding counties. It covers around 56 square miles (145 square kilometers) in total.
3. Massachusetts’s Boston
13,989 people per square mile are living there.
Located along the shores of Massachusetts Bay, Boston, the capital city of Massachusetts, is home to over 692,000 people living inside its city limits. Its total area is approximately 89 square miles (231 square kilometers). More than 4.9 million people are living in the Boston metropolitan area, commonly referred to as Greater Boston.
2. California’s San Francisco
18,635 people per square mile are living there.
About 883,000 people are living in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is made up of San Francisco and its surrounding cities. San Francisco is the second most densely inhabited city in the world, covering an area of about 46.9 square miles (121 square kilometers) and having a population density of 18,635 per square mile.
1. New York City
29,298 people per square mile are living there.
The largest metropolis in the US is New York metropolis, also commonly referred to as simply NYC. Its five boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island—are home to about 8.8 million people. With a population of more than 19.2 million, the New York metropolitan region—also referred to as the Tri-State region—is the biggest metropolitan area in the nation.