How the largest cities in the U.S. keep growing

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Do you live in one of the largest cities? Chances are that you don’t: the 10 largest cities make up only 8 percent of the country’s population. This figure has remained stable in the recent years; in 2000, the number was slightly higher at 8.5 percent.

Percentage of the U.S. population made up by the 10 largest cities

The top 10 didn’t change much. San Jose took Detroit’s place at the end of the list in 2003, and that’s it. Much more interesting is to look at how the population of the cities changed throughout the years.

The map below shows how the populations of the cities have changed since 2010.

Largest cities’ change in population since 2010

The largest numbers are observed in Texas. Houston added almost the same number of new residents as New York despite being nearly four times smaller.

Thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau providing yearly population estimates, we can take an even more detailed look at the data.

Here's the year-by-year change in population for the top 10 cities in the country. To make the chart more accessible, we have shown the population relative to the year 2000.

Yearly change in population since 2000

Most of the cities show relatively stable growth throughout the years. Worth mentioning are Dallas and San Jose, which both started showing positive dynamics in 2007. By now, these cities are up in the double digits.

At around the same time, the negative trend stopped in Chicago. It has cost the city 6-7 percent of its residents.


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About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

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