U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S. > City vs. City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-08-2015, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
12,765 posts, read 12,741,891 times
Reputation: 5440

Advertisements

There's like 9000 threads on the population of one city vs. another, but it's difficult to compare them exactly because city boundaries are much different. So what if every city was the same size? The average area size of the top 100 largest cities is a bit over 200 square miles. The US Census takes population counts at concentric circles from a city's center in mile increments. From there, it's simple math.

8 miles from the center is about 201 square miles, and since that's closest to the average city boundary size, that's what I used for the ranking. Here are the top 50 largest cities by population in 2010 at that size, along with the actual ranking.

Black= No Ranking Change, Blue= Improved Ranking, Red= Fallen Ranking

1. New York, NY: 5,859,411 #1
2. Los Angeles, CA: 2,955,825 #2
3. Chicago, IL: 2,189,593 #3
4. Philadelphia, PA: 1,961,742 #5
5. Washington, DC: 1,697,692 #23
6. Boston, MA: 1,570,632 #24
7. San Jose, CA: 1,388,537 #10
8. Las Vegas, NV: 1,184,445 #30
9. Baltimore, MD: 1,119,791 #26
10. Denver, CO: 1,117,377 #22
11. Houston, TX: 1,099,111 #4
12. San Francisco, CA: 1,090,727 #14
13. Minneapolis, MN: 1,045,344 #46
14. San Diego, CA: 1,028,040 #8
15. Portland, OR: 966,613 #29
16. Phoenix, AZ: 932,502 #6
17. Miami, FL: 929,332 #44
18. Dallas, TX: 910,359 #9
19. San Antonio, TX: 836,723 #7
20. Seattle, WA: 835,829 #21
21. Milwaukee: 819,470 #31
22. Columbus, OH: 795,666 #15
23. Riverside, CA: 795,229 #59
24. Pittsburgh, PA: 777,608 #62
25. Orlando, FL: 736,793 #77
26. Sacramento, CA: 724,687 #35
27. Atlanta, GA: 719,527 #40
28. Cleveland, OH: 719,218 #48
29. Indianapolis, IN: 699,998 #12
30. Detroit, MI: 698,366 #18
31. Cincinnati, OH: 685,958 #65
32. New Orleans, LA: 667,358 #51
33. St. Louis, MO: 661,948 #58
34. Austin, TX: 636,795 #11
35. Providence, RI: 632,315 #134
36. Fresno, CA: 605,187 #34
37. Albuquerque, NM: 582,264 #32
38. Tucson, AZ: 575,664 #33
39. Rochester, NY: 567,753 #103
40. Charlotte, NC: 567,682 #16
41. Buffalo, NY: 567,144 #73
42. Louisville, KY: 545,721 #28
43. Tampa, FL: 541,699 #53
44. Kansas City, MO: 540,511 #37
45. Hartford, CT: 521,796 #212
46. Bakersfield, CA: 512,014 #52
47. Oklahoma City, OK: 500,966 #27
48. Omaha, NE: 498,906 #42
49. Richmond, VA: 492,856 #99
50. Salt Lake City, UT: 487,968 #124

Rank Change, Best to Worst
Hartford, CT: +167
Providence, RI: +99
Salt Lake City, UT: +74
Rochester, NY: +64
Orlando, FL: +52
Richmond, VA: +50
Pittsburgh, PA: +38
Riverside, CA: +36
Cincinnati, OH: +34
Minneapolis, MN: +33
Buffalo, NY: +32
Miami, FL: +27
St. Louis, MO: +25
Las Vegas, NV: +22
Cleveland, OH: +20
New Orleans, LA: +19
Boston, MA: +18
Washington, DC: +18
Baltimore, MD: +17
Portland, OR: +14
Atlanta, GA: +13
Denver, CO: +12
Milwaukee, WI: +10
Tampa, FL: +10
Sacramento, CA: +9
Bakersfield, CA: +6
San Jose, CA: +3
San Francisco, CA: +2
Philadelphia, PA: +1
Seattle, WA: +1
Chicago, IL: 0
Los Angeles, CA: 0
New York, NY: 0
Fresno, CA: -2
Albuquerque, NM: -5
Tucson, AZ: -5
Omaha, NE: -6
San Diego, CA: -6
Columbus, OH: -7
Houston, TX: -7
Kansas City, MO: -7
Dallas, TX: -9
Phoenix, AX: -10
Detroit, MI: -12
San Antonio, TX: -12
Louisville, KY: -14
Indianapolis, IN: -17
Oklahoma City, OK: -20
Austin, TX: -23
Charlotte, NC: -24

So it seems that those cities with either large boundaries and/or low population density dropped in the rankings, while those with small borders and/or high density went up, which is pretty much what you would expect to happen if city size was standardized. It's not a perfect way to measure the size of city populations, but it's a lot more fair than what currently exists.

Also notice that, out of the top 25 largest current cities, 5 of them are missing from the ranking altogether. With the exception of Ft. Worth, which overlaps Dallas, the other 4 (Jacksonville, FL, Memphis, Nashville and El Paso, TX) wouldn't even crack the top 50 using this ranking.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-08-2015, 05:19 AM
 
Location: New York City
1,219 posts, read 967,991 times
Reputation: 994
D.C. is the fifth largest city in the country eh? I can live.with this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2015, 06:11 AM
 
11,987 posts, read 10,678,285 times
Reputation: 9898
This is a great list. The cities that come out on top are consistently ranked as "best of" in multiple categories and the pretenders (looking at you ouston with an H) are relegated to where they belong.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2015, 06:54 AM
 
668 posts, read 640,302 times
Reputation: 423
lol Portland has more people than Seattle
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2015, 06:58 AM
 
668 posts, read 640,302 times
Reputation: 423
I'd love to see a Canadian version
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2015, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Maryland
3,918 posts, read 5,038,758 times
Reputation: 4162
Interesting, but I imagine the concentric circles can be a bit disingenuous for cities with large natural boundaries such as oceans, Great lakes, mountains (e.g. LA, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Milwaukee, Boston etc.) whereas many of the cities there isn't much of a natural boundary problem (e.g. Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Indianapolis etc.). So there is still some difficulty in the comparisons.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2015, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Mexico City, formerly Columbus, Ohio
12,765 posts, read 12,741,891 times
Reputation: 5440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maintainschaos View Post
Interesting, but I imagine the concentric circles can be a bit disingenuous for cities with large natural boundaries such as oceans, Great lakes, mountains (e.g. LA, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Milwaukee, Boston etc.) whereas many of the cities there isn't much of a natural boundary problem (e.g. Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, Indianapolis etc.). So there is still some difficulty in the comparisons.
Of course, there's always going to be something. However, geographic limitations don't seem to affect the rankings all that much. Coastal cities are all ranked highly, and indeed almost all of them moved upwards in the ranking. This may be because cities with major geographic limitations end up having higher densities that compensate for that. This at least tries to balance things out and doesn't just rely on the arbitrary existing boundaries.

Last edited by jbcmh81; 03-08-2015 at 09:16 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2015, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 20,277,910 times
Reputation: 10181
City limits populations are worthless anyway. The real measure should be Urban Area or Metro Area (though I can see a case for San Francisco and San Jose to be together and DC and Baltimore too).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2015, 09:16 AM
 
9,583 posts, read 10,915,282 times
Reputation: 2109
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonsence View Post
D.C. is the fifth largest city in the country eh? I can live.with this.
DC will most likely be #4 or very close to that spot in the nation after the 2020 census if this is using 2010 census data. Does anybody know what it's using? The 200 mile inner core of the DC metro has seen unprecedented new construction since 2010 increasing capacity by a significant margin. We still have a housing shortage, but it has helped a lot.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2015, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,385 posts, read 9,945,414 times
Reputation: 5230
I'm surprised San Jose would still be higher than San Francisco.

Last edited by gwillyfromphilly; 03-08-2015 at 09:56 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S. > City vs. City
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top