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View Poll Results: Select all metros that you would describe as "big cities"
New York 186 84.93%
Los Angeles 170 77.63%
Chicago 180 82.19%
Dallas 137 62.56%
Philadelphia 159 72.60%
Houston 145 66.21%
Miami 133 60.73%
Atlanta 130 59.36%
Washington DC 150 68.49%
Boston 147 67.12%
Detroit 119 54.34%
Phoenix 91 41.55%
San Francisco 163 74.43%
Inland Empire, CA 12 5.48%
Seattle 116 52.97%
Minneapolis 99 45.21%
San Diego 87 39.73%
St. Louis 74 33.79%
Tampa 49 22.37%
Baltimore 86 39.27%
Denver 100 45.66%
Pittsburgh 69 31.51%
Portland 49 22.37%
Cincinnati 60 27.40%
Sacramento 40 18.26%
Cleveland 72 32.88%
Orlando 41 18.72%
San Antonio 57 26.03%
Kansas City 56 25.57%
Las Vegas 59 26.94%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 219. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-09-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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An interesting argument would be Pittsburgh v. San Antonio city size and metro area.

Greater Pittsburgh has a population of 2.3 million, yet the Pittsburgh itself has a population of just over 300,000. So roughly 13% of the Pittsburgh Metro population is within Pittsburgh

Greater San Antonio has a population of 2.0 million and San Antonio has a population of 1.3 million. 65% of the San Antonio Metro is in San Antonio

What other metros are comparable in a skewed sort of way like this and how does this impact the citizens of the metro?
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:34 PM
 
7,852 posts, read 12,745,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityPerson09 View Post
An interesting argument would be Pittsburgh v. San Antonio city size and metro area.

Greater Pittsburgh has a population of 2.3 million, yet the Pittsburgh itself has a population of just over 300,000. So roughly 13% of the Pittsburgh Metro population is within Pittsburgh

Greater San Antonio has a population of 2.0 million and San Antonio has a population of 1.3 million. 65% of the San Antonio Metro is in San Antonio

What other metros are comparable in a skewed sort of way like this and how does this impact the citizens of the metro?
Something to keep in mind...

13% of Pittsburgh's metro population lives in 56 square miles
65% of San Antonio's metro population lives in 408 square miles

If Pittsburgh was also 408 square miles, I would bet that it's population would be similar to San Antonio's.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:43 PM
 
7,852 posts, read 12,745,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CityPerson09 View Post
An interesting argument would be Pittsburgh v. San Antonio city size and metro area.

Greater Pittsburgh has a population of 2.3 million, yet the Pittsburgh itself has a population of just over 300,000. So roughly 13% of the Pittsburgh Metro population is within Pittsburgh

Greater San Antonio has a population of 2.0 million and San Antonio has a population of 1.3 million. 65% of the San Antonio Metro is in San Antonio

What other metros are comparable in a skewed sort of way like this and how does this impact the citizens of the metro?
San Diego and St. Louis...

San Diego population: MSA - 3 million; City - 1.28 million...43% in 324 square miles
St. Louis population: MSA - 2.8 million; City - 354,000...13% in 64 square miles
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:48 PM
 
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This is one of the more interesting polls on the site in awhile. Because the terms are vague, and they shoud be. This is totally a "feel" poll, and I like it.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:40 PM
 
737 posts, read 686,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaconJ View Post
Something to keep in mind...

13% of Pittsburgh's metro population lives in 56 square miles
65% of San Antonio's metro population lives in 408 square miles

If Pittsburgh was also 408 square miles, I would bet that it's population would be similar to San Antonio's.
I didn't even think about looking at land area
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:46 PM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
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Given how the world works now, and how the majority of people have access to private transportation today, the old method of Big City vs. Small City is outdated. It's more complex than that now.

A better example to use would be to classify areas based on their metro populations in the following way:

Super mega cities - 10 million+ residents
Mega cities - 5 to <10 million residents
Big Cities - 2 to <5 million residents
Small city - 500,000 to <2 million
Town - <500,000
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:49 AM
 
511 posts, read 775,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waronxmas View Post
Given how the world works now, and how the majority of people have access to private transportation today, the old method of Big City vs. Small City is outdated. It's more complex than that now.

A better example to use would be to classify areas based on their metro populations in the following way:

Super mega cities - 10 million+ residents
Mega cities - 5 to <10 million residents
Big Cities - 2 to <5 million residents
Small city - 500,000 to <2 million
Town - <500,000
I would change a few things.

Alpha mega cities - 10 million+ residents
Mega cities - 5 to <10 million residents
Big Cities - 2 to <5 million residents
Medium Cities- 500,000 to <2 million
Small city - <500,000

Most people would agree that a 2+ million metro is a big city no matter what size city you come from, so thats a good number.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:10 AM
 
1,447 posts, read 3,523,989 times
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interesting question. i think different people are going to have different criteria regarding what constitutes a "big" city, so you're probably going to get a wide range of responses.

my criterion might be more narrow than most, as it is based strictly on population rather than "feel" or such things as cultural amenities. i consider a large city/metro/CSA to have at least 5 million residents - anything less is either mid-sized, small, or very small. i should mention that i grew up in the largest metropolitan area in the country, so my standards for a "large" city/region may differ considerably from someone who has always lived in, say, omaha or alburquerque.

*that said, the following CSAs would qualify as big cities in my book. anything above 5.0 million is a large city, with those above 10.0 million a super large city:

super large cities/metros (population greater than 10.0 million)
1) nyc: 22.15 million residents (includes northern and central nj, ny state suburbs like long island/westchester/rockland/putnam, southwest connecticut, and a tiny bit of northeast pennsylvania)
2) los angeles: 17.79 million (includes orange county, ventura county, and the inland empire. the IE should not be counted separately from the greater los angeles CSA.)
3) chicago: 9.79 million (not quite at 10 million, but close enough; in fact, the region may very well surpass 10MM by the 2010 census. the population figure includes a little bit of northwest indiana and southeast wisconsin)

large cities/metros (population between 5.0 million and 10.0 million)
4) washington dc/baltimore: 8.30 million (i know that combining the dc and baltimore metros into a single CSA is controversial for some, but it's probably the best way to assess that region due to the commuting patterns in the beltway, not to mention significant suburban overlap. for better or worse, the two cities and their respective suburbs have merged into one monster region.)
5) boston: 7.51 million (includes all of rhode island, parts of southern new hampshire, and anything in massachusetts up to worcester)
6) san francisco/oakland/san jose bay area: 7.35 million (some people like to consider san jose/silicon valley as a completely separate area from sf/oakland, but commuting patterns, suburban overlap, and cultural connections have to be taken into account when deciding how to assess the region's population)
7) dallas: 6.66 million (includes fort worth and arlington)
8) philadelphia: 6.40 million (includes south jersey, pa suburbs, and northern delaware)
9) houston: 5.83 million
10) atlanta: 5.73 million
11) miami: 5.41 million (includes fort lauderdale/broward county/palm beach county)
12) detroit: 5.35 million

*i'd consider anything between 2 million and 5 million to be a mid-sized metro, with anything between 3.5 and 5.0 million a larger mid-sized metro, and anything between 2.0 and 3.5 million a smaller mid-sized metro:

larger mid-sized metros (population between 3.5 and 5.0 million)
1) phoenix: 4.28 million
2) seattle: 4.09 million
3) minneapolis: 3.56 million

smaller mid-sized metros (population between 2.0 and 3.5 million)
4) denver: 3.05 million
5) san diego: 3.00 million
6) cleveland: 2.89 million
7) st. louis: 2.88 million
8) tampa: 2.73 million
9) orlando: 2.72 million
10) pittsburgh: 2.44 million
11) sacramento: 2.42 million
12) charlotte: 2.34 million
13) portland, oregon: 2.21 million
14) cincinnati: 2.20 million
15) kansas city: 2.07 million
16) indianapolis: 2.04 million
17) san antonio: 2.03 million
18) columbus: 2.00 million

*a small metro would have a population between 1.0 and 2.0 million, with a distinction between borderline mid-sized metros (1.5 to 2.0 million residents) vs. borderline very small metros (1.0 to 1.5 million residents):

small/borderline mid-sized metros (population between 1.5 and 2.0 million)
1) las vegas: 1.91 million
2) milwaukee: 1.75 million
3) salt lake city: 1.72 million
4) raleigh/durham: 1.69 million
5) virginia beach/norfolk: 1.66 million
6) austin: 1.65 million
7) nashville: 1.63 million
8) greensboro/winston-salem, nc: 1.55 million

small/borderline very small metros (population between 1.0 and 1.5 million)
9) louisville: 1.38 million
10) grand rapids: 1.32 million
11) jacksonville: 1.31 million
12) hartford: 1.31 million
13) memphis: 1.29 million
14) oklahoma city: 1.28 million
15) greenville/spartanburg, sc: 1.24 million
16) richmond: 1.23 million
17) buffalo: 1.20 million
18) birmingham: 1.20 million
19) new orleans: 1.18 million (1.36 million pre-katrina)
20) albany, ny: 1.15 million
21) rochester, ny: 1.13 million
22) dayton: 1.07 million
23) fresno: 1.06 million
24) knoxville: 1.04 million
25) tuscon: 1.01 million

*a very small metro would have fewer than 1.0 million residents. the following is a sample of a few cities that just missed the cut for "small" metros according to my criterion:

very small metros (population less than 1.0 million)
1) tulsa: 0.97 million
2) honolulu: 0.91 million
3) omaha: 0.87 million
4) little rock: 0.85 million
5) albuquerque: 0.85 million
and many, many more.

all of the figures above are 2008 u.s. census estimates.

as a sports fan, it's interesting to note that some of the smallest current major league sports markets like buffalo, jacksonville, memphis, new orleans, and oklahoma city are similar in size (if not smaller) than a number of metropolitan areas that have never had top-level professional sports during the modern era such as austin, greensboro, louisville, grand rapids, richmond, etc. yet the small markets that do have a pro team tend to have a much larger national profile than the ones who don't (with exceptions like austin, which is extremely popular and well-known nationally).

just goes to show the power of sports in shaping the popular perception of a city or region. having a major league team may result in outsiders viewing your area as being larger than it really is.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:32 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 14,013,256 times
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As a rough estimate I'd say the average of the 363 metros is around 725,000-750,000. (This is going by urban population of the US divided by 363) So I guess you couldn't go lower than Columbia, South Carolina even though some below that would be big cities to me.

Still even putting my biases and lack of experience in mind I might lean toward going down to Tucson on that list or at least Memphis, Tennessee. Still maybe I could see starting at #39, Milwaukee. If I tried to put my head into that of a New Yorker, almost impossible for me to do as I've only met one in real life and that was for a brief photo shoot, I would maybe not count anything below Detroit. (Detroit might be among the 80 largest urban areas in the world)

List of urban areas by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So as an offhand attempt, coming from my weird perspective, I'll this

Extra-Small-Metro - 50,000-250,000
Small-Metro - 250,001-750,000
Medium-Metro - 750,001-1,500,000
Large or Big City - 1,500,001-3,000,000
Extra-Large City - Above 3 million

Last edited by Thomas R.; 10-10-2009 at 02:46 AM..
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:01 AM
 
517 posts, read 774,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbergen View Post
interesting question. i think different people are going to have different criteria regarding what constitutes a "big" city, so you're probably going to get a wide range of responses.

my criterion might be more narrow than most, as it is based strictly on population rather than "feel" or such things as cultural amenities. i consider a large city/metro/CSA to have at least 5 million residents - anything less is either mid-sized, small, or very small. i should mention that i grew up in the largest metropolitan area in the country, so my standards for a "large" city/region may differ considerably from someone who has always lived in, say, omaha or alburquerque.

*that said, the following CSAs would qualify as big cities in my book. anything above 5.0 million is a large city, with those above 10.0 million a super large city:

super large cities/metros (population greater than 10.0 million)
1) nyc: 22.15 million residents (includes northern and central nj, ny state suburbs like long island/westchester/rockland/putnam, southwest connecticut, and a tiny bit of northeast pennsylvania)
2) los angeles: 17.79 million (includes orange county, ventura county, and the inland empire. the IE should not be counted separately from the greater los angeles CSA.)
3) chicago: 9.79 million (not quite at 10 million, but close enough; in fact, the region may very well surpass 10MM by the 2010 census. the population figure includes a little bit of northwest indiana and southeast wisconsin)

large cities/metros (population between 5.0 million and 10.0 million)
4) washington dc/baltimore: 8.30 million (i know that combining the dc and baltimore metros into a single CSA is controversial for some, but it's probably the best way to assess that region due to the commuting patterns in the beltway, not to mention significant suburban overlap. for better or worse, the two cities and their respective suburbs have merged into one monster region.)
5) boston: 7.51 million (includes all of rhode island, parts of southern new hampshire, and anything in massachusetts up to worcester)
6) san francisco/oakland/san jose bay area: 7.35 million (some people like to consider san jose/silicon valley as a completely separate area from sf/oakland, but commuting patterns, suburban overlap, and cultural connections have to be taken into account when deciding how to assess the region's population)
7) dallas: 6.66 million (includes fort worth and arlington)
8) philadelphia: 6.40 million (includes south jersey, pa suburbs, and northern delaware)
9) houston: 5.83 million
10) atlanta: 5.73 million
11) miami: 5.41 million (includes fort lauderdale/broward county/palm beach county)
12) detroit: 5.35 million

*i'd consider anything between 2 million and 5 million to be a mid-sized metro, with anything between 3.5 and 5.0 million a larger mid-sized metro, and anything between 2.0 and 3.5 million a smaller mid-sized metro:

larger mid-sized metros (population between 3.5 and 5.0 million)
1) phoenix: 4.28 million
2) seattle: 4.09 million
3) minneapolis: 3.56 million

smaller mid-sized metros (population between 2.0 and 3.5 million)
4) denver: 3.05 million
5) san diego: 3.00 million
6) cleveland: 2.89 million
7) st. louis: 2.88 million
8) tampa: 2.73 million
9) orlando: 2.72 million
10) pittsburgh: 2.44 million
11) sacramento: 2.42 million
12) charlotte: 2.34 million
13) portland, oregon: 2.21 million
14) cincinnati: 2.20 million
15) kansas city: 2.07 million
16) indianapolis: 2.04 million
17) san antonio: 2.03 million
18) columbus: 2.00 million

*a small metro would have a population between 1.0 and 2.0 million, with a distinction between borderline mid-sized metros (1.5 to 2.0 million residents) vs. borderline very small metros (1.0 to 1.5 million residents):

small/borderline mid-sized metros (population between 1.5 and 2.0 million)
1) las vegas: 1.91 million
2) milwaukee: 1.75 million
3) salt lake city: 1.72 million
4) raleigh/durham: 1.69 million
5) virginia beach/norfolk: 1.66 million
6) austin: 1.65 million
7) nashville: 1.63 million
8) greensboro/winston-salem, nc: 1.55 million

small/borderline very small metros (population between 1.0 and 1.5 million)
9) louisville: 1.38 million
10) grand rapids: 1.32 million
11) jacksonville: 1.31 million
12) hartford: 1.31 million
13) memphis: 1.29 million
14) oklahoma city: 1.28 million
15) greenville/spartanburg, sc: 1.24 million
16) richmond: 1.23 million
17) buffalo: 1.20 million
18) birmingham: 1.20 million
19) new orleans: 1.18 million (1.36 million pre-katrina)
20) albany, ny: 1.15 million
21) rochester, ny: 1.13 million
22) dayton: 1.07 million
23) fresno: 1.06 million
24) knoxville: 1.04 million
25) tuscon: 1.01 million

*a very small metro would have fewer than 1.0 million residents. the following is a sample of a few cities that just missed the cut for "small" metros according to my criterion:

very small metros (population less than 1.0 million)
1) tulsa: 0.97 million
2) honolulu: 0.91 million
3) omaha: 0.87 million
4) little rock: 0.85 million
5) albuquerque: 0.85 million
and many, many more.

all of the figures above are 2008 u.s. census estimates.

as a sports fan, it's interesting to note that some of the smallest current major league sports markets like buffalo, jacksonville, memphis, new orleans, and oklahoma city are similar in size (if not smaller) than a number of metropolitan areas that have never had top-level professional sports during the modern era such as austin, greensboro, louisville, grand rapids, richmond, etc. yet the small markets that do have a pro team tend to have a much larger national profile than the ones who don't (with exceptions like austin, which is extremely popular and well-known nationally).

just goes to show the power of sports in shaping the popular perception of a city or region. having a major league team may result in outsiders viewing your area as being larger than it really is.
Thank you for pointing out that San Jose is apart of the SF Bay Area metro. I hate arguing with people on this fourm that claim San Jose is not in the same metro area as SF/Oakland/Fremont. Anyone who lives/visits the Bay Area know that SJ is VERY much apart of the SF Metro.
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