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A lot of people just seem to blow off Miami... Miami is one of the most densely populated cities in the country, around 11,000 people per square mile, and a metro of about 5.5 million. The metro area is squeezed between the ocean and the everglades, but the people just keep packing in.

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A lot of people just seem to blow off Miami... Miami is one of the most densely populated cities in the country, around 11,000 people per square mile, and a metro of about 5.5 million. The metro area is squeezed between the ocean and the everglades, but the people just keep packing in.

Isn't also relatively new? I think that, along with the low population in the city itself, makes it not stand out as much. Boston is the same way in terms of small city size and large metro, but due to its history as a major US city people know of it as such.

I'm no expert, but how would all those shiny new condo towers fare if another Andrew came along and this time hit Miami directly? I think the USA might have been better off if it had built its larger cities further inland, along rivers and lakes, like how much of Europe was developed, instead of oceans and gulfs. Hurricanes and Tsunamis are real threats...

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I'm no expert, but how would all those shiny new condo towers fare if another Andrew came along and this time hit Miami directly? I think the USA might have been better off if it had built its larger cities further inland, along rivers and lakes, like how much of Europe was developed, instead of oceans and gulfs. Hurricanes and Tsunamis are real threats...

Anything built in Florida since hurricane Andrew has been built to a much higher standard. Even so, if a cat 5 hurricane gave any city in Florida a direct hit it would not be pretty. Even Wilma last year hit Miami metro at a minimal cat 3 I believe and there were a lot of mostly pre Andrew buildings with many windows blown out.

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Top 10 urban areas as of 2000

1 New York 17,799,861

2 Los Angeles 11,789,487

3 Chicago 8,307,904

4 Philadelphia 5,149,079

5 Miami 4,919,036

6 Dallas 4,145,659

7 Boston 4,032,484

8 Washington 3,933,920

9 Detroit 3,903,377

10 Houston 3,822,509

Top 10 one million plus urban areas by density per sq mile

1 Los Angeles 7,068

2 San Francisco 6,130

3 San Jose 5,914

4 New York 5,309

5 New Orleans 5,102

6 Las Vegas 4,597

7 Miami 4,407

8 Denver 3,979

9 Chicago 3,914

10 Sacramento 3,776

It's interesting that for the past 10 years or so all but one is growing richly in city, urban and metro and that's New Orleans. I'm curious to what it's rating would be if every city was at it's peak. For instance East Jefferson has about 250,000 people, if every city were at it's peak there would be over 282,000 and over 5,700 per sq mile.

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Top 10 urban areas as of 2000

1 New York 17,799,861

2 Los Angeles 11,789,487

3 Chicago 8,307,904

4 Philadelphia 5,149,079

5 Miami 4,919,036

6 Dallas 4,145,659

7 Boston 4,032,484

8 Washington 3,933,920

9 Detroit 3,903,377

10 Houston 3,822,509

Top 10 one million plus urban areas by density per sq mile

1 Los Angeles 7,068

2 San Francisco 6,130

3 San Jose 5,914

4 New York 5,309

5 New Orleans 5,102

6 Las Vegas 4,597

7 Miami 4,407

8 Denver 3,979

9 Chicago 3,914

10 Sacramento 3,776

It's interesting that for the past 10 years or so all but one is growing richly in city, urban and metro and that's New Orleans. I'm curious to what it's rating would be if every city was at it's peak. For instance East Jefferson has about 250,000 people, if every city were at it's peak there would be over 282,000 and over 5,700 per sq mile.

As far as density per square mile, I'm not at all surprised to see New Orleans at #5. I am, however, surprised to see Chicago at #10.

If New Orleans were to do away with certain areas of the city and concentrate its future growth in the downtown areas, like the boom that's occurring right now, it would no doubt be in the top 3 in density per square mile.

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Are they talking Chicago proper, or Chicagoland as a whole? I agree Chicago proper I would have thought should be higher, but Chicagoland as a whole I could see where it is.

That's got to be the entire Chicagoland region. Now that you bring that up, Chicagoland is a very sprawling place. My father-in-law now lives in "Chicago," though he actually lives well over an hour out (in excellent traffic.) He says there are so many lakes out where he lives that it's absolutely gorgeous. I'll see for myself in September. :)

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The above stats appear to be metro areas. I believe New York is around 20,000 per square mile within the city limits. I think San Fran is second in density, and as mentioned in a previous post Miami is around 11,000.

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Compared to Chicago New Orleans is as dense as it is because it has to be. Chicago's urban area is only bordered by Lake Michigan, other than that it has plenty of room to sprawl. New Orleans is bordered by Lake Pontchartrain in the north and it's entire urban area is completely surrounded by swamps. You're unlikely to find a suburb in urban New Orleans with less than 3000 per sq mi. Most range from 4000-7000+ per sq mile. There's little room to be wasted by sprawling suburbs. Most or all of these cities are not at their peak population either.

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Compared to Chicago New Orleans is as dense as it is because it has to be. Chicago's urban area is only bordered by Lake Michigan, other than that it has plenty of room to sprawl. New Orleans is bordered by Lake Pontchartrain in the north and it's entire urban area is completely surrounded by swamps. You're unlikely to find a suburb in urban New Orleans with less than 3000 per sq mi. Most range from 4000-7000+ per sq mile. There's little room to be wasted by sprawling suburbs. Most or all of these cities are not at their peak population either.

i think thats metro Detroit's problem, its only bordered on one side by the Detroit River( which is the border with Canada), and then on the other sides, its all nice flat land for the most part.

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That's got to be the entire Chicagoland region. Now that you bring that up, Chicagoland is a very sprawling place. My father-in-law now lives in "Chicago," though he actually lives well over an hour out (in excellent traffic.) He says there are so many lakes out where he lives that it's absolutely gorgeous. I'll see for myself in September. :)

Lucky! I want to go back. Yes, Chicagoland is sprawling...but I guess like Texas, it's easily annexed land, so no reason these days to go up when you can still go out. In fact as I recall, two of the hot spots around there are kind of far out suburbs, Naperville (which is closer to Joliet I believe than Chicago) and Aurora. Anyway, that density stat must be Chicagoland as a whole because when you get very far outside the loop, the density goes way down.

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As far as density per square mile, I'm not at all surprised to see New Orleans at #5. I am, however, surprised to see Chicago at #10.

If New Orleans were to do away with certain areas of the city and concentrate its future growth in the downtown areas, like the boom that's occurring right now, it would no doubt be in the top 3 in density per square mile.

I just crunched some numbers and I figured if every city in the urban area was at it's peak then there would be 5,994 per sq mile. Also I'm not positive but I think New Orleans East didn't exist, or wasn't built up before the 1960 census. It would skew the results if I add New Orleans peak with 20 more sq miles of land added to that peak. If it wasn't added after the peak then cut away that 20 sq miles and the density rises to 6,687 per sq mile. If you want to add New Orleans East then you have to add the New Orleans peak population plus about 80,000 more and a rating of 6,409 per sq. mile. Either way the urban area would rank as 3rd or 2nd most dense of 1,000,000+ urban areas. Also the density might be slightly higher than the lowest rating as I was not able to check on some cities population peaks.

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I don't think people forget about the south. I think when you're talking about people who are not nerds (like those of us at Urban Planet.) When they think about the largest cities, the first thing that comes to mind, are what they hear and see on TV. The two largest cities in the south, Dallas, and Houston. Just don't get very much airtime on Television, and on screen. I think alot of people gauge how large a city is based on Metropolitan areas. Funny that in the south Miami has the largest metro area, I bet most people who were not in the know would think that Miami was the largest city. Or perhaps Atlanta.

The largest metro areas in the south would be

Miami

Dallas

Houston

and then Atlanta.

they are all so close in population too, they kind of meld with the other metropolis' in that population bracket.

I thought D/FW was the largest metro in the south. The pop is at about 6.5 million.

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I thought D/FW was the largest metro in the south. The pop is at about 6.5 million.

That order would be Dallas, Miami, Houston and Atlanta... though the last three are within 170,000 or so of each other... Dallas is bigger than Miami by about 600,000...

the top 20:

1

New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA: 21,903,623

2

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA: 17,629,607

3

Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI: 9,661,840

4

Washington-Baltimore- Northern Virginia, DC-MDVA: 8,083,126

5

San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA: 7,168,176

6

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX: 6,021,325

7

Philadelphia-Camden-Vineland, PA-NJ-DE-MD: 5,976,485

8

Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-NH: 5,804,816

9

Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI: 5,428,000

10

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL: 5,422,200

11

Houston-Baytown-Huntsville, TX: 5,380,661

12

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, GA-AL: 5,249,121

13

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale,AZ: 3,865,077

14

Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia,WA: 3,806,453

15

Minneapolis-St. Paul-St.Cloud, MN-WI: 3,467,108

16

San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA: 2,933,462

17

Cleveland-Akron-Elyria, OH: 2,931,774

18

St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL: 2,840,179

19

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL: 2,647,658

20

Denver-Aurora-Boulder, CO: 2,640,434

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To me, it's unfathomable that any American would not be able to indentify New York, LA and Chicago as the 3 largest U.S cities, even if they don't get the exact order right. I guess it wouldn't surprise me if most of those same people couldn't find those cities on a map either. :(

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So it seems based on the above numbers that the top 12 metro areas are a little above the 13-20 tier.

Well really 1 and 2 are in their places as they have been for a few years, then there is 3, 4, and 5, all gaped out with a million or so difference each followed by 6, 7 and 8 which are all around 6 million. Then you have 9-12 with 5.4 and 5.2 million. I wonder which city in the top 20 has the most area within it

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To me, it's unfathomable that any American would not be able to indentify New York, LA and Chicago as the 3 largest U.S cities, even if they don't get the exact order right. I guess it wouldn't surprise me if most of those same people couldn't find those cities on a map either. :(

Hey, I lived in CA and never thought LA was as big as it was - I had always guessed that the SF Bay Area was bigger! But that was until a couple years ago when I started to research and understand these things.

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I know that most people think of NYC as the "largest US city". But they really mean "most populus" or the one with the greatest population. The largest (meaning physical size) is Sitka, Alaska .

While New York City is the most populous city in the United States, Sitka, Alaska is the largest city in area. Sitka includes 2874 square miles of incorporated area. The city is larger than the state of Delaware! Officially known as the "City and Borough of Sitka," the city consolidated the City of Sitka Borough in 2000 to be the country's largest city.

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Juneau and Anchorage are also huge, in land area.

Top ten:

1 Sitka, Alaska 2,874 square miles

2 Juneau, Alaska 2,717

3 Anchorage, Alaska 1,697

4 Jacksonville, Florida 758

5 Anaconda, Montana 737

6 Butte, Montana 716

7 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 607

8 Houston, Texas 579

9 Phoenix, Arizona 475

10 Nashville, Tennessee 473

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Juneau and Anchorage are also huge, in land area.

Top ten:

1 Sitka, Alaska 2,874 square miles

2 Juneau, Alaska 2,717

3 Anchorage, Alaska 1,697

4 Jacksonville, Florida 758

5 Anaconda, Montana 737

6 Butte, Montana 716

7 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 607

8 Houston, Texas 579

9 Phoenix, Arizona 475

10 Nashville, Tennessee 473

Wow, and for comparison, Rhode Island is only 1,045 sq. miles.

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