U.S. Population Density Mapped

Population density has been monitored for more than 200 years in the U.S. During this time, the number of people living in the U.S. per square mile has grown from 4.5 in 1790 to 87.4 in 2010. Nowadays, the population density in the United States is 94 per square mile.

US counties by population density

Map of the U.S. population density by county

The population density of the U.S. ranges from state to state. The northeastern region of the U.S. the most densely populated part of the nation.

Approximately 65 percent of the U.S. population, or nearly 2 out of every 3 Americans, live in the red line, known as the “100 Mile Zone.”

Map of 100 Mile Zone of the U.S.

The most densely populated U.S. state is New Jersey (1,208 per sq mi). Rhode Island is the second-most densely populated U.S. state (~1,000 per sq mi). The least populated state is Alaska (1.3 per sq mi).

U.S. counties with lowest density, people per squre mile (2017)

1. Yukon-Koyukuk (Alaska) – 0,04
2. Lake and Peninsula (Alaska) – 0,06
3. Yakutat (Alaska) – 0,09
4. North Slope (Alaska) – 0,11
5. Denali (Alaska) – 0,16
6. Loving (Texas) – 0,20
7. Northwest Arctic (Alaska) – 0,21
8. Esmeralda (Nevada) – 0,24
9. Valdez-Cordova (Alaska) – 0,26
10. Dillingham (Alaska) – 0,26
11. Garfield (Montana) – 0,27
12. Southeast Fairbanks (Alaska) – 0,27
13. Kenedy (Texas) – 0,30
14. King (Texas) – 0,31
15. Petroleum (Montana) – 0,32
16. Harding (New Mexico) – 0,33
17. Terrell (Texas) – 0,33
18. Carter (Montana) – 0,37
19. Bethel (Alaska) – 0,43
20. Nome (Alaska) – 0,43

U.S. counties with highest population density, people per squre mile (2017)

1. New York (New York) – 73145,56
2. Kings (New York) – 44353,16
3. Bronx (New York) – 36842,09
4. Queens (New York) – 22424,67
5. San Francisco (California) – 18728,09
6. Hudson (New Jersey) – 12242,55
7. Suffolk (Massachusetts) – 11629,87
8. Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) – 10788,22
9. District of Columbia (District of Columbia) – 10513,95
10. Richmond (New York) – 9961,58
11. Manassas Park (Virginia) – 9590,23
12. Alexandria (Virginia) – 9277,07
13. Arlington (Virginia) – 9086,64
14. Baltimore City (Maryland) – 7165,31
15. Essex (New Jersey) – 6227,06
16. Cook (Illinois) – 5408,59
17. Union (New Jersey) – 5229,26
18. Norfolk (Virginia) – 5066,29
19. Nassau (New York) – 5020,89
20. Harrisonburg (Virginia) – 4855,71

U.S. counties by population density from 1990 to 2017

The significant U.S. population rise began nearby 1870. At that time, the population density was about 11 per sq mile, and then the population has doubled in the last century. Since then, population density rose by approximately 16% each decade.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population increase of 32.7 million people between 1990 and 2000 depicts the most considerable census-to-census rise in American history. The former record rise was 28 million people between 1950 and 1960. This gain was fueled primarily by the post-WWII baby boom.

The video below shows how U.S. population density has been changed from 1990 to nowadays.

GIF

The U.S. population density doubled in 1900 and increased in total by about 800% until 2010. The current population of the U.S. is 332 million (2020).

According to Census.gov, currently, the nation’s growth is slowing, and international migration growth is slowing as well, dropping to 595 thousand within 2018 and 2019. Between 2010 and 2019, the year with the highest international migration was 2016 (~ 1 million). Since 2016, the net international migration has been steadily declining every year.

Changes to the mean centre of population for the U.S.

The map below depicts how the mean centre of the U.S. population has been changed through times.

United States Mean Center of Population

The length of the path (1990-2917): 69.32 miles
Speed: 2.57 miles per year

The mean center of population for the  U.S. (Missouri counties):

1990: Crawford
1991: Crawford
1992: Crawford
1993: Crawford
1994: Crawford
1995: Crawford
1996: Phelps
1997: Dent
1998: Dent
1999: Dent
2000: Dent
2001: Dent
2002: Dent
2003: Dent

2004: Phelps
2005: Phelps
2006: Phelps
2007: Texas
2008: Texas
2009: Texas
2010: Texas
2011: Texas
2012: Texas
2013: Texas
2014: Texas
2015: Texas
2016: Wright
2017: Wright

Median centres of population for the 48 U.S. States

Reddit user curiouskip made an exciting map of median centers of population for the lower 48 states.

The median center of populations of the state is the intersection of the population-weighted median latitude and longitude. It appears on the map below as the point of intersection of all four colors.

Map of the median center of U.S. population

Each color represents a one quadrant split by the median population latitudes and longitudes. Each of the below groupings represents one half of that’s state’s population. Note that a single quadrant does not represent one-quarter of a state’s population.

1 Star2 Stars (3 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
Loading...