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Old 12-07-2019, 07:46 PM
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Perceptions of US cities vs population size


I've wondered off and on for some time about how-well correlated most people's perceptions of what cities are "major" compared to the population size. The ten-biggest cities (all of which now have over a million people each) would be pretty well correlated. Some -- perhaps many -- of the ones further down the list, not so well. For example, probably almost everybody would place Miami on their list of major cities before Colorado Springs--and yet Colorado Springs has more population, and has for some time. (CS is currently the 39th biggest city in the nation, and Miami is 40th.)

For myself, I would certainly list Atlanta (#37), Kansas City MO (#38), Omaha (#42), and even Pittsburgh (#66) before Mesa AZ (#35).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...#United_States
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:08 PM
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Some of those numbers are probably a bit skewed as the population will only reflect the city proper and not the surrounding metropolitan area. For example Milwaukee is shown as 592,000 but the entire metropolitan area is in excess of 1.5 million.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:12 PM
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Mesa tends to get lumped together with Phoenix, since it's basically a suburb and maybe twenty miles away; Colorado Springs is farther from Denver, but I at least tend to lump those two together as well. I expect most people think of Arlington, Texas (#48) only as a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, rather than a freestanding city in its own right.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:16 PM
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The incorporated area of Colorado Springs is 5 times the size of Miami. Population density plays as much (if not more ) of a role on perception as total population.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:37 PM
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Before I look at the list, I’ll mention the classic example is San Jose (bigger) vs. San Francisco (more famous, and perceived by most as bigger, surely).
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mallard View Post
Some of those numbers are probably a bit skewed as the population will only reflect the city proper and not the surrounding metropolitan area. For example Milwaukee is shown as 592,000 but the entire metropolitan area is in excess of 1.5 million.
Yeah, the population of the entire metropolitan area is really a better measure for most things than just the population of the incorporated city. I was surprised to see that Charlotte (16) ranked so much higher than Atlanta (37). But when you look at the entire metropolitan statistical area the positions are reversed, with Atlanta–Athens-Clarke County–Sandy Springs at 11 and Charlotte-Concord at 23. That's probably has a lot to do with people's perceptions of Atlanta's size. The metro area is quite large, but most of that population doesn't live in the city of Atlanta proper, but in the suburbs just outside the city.

Many people are surprised at how small San Francisco's population is, as well. I mean, ranking #15 is nothing to sneeze at, but most people assume it's much bigger. In fact, San Jose has a larger population than San Francisco. But taken all together, the entire San Francisco Bay Area (Which includes San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and other smaller suburbs) is the 5th largest metro area in the US.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 12-07-2019 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:27 PM
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Before I look at the list, I’ll mention the classic example is San Jose (bigger) vs. San Francisco (more famous, and perceived by most as bigger, surely).
San Jose didn't pass San Francisco in population until the 1980's. San Francisco was #15 in 1860 and has been one of the 15 largest U.S. cities for the 160 years ever since. Only New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia (and Brooklyn if you will) can also make that claim. S.F. "played in the big leagues": it was once headquarters of the world's largest commercial bank; King Tut visited S.F. on his famous world tour; and so on.

When I was a teenager in the San Jose area and someone said "Let's go to the City" they meant San Francisco.

Last edited by septimus; 12-07-2019 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:33 PM
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A agree with bear nenno, I think population density is a big part of perception.

But also I wonder what role culture or sports plays. If a city has professional sports teams for example I think it is labeled a major city more than a city without them of the same size.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:50 PM
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I don't think population density is the biggest factor. Here, according to Wikipedia, are the ten incorporated cities with the largest population density.

Gutenberg, NJ
Union City, NJ
West New York, NJ
Hoboken, NJ
Kaser, NY
New York, NY
Cliffside Park, NJ
East Newark, NJ
Maywood, CA
Passaic, NJ

Los Angeles is not even in the top 100.

Last edited by JWT Kottekoe; 12-07-2019 at 09:50 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:13 PM
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But also I wonder what role culture or sports plays. If a city has professional sports teams for example I think it is labeled a major city more than a city without them of the same size.
And there are things like whether the city has an airport with its name on it, and how big that airport is. Since ATL is the busiest airport in the USA it probably gives people the impression that Atlanta is a very big city.
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Old 12-08-2019, 02:14 AM
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A agree with bear nenno, I think population density is a big part of perception.

But also I wonder what role culture or sports plays. If a city has professional sports teams for example I think it is labeled a major city more than a city without them of the same size.
But sports teams bearing the name of a city are often not in that city. To continue with the Bay Area example, the San Francisco 49ers are now in Santa Clara. Who feels reasonably ripped off by the lack of attention.

There might also be a landmark factor. There was a House Hunters episode set in our town. They showed the Golden Gate bridge as an establishing shot, which is easily 30 miles away and has nada to do with us.
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Old 12-08-2019, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
But also I wonder what role culture or sports plays. If a city has professional sports teams for example I think it is labeled a major city more than a city without them of the same size.
Green Bay (my home town) is probably an extreme example of this. While most sports fans know that Green Bay is the smallest city to be home to an NFL team, I often find that people are surprised to learn just how small the city is -- Green Bay proper has only 104,000 people. If you include its suburbs, you only get to 206,000, and its "metropolitan statistical area" (which includes all of the county it's in, along with two neighboring counties) is only 320,000.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:17 AM
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In my younger days I compared New York State to Los Angeles County. Both had one city of over a million, a couple around a half-million, and a dozen over 100k. But I did not FEEL that equivalence; metro LA, like metro NYC, just seemed a vast human blob.

A slew of interior US cities were major before deregulation of the last 40 years pushed money toward the coasts. Are major cities now marked by homeless hoards?

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S.F. "played in the big leagues": it was once headquarters of the world's largest commercial bank; King Tut visited S.F. on his famous world tour; and so on.
Tut came twice and we were there both times, first with wedding-gift tickets (and SNL Steve Martin tees), then decades later because we could afford to had to. As for BofA: I gained much muscle mass as a bicycle courier pumping uphill to the Monolith overlooking the Financial District.

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When I was a teenager in the San Jose area and someone said "Let's go to the City" they meant San Francisco.
It's still "THE City" and don't anyone dare forget that! Then there was the garbage train hauling municipal trash to distant landfills - a train universally known as The Shitty of San Francisco.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:47 AM
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I see issues with both lists mentioned and how they calculate the numbers. An example is Salt Lake City. On the Cities it's 114th, behind cities I haven't heard of. On the combined statistical area it's 26th, which is probably too high.
And where I live is in the Nashville combined statistical area, and I don't see how this could be considered Nashville. They consider it a micropolitan area.

For me a misconception is influenced by the size of the cities when I learned about them. For example, the Research Triangle cities in North Carolina has gone from under 500,000 to over 2,000,000 in the last 50 years. I see it closer to 500,000.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:46 AM
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It's not the population living within the city limits that matters, nor the population density alone. Even the population within metropolitan areas as defined by the Census bureau don't do a particularly good job of standardizing things in my opinion.

A few years back, Louisville dramatically increased its official city population through the simple expediency of annexing the rest of its county. Louisville did not suddenly become a vastly more important city in the grand scheme of things. The event inspired me to wonder what would happen to the population of Boston (currently about 700,000 people in 48 square miles) if that city serially annexed its most densely populated contiguous suburbs until it reached the same land area as Chicago (population 2.7 million in 221 square miles). It would still be smaller in population than Chicago but not by very much. I don't remember the exact figure I calculated, but I know Boston would easily be in the top 10 instead of stuck at number 21.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:00 PM
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On the opposite side, Buffalo, NY may be overrepresented because it doesn't have an extensive suburb network relative to its population, even compared to the other major cities of Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany.

I grew up in Fredonia which is only 35 miles from southern Lackawanna (a town which is definitely in the orbit of Buffalo) and not only did we not consider ourselves in the orbit of Buffalo, we rarely even talked about Buffalo. Whereas you can drive 60 miles and still be in the Orlando suburbs, or 40 miles for Albany despite it technically being a smaller city than Buffalo.

Last edited by Ludovic; 12-08-2019 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JWT Kottekoe View Post
I don't think population density is the biggest factor. Here, according to Wikipedia, are the ten incorporated cities with the largest population density.

Gutenberg, NJ
Union City, NJ
West New York, NJ
Hoboken, NJ
Kaser, NY
New York, NY
Cliffside Park, NJ
East Newark, NJ
Maywood, CA
Passaic, NJ

Los Angeles is not even in the top 100.
If you have cities with vast city limits, like Los Angeles, then the population density overall is not going to reflect what is the central part of a city. I mean, Maywood????? Really? Griffith Park itself (inside L.A.) is five times larger than the city of Maywood, which is really just part of the L.A. metro area.

At one time, (the 1990s), the census tracks just west of downtown L.A. had the highest population density in the country--higher than NYC. They were like a bunch of Maywoods all together. (That density has decreased since then, though, and I don't know how they compare now.) The national media imagine of L.A. tends to be more of either the Westside or the suburbs, both much more spread out--that's a filtered image.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:40 PM
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Here is a 2012 piece (CityLab, analyzing 2010 census data)) on the densest US metro areas.
Quote:
The population-weighted density approach reveals that the areas with people living at the highest density levels—metro areas with 5,000 or more people per square mile—were clustered mainly in California and along the corridor stretching from Boston to Washington. Other very dense metro areas included Chicago, Honolulu, Laredo, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, and San Juan. Low-density metro areas, on the other hand—those with fewer than 1,000 people per square mile— were generally clustered in the South.
Densest (weighted) US metro areas then were: 1) New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA; 2) San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA; 3) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA; 4) Honolulu, HI; 5) Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI.

I searched CityLab for compare USA metro areas populations. Sort the results by date for the latest analyses.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JWT Kottekoe View Post
I don't think population density is the biggest factor. Here, according to Wikipedia, are the ten incorporated cities with the largest population density.

Gutenberg, NJ
Union City, NJ
West New York, NJ
Hoboken, NJ
Kaser, NY
New York, NY
Cliffside Park, NJ
East Newark, NJ
Maywood, CA
Passaic, NJ

Los Angeles is not even in the top 100.
That's basically a list of tiny suburbs. It's the wrong list to use.

The one you want is in List of United States cities by population density Only cities over 100,000 are included, and even many of the densest of those are New York suburbs. At over 8,000 per square mile, Los Angeles is fantastically dense given its huge area.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:16 PM
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When I was a teenager in the San Jose area and someone said "Let's go to the City" they meant San Francisco.
They still mean that.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JWT Kottekoe View Post
I don't think population density is the biggest factor. Here, according to Wikipedia, are the ten incorporated cities with the largest population density.

Gutenberg, NJ
Union City, NJ
West New York, NJ
Hoboken, NJ
Kaser, NY
New York, NY
Cliffside Park, NJ
East Newark, NJ
Maywood, CA
Passaic, NJ

Los Angeles is not even in the top 100.
Nine of those cities are part of the NYC MSA and one of them is part of the LA MSA. So I don't know if that really undermines my point per se, because they're part of what are considered world class cities.

Seattle has a population of 725k, about the same as Nashville at 691k. But Seattle is more considered a large, world class city than Nashville.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:34 PM
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A big part of what makes a city a "major" city is that it has a history of being a major city. Kansas City now has almost 200,000 more people than St. Louis, but St. Louis was "major" before KC was even founded. Heck, Henderson, Nevada has more people than St. Louis, but do even Nevadans consider Henderson to be "major"?

I see by the Wikipedia list that Fresno has more people than Sacramento and Omaha has more than Minneapolis. Clearly, population is only one indicator of majorness.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:51 PM
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If a city has professional sports teams for example I think it is labeled a major city more than a city without them of the same size.
This is exactly what I was thinking. When I was growing up I had memorized which cities and MLB, NBA, and NFL teams by second grade. I don't recall that I ever had to study the actual population of American cities. So Pittsburg, St. Louis, and Cincinatti were major cities because they had teams. El Paso, Tucson, and Louisville were minor because they did not.

(And I would never have guessed that Columbus, OH is more than twice as large as Cleveland.)
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:30 AM
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I call it "the media effect".

Most people have heard of Harvard, MIT, UCLA, Oxford or Cambridge; ask someone who's not French to name two French universities and they'll get stuck at "Sorbonne". Few people have heard of King's College, the University of Edinburgh, the Institut Polytechnique de Lyon, or know that the reason the Bologna protocols were signed there is that the University of Bologna is the longest-running one in the world.

How often does any of those get mentioned in the media?

Now apply the same analysis to names of US cities. So, yeah, having a famous university named like your city, or having a popular sports team will put you on the map. Even being used in movies as shorthand for BFE will put you on the map.

Last edited by Nava; 12-09-2019 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:47 AM
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At over 8,000 per square mile, Los Angeles is fantastically dense given its huge area.
LA gets a lot of flack for sprawl, but the geographical constraints mean that its sprawl has to be pretty dense compared to a flat interior city.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 12-09-2019 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:53 AM
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San Jose is the king of this. It has no clear identity beyond the general Silicon Valley stereotypes. I spent most of my life not too far away, and I think I've only visited 2 or 3 times. All those times were enjoyable, it's not a bad town, just much larger than it's reputation.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:06 AM
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Many good observations so far, vis-a-vis "cities".

But I have come to notice a similar dynamic about towns: which is that when going through a town in the rural or rural-ish parts of the US, that the towns/hamlets seem "bigger" compared to their actual populations than similar sized towns ( based on casual appearances ) in suburban/exurban towns. Put another way, and what strikes me most, is I'm surprised of how small a rural town's population actually is. By appearance it could be a town of 7, 8, 9, 10 thousand people as it would be in the suburbs and exurbs, but a similar appearing town in the rural area might be barely 2000 people.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:18 AM
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American cities don't usually annex their suburbs. European and Asian cities often do. WHich leads to the examples we have of Boston and St Louis, two small cities. with big ass Metro areas.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:56 AM
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LA gets a lot of flack for sprawl, but the geographical constraints mean that its sprawl has to be pretty dense compared to a flat interior city.
Yes--after all, there's a mountain range in the middle of the city, which is mostly uninhabited. If you took away that mountain range, along with the San Fernando Valley--which arguably is a city on its own--the density would most likely increase a lot.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:21 AM
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Weird almost simulpost from this thread in a different forum :

Quote:
Gotta admit, my initial reaction was to wonder whether Kansas City is a "major" US city?

Upon looking, tho, I see it is #38, 1 slot behind Atlanta, and 2 ahead of Miami. Weird how some cities seem (to me) larger or smaller than their population alone would suggest.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:30 AM
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A big part of what makes a city a "major" city is that it has a history of being a major city. Kansas City now has almost 200,000 more people than St. Louis, but St. Louis was "major" before KC was even founded. Heck, Henderson, Nevada has more people than St. Louis, but do even Nevadans consider Henderson to be "major"?

I see by the Wikipedia list that Fresno has more people than Sacramento and Omaha has more than Minneapolis. Clearly, population is only one indicator of majorness.
Like good ole Dee-troit. It has such a giant sprawl of land mass with *nothing* in it. Its kinda creepy in certain areas. No services no people no life just sprawling silence. And then all of a sudden you'll come up to a lone house with people living in it. I think Detroit is in the top 10 cities nationwide in geographical size. With a paltry 600,000 population. It isnt even the most populous city in MI any longer.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:44 AM
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City limits are relevant if you live there and as it relates to local government and services.

City limit populations are worse than worthless because they are deceiving. Don't use them for anything.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...tistical_areas

The highest one that is surprising because you don't think of it as a city is "Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA" I know that it is lumped into LA in the Combined Statistical Areas, so a lot of people consider it part of LA.

Last edited by Hermitian; 12-09-2019 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:55 AM
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American cities don't usually annex their suburbs. European and Asian cities often do. WHich leads to the examples we have of Boston and St Louis, two small cities. with big ass Metro areas.
Or DFW, which is the fourth largest metro area at 7.5 million people, but Dallas and Fort Worth themselves are 1.3 million and 829,000 people respectively. The DFW metroplex is 11 counties with 14 cities greater than 100,000 each.

Contrast that with Houston and its metro area, which is roughly 7 million, but 2.2 million of that is strictly Houston alone, with only 2 other cities over 100,000 (The Woodlands and Sugar Land). Houston has had a historical policy of aggressive annexation over its history, resulting in 1/3 of the metro area population being within the city limits.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:23 AM
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A big part of what makes a city a "major" city is that it has a history of being a major city. Kansas City now has almost 200,000 more people than St. Louis, but St. Louis was "major" before KC was even founded.
Yes, but this is also an example of the distinction between the city proper and the metropolitan region. Looks like St. Louis is the nation's 20th lagrest metropolitan area while Kansas City is 31st.
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:04 PM
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Like good ole Dee-troit. It has such a giant sprawl of land mass with *nothing* in it. Its kinda creepy in certain areas. No services no people no life just sprawling silence. And then all of a sudden you'll come up to a lone house with people living in it. I think Detroit is in the top 10 cities nationwide in geographical size. With a paltry 600,000 population. It isnt even the most populous city in MI any longer.
It's #64 as a city, or #9 by urban area. By density, the metro is #15. A lot of the very large cities by area are in Alaska.

It's not the most populous city anymore? What is then?

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Old 12-09-2019, 02:48 PM
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It's #64 as a city, or #9 by urban area. By density, the metro is #15. A lot of the very large cities by area are in Alaska.

It's not the most populous city anymore? What is then?
I was wrong. Its still number 1

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Old 12-09-2019, 02:54 PM
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I must have been thinking of population *growth* as the marker., for which Grand Rapids was #1. Either that or im just bonkers.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:38 PM
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I tend to look at a “city” as any populated areas that are directly connected. Houston, looked at from northwest to southeast for example, starts in The Woodlands and runs all the way to Galveston by this method. San Antonio and Austin are also close to merging along the I-35 corridor. Of course I consider Dallas and Fort Worth (and Arlington) as all part of the same city. As such i disagree with the count on a lot of the cities that are cited in the Wikipedia list.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:04 PM
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I tend to look at a “city” as any populated areas that are directly connected. Houston, looked at from northwest to southeast for example, starts in The Woodlands and runs all the way to Galveston by this method. San Antonio and Austin are also close to merging along the I-35 corridor. Of course I consider Dallas and Fort Worth (and Arlington) as all part of the same city. As such i disagree with the count on a lot of the cities that are cited in the Wikipedia list.
While I don't disagree, what's the limit on population sparseness for you? For instance, between Buffalo and Niagara Falls there is a 2 mile section where not more than 1000 feet is empty at any one place, and the populated roads are a lot sparser than in a genuine city, but those populated roads are completely lined with residences.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:34 PM
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I tend to look at a “city” as any populated areas that are directly connected. Houston, looked at from northwest to southeast for example, starts in The Woodlands and runs all the way to Galveston by this method. San Antonio and Austin are also close to merging along the I-35 corridor. Of course I consider Dallas and Fort Worth (and Arlington) as all part of the same city. As such i disagree with the count on a lot of the cities that are cited in the Wikipedia list.
You're referring to Metropolitan Statistical Areas, which are exactly as you describe- the Houston/Woodlands/Sugar Land MSA runs from Dayton/Mount Belvieu to Sealy, and from Conroe to Galveston. The DFW Metroplex runs from Denton to Ennis and from Terrell to Weatherford.

A lot of places end up being smaller individual cities, but part of much larger metropolitan areas- Dallas, for example is the 9th largest city, but is the nucleus of the 4th largest metro area.

Last edited by bump; 12-09-2019 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:54 PM
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I've wondered off and on for some time about how-well correlated most people's perceptions of what cities are "major" compared to the population size. The ten-biggest cities (all of which now have over a million people each) would be pretty well correlated. Some -- perhaps many -- of the ones further down the list, not so well. For example, probably almost everybody would place Miami on their list of major cities before Colorado Springs--and yet Colorado Springs has more population, and has for some time. (CS is currently the 39th biggest city in the nation, and Miami is 40th.)

For myself, I would certainly list Atlanta (#37), Kansas City MO (#38), Omaha (#42), and even Pittsburgh (#66) before Mesa AZ (#35).
I think it's probably has something to do with cities like Atlanta and Pittsburgh (possibly KS and Omaha, although I've never been) having distinct character and architectural style. Mesa AZ looks like a massive sprawl of suburban "superblocks" in the desert.
  #42  
Old 12-09-2019, 06:42 PM
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I must have been thinking of population *growth* as the marker., for which Grand Rapids was #1. Either that or im just bonkers.
That must be it, GR shows up on a lot of "best cities you need to move to" lists.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:07 PM
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American cities don't usually annex their suburbs. European and Asian cities often do. WHich leads to the examples we have of Boston and St Louis, two small cities. with big ass Metro areas.
The history of annexation in America is completely time dependent.

The older east coast mostly started limiting annexation in the late 19th century and shut it down by the early 20th. Philadelphia is the classic example. It stayed as the 2 square mile area of William Penn's original plot until 1854, when it suddenly grew to take in the entire county and became 134 sq. mi. And stayed that size ever after.

By the early 20th century, cities were being seen as dangerous and full of Others, mostly immigrants. The well-to-do had already started to flee the cities for suburbs, mostly along railroad or streetcar lines. The last thing they wanted was being forced to have their taxes used for people not like them. They took control of state legislatures and passed laws that required majorities in both areas in order for an annexation to take place. That effectively shut the process down.

Most western cities developed later and got their big growth in the automobile era. They had downtowns but cars allowed for multiple nodes across a wider area. Generally speaking, newer cities are much larger and states allowed much easier annexation because it was cost effective to combine services and no groups stood to lose their identities.

There's also a third, short-lived, trend. Post WWII, metro consolidation was considered the way to avoid the city/suburb battles of the past. Jacksonville and Indianapolis are examples, but there are a number of different models found on this page. Suburbs continued to resist consolidation in most areas, and the trend has basically stopped.
  #44  
Old 12-10-2019, 12:41 PM
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San Jose is the king of this. It has no clear identity beyond the general Silicon Valley stereotypes. I spent most of my life not too far away, and I think I've only visited 2 or 3 times. All those times were enjoyable, it's not a bad town, just much larger than it's reputation.
That song "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" doesn't help:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dionne Warwick

You can really breathe in San Jose
They've got a lot of space. There'll be a place where I can stay
  #45  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:13 PM
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Had I not learned otherwise some number of years ago, I'd have gone to my grave thinking the largest city in Florida was Miami (population: half a million), not Jacksonville (population: close to a million). Who the hell ever heard of "Jacksonville Vice"? But like San Francisco/San Jose, being the more famous city doesn't necessarily make for being the bigger city.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:37 PM
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Had I not learned otherwise some number of years ago, I'd have gone to my grave thinking the largest city in Florida was Miami (population: half a million), not Jacksonville (population: close to a million). Who the hell ever heard of "Jacksonville Vice"? But like San Francisco/San Jose, being the more famous city doesn't necessarily make for being the bigger city.
Did you read this thread? The number of people in the city limits of Miami is smaller because Jacksonville has huge city limits. City limits only really matter for government services.

By all other measures, Miami is larger. Using MSAs, Miami is 6.2M people in 2018 and Jacksonville is 1.5M people in 2018.
  #47  
Old 12-12-2019, 07:20 PM
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King Tut visited S.F. on his famous world tour; and so on.
I’m pretty sick and pretty sleep deprived....this sentence almost destroyed my entire understanding of history.
  #48  
Old 12-13-2019, 01:43 AM
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San Jose didn't pass San Francisco in population until the 1980's. San Francisco was #15 in 1860 and has been one of the 15 largest U.S. cities for the 160 years ever since. Only New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia (and Brooklyn if you will) can also make that claim. S.F. "played in the big leagues": it was once headquarters of the world's largest commercial bank; King Tut visited S.F. on his famous world tour; and so on.

When I was a teenager in the San Jose area and someone said "Let's go to the City" they meant San Francisco.
I don't think Tutankhamun made it to San Jose, but it does house one of the bigger Egyptology museums.
  #49  
Old 12-13-2019, 05:27 AM
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I live in Austin; it's still perceived as a mere middle-size city despite being larger, population-wise, than Seattle, Denver, Washington DC, Boston, Detroit and San Francisco.
  #50  
Old 12-13-2019, 06:23 AM
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I live in Austin; it's still perceived as a mere middle-size city despite being larger, population-wise, than Seattle, Denver, Washington DC, Boston, Detroit and San Francisco.
Austin Metro area is No 30.
Seattle (16th), Denver (19tg), DC (6th or 3rd, depending on how Baltimore is counted), Boston (10th), Detroit (14th) and San Francisco (11th) are all larger.
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