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U.S. Census - Densest Cities are in the West

Los Angeles tops the list of the densest United States urban areas
 L.A. wins the title as America's densest city

What American cities come to mind when you think of urban density? New York? Chicago? According to 2010 Census results, you need to start thinking west – way west.

Of the ten most densely populated cities in the United States, nine are found in western states – with seven in California alone. Los Angeles packs the most people per square mile (6,266), and nabs the title for most crowded densely populated urban center.

San Jose (5820 residents per square mile), Delano (5,483 residents per square mile) round out the top three, with New York finally batting cleanup with 5,319 residents per square mile.


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In terms of sheer population, the Big Apple reigns supreme, however, with more than 18 million residents calling its streets home – six million more than second-place L.A., and nearly 10 million more than the third most-populated American city, Chicago.

Urban density is gaining enthusiasm as one of the most effective ways of beating sprawl and climate change, as tightly-packed city centers consume far less resources than their suburban, less efficient counterparts.

The Census results also revealed the nation’s fastest growing urban areas (with populations over one million) – Charlotte, North Carolina exploded over 64 percent, followed closely by Austin Texas (51 percent) and Nevada (43 percent).

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