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The 20 Most Densely Populated Cities in the U.S. 2022


The United States is a country consisting of 50 states. The 2022 world data shows that the U.S. population as of 1st January 2022 stands at 332,403,650. A corresponding increase should follow an increase in population development. A closer look at the population distribution in the United States shows that some of the largest cities are also the most densely populated. Below is a list of the most densely populated cities in the U.S. in 2022.

San Bernardino

20. Riverside-San Bernardino, California (2,556,000)

San Bernardino is a city located in the Inland Empire in Southern California. The city was given its name in 1810 by a Spanish priest who visited the region for an expedition. It is the 20th most populated city in the United States. Most of the population comprises whites at 45%, 19% Non-Hispanic whites, and 15% African Americans. San Bernardino is known for lying on one of the most famous roads in the world, Route 66. The population of this city has grown significantly since the 19th century making it a commercial city at the crossroads between the American southwest and Southern California.


19. Las Vegas, Nevada (2,839,000)

Las Vegas, or simply Vegas, is the most populated city in the state of Nevada and number 19 on this list. The city prides itself in being the entertainment capital of the world. A large majority of the population staying in Vegas is attracted by the hype and fun found in the city. According to Visit Las Vegas, Vegas is famous for its large and luxurious casinos, which makes it an entertainment hub. The hospitality industry of Vegas attracts a large number of tourists who flock to the city every year. Vegas comprises mostly non-Hispanic whites, who comprise approximately 72% of the total population. The city's economy mainly depends on tourism, with claims of having more five-diamond hotels than any other city in the world.


18. Denver, Colorado (2,897,000)

Denver is a city in the state of Colorado. It is classified as a Beta World City. Beta World City, also known as Global City, is a city that connects a world economy to a moderate economic zone. It is the 18th most densely populated city in the United States. Denver has a mixed population. 54% of the population comprises whites; Hispanics and Latinos comprise 29.3% of the population. The rest of the population consists of Mexican Americans, African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders.


17. Tampa, Florida (2,945,000)

Tampa is a gulf city on the northern shore of Tampa Bay. The original inhabitants of this region were the Timucua and Calusa people. Early settlers of this city settled in Fort Brooke. In 1884, the region experienced an increase in population stimulated by new industries. Tampa has the largest deep water port in Florida. Besides the port, Tampa's international airports, highways, and railroads attract a large number of the population.


16. Minneapolis, Minnesota (2,967,000)

Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota. It is famous for its abundant waters having a record of thirteen lakes, the Mississippi River, waterfalls, wetlands, and creeks. Minneapolis has one of the largest public parks in the United States. This city has a long history of structural racism because of the racial disparity in the region. There is also a wide disparity in education, housing, income, and access to healthcare. Despite these, the city has a large population because of its natural beauty and urban sophistication.

San Diego

15. San Diego, California (3,295,000)

San Diego is one of the major cities in the state of California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean next to the Mexican border. It has a population of approximately 3,295,000 residents. The city's population has grown tremendously from 1,307,000 in 2010. San Diego is famous for its extensive beaches, natural deep-water harbors, numerous parks, and mild all-year climate, which attracts most of its population. The city has a booming culture, art, and culinary arts. The most talented culinary artists usually compete to prepare award-winning sumptuous meals. Golf is one of the main sports played in this region, with the city having 92 golf courses.

San Francisco

14. San Francisco, California (3,318,000)

San Francisco is the 14th most densely populated city in the United States. The city is the commercial and cultural center of Northern California. The total landmass covered by the city is approximately 46.9 square miles. The population of the city can be described as majority-minority. This means the population comprises 41.3% whites, 33% Asians, 5.3% African Americans, and 9.9% Multiracial Americans. According to Wikipedia, the rest of the population comprises Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians.


13. Seattle, Washington (3,489,000)

Seattle is an urban and dynamic city and the largest metropolis in Pacific North. The city acts as a major port and a gateway to Alaska and Asia by air and sea. Like many other western cities, Seattle boasts resources on a wide hinterland extending further east to Montana. The city of Seattle is characterized by closely knit urban districts and distinct neighborhoods. The city also has thriving commercial, industrial and cultural activities throughout the year. Seattle is generally considered a commercial and financial center.


12. Detroit, Michigan (3,521,000)

It is the largest city in the state of Michigan. Detroit is considered a major cultural center and famous for its contribution to art, music, design, and architecture. According to Time, the city of Detroit is classified as among the top fifty greatest places to explore in 2022. This is because it has a diverse culture and influence locally and internationally. Regarding music, the city is known to be the hub of music genres techno and Motown. It has also played a big role in advancing rock, jazz, hip-hop, punk, and rock music.


11. Boston, Massachusetts (4,327,000)

The city of Boston is the capital of Massachusetts and the 11th most densely populated city in the United States. The city covers a large region known as Greater Boston, which is an economic and cultural hub. Boston is considered one of the oldest municipalities in the United States. Since its foundation in 1630, the city has grown from a manufacturing hub to an important port. It has expanded its geographical area through municipal annexation and land reclamation. The city's rich history makes it a tourist but attracts nearly 20 million visitors annually. Today, Boston is a vibrant academic city hosting many colleges and universities.


10. Phoenix, Arizona (4,652,000)

Phoenix, nicknamed Valley of the Sun, is the capital of the state of Arizona. The city prides itself in having all-year-round warmth and sunshine. Major parts of the city are surrounded by sandstones, cacti, modern architecture, and historical sites. According to Phoenix, Phoenix attracts a large percentage of the U.S. population because of the city's diverse nature. In this city, there is something for everyone. Party lovers are sorted with the numerous clubs located in the city. Phoenix is also a city that accommodates sports fans and historical lovers.

Washington DC

9. Washington DC (5,434,000)

At number nine, we have the federal district and the capital city of the United States of America. Washington DC is situated on the eastern bank of the Potomac River, bordering the states of Virginia and Maryland. This city is named after the first president and the founding father of the United States, George Washington. Washington DC is a significant city because it houses the U.S. federal government and numerous international organizations. It is ranked as one of the most toured cities in the U.S., receiving an average of 20 million visitors annually.


8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (5,756,000)

Philadelphia, often called Philly, is a historic city in the United States. The city was founded in 1682 by Penn William and served as the capital city of the Pennsylvania colony. It is the city where the American founding fathers united and the spring hold of America's freedom. Many people prefer to live in this city because it has centuries-old neighborhoods and many historical sites. The city is also considered a top national academic research center because of its many universities and colleges. Philadelphia hosts many U.S. firsts; here, the country's first national library was constructed in 1731, the first medical school in 1765, and the first zoo in 1874.


7. Atlanta, Georgia (6,013,000)

At number seven, we have the city of Atlanta in Georgia State. There has been an influx of population in Atlanta because of the recent migration of people to the city. Atlanta is an attractive city because it accommodates different types of people, from big city lovers to laid-back suburban, and those in between are all welcome. It is estimated that between 2016 and 2017, Atlanta received close to 10,000 new residents. This can be attributed to the city's booming economy, vibrant communities, and many green areas that attract millennials and retirees.


6. Miami, Florida (6,215,000)

The mention of Miami rings a bell to fun and sandy beaches. Miami is the sixth most populated city in the United States. The city is known for its fine beaches and glamorous culture. Its cultural diversity is attributed to the city's geographical location, which is situated near Cuba. According to Trip 101, during the reign of Fidel Castro, many Cubans sought refuge in Miami, bringing along their culture. Diverse cultures mean a wide variety of cuisines. The food culture in Miami attracts a large percentage of the population. Many people love to travel here to enjoy the city's perfect weather. The city is very welcoming because it is pleasantly warm in winter and extremely warm in summer.


5. Dallas-Fort Worth (6,488,000)

Dallas is a cosmopolitan city in north-central Texas. The city is famous for its high concentration of shopping centers and restaurants. The city is lit at night by skyscrapers such as Reunion Towers and Bank of America Plaza. Dallas is known for its ethnic diversity, where approximately less than half of the modern-day population is of European descent. A large majority of the population is made up of African Americans and Hispanics. Dallas also has a well-diversified economy, with the Dallas market center being the world's largest wholesale shopping merchandise.


4. Houston, Texas (6,603,000)

It is a large metropolis in Texas. Houston city is named after Sam Houston, the first president of Texas, initially the Republic of Texas. Among the major cities in the United States, Houston is the only city that has no legislated land-use zoning laws. This means it is possible to construct any building anywhere. You can find a shop near a hospital and a restaurant beside a school without interference.


3. Chicago, Illinois (8,901,000)

Chicago is the largest city in the state of Illinois. It is found in the northeastern part of Illinois. The city started as a small settlement on the banks of the Chicago River in the southern part of Lake Michigan. Chicago is characterized by a lively neighborhood of immigrants who have brought their cultures into the city. A recent survey shows a representation of different cultures in restaurants, food stores, music, and clothing shops. The growth of this city is directly attributed to the city's image of aggressiveness.


2. Los Angeles, California (12,488,000)

Los Angeles is the second most populated city in The United States of America. The city is located in Southern California, sprawling through the coastal plains between the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Inside this city are other incorporated cities such as Pasadena, Beverly Hills, and Long Beach. According to Britannica, Los Angeles is a world-class city and the heart of Southern California.


1. New York (18, 867,000)

According to Metro Area Rankings 2022, New York is the most densely populated city in the United States. According to Investopedia, the city covers 300.46 square miles with a population of 18,867,000, per the 2022 ranking. New York City is located in the Southern part of New York State. It is the most densely populated city in the United States because it is a metropolitan area. New York is not just a city but a collection of neighborhoods located in five boroughs: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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