The Most Populated Cities in the USA

While the United States has more than 330 million people spread across 50 states, the majority of them live in nine states. Half of the population live in Georgia, New York, California, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and Texas.  Of the most populated cities in the USA, three are in California and three are in Texas. The remainder all metropolitan areas that are spread across the lower 48 states, but the two outlying states each only have one city that makes it into the top 100 most densely populated cities.


01New York City, New York

There are an estimated 8.6 million residents in New York City. Not only is the most populous city in the country, but the life expectancy here is also above the national average. Residents here live to an average age of 80.9 years, which is greater than the national average of 78.7. It is expected that the city will be home to more than 9 million residents by 2040 with the Bronx being the borough with the most rapid growth. The urban appeal, trendy neighborhoods and a host of jobs appeal to people in this city.

02Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles has an estimated 4 million residents within the city. Koreatown is the most densely populated neighborhood out of the 272 in the city. Many of the communities are based on ethnicities, such as Chinatown, Little Ethiopia, and Little Tokyo. While the state’s population is estimated to grow by about 1 percent per year, Los Angeles has a much faster growth rate of 4.7 percent. Proximity to the beach and Disneyland, as well as a variety of jobs, appeal to people who call Los Angeles home.

03Chicago, Illinois

Around 2.6 million people call Chicago home. While every other city on the list has increased in population steadily, Chicago is seeing a decline, in part due to people moving out of the state. A diverse group of people calls this city home, which adds to the appeal of the city. People here can enjoy the beach on Lake Michigan during the summer and snow activities in the winter. Cultural activities and many miles of bike paths are plentiful.

04Houston, Texas

There are an estimated 2.3 million residents in Houston. This city also holds the distinction of having the second most Fortune 500 company headquarters, coming in just behind New York City. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. The metropolitan appeal calls many people to Houston, but others prefer the wide open hills outside of the city.

05Phoenix, Arizona

The population of Phoenix is estimated to be 1.7 million people. While it is the fifth most populous city in the country, it is the most populous state capital in the country. This city is home to a vast array of residents who can enjoy outdoor activities most of the year. Some residents enjoy being able to venture out into the mountains and the open spaces.

06Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Around 1.57 million residents live in Philadelphia. The population density here is 11,379.6 people per square mile. The largest age group in the city are those who are 25 to 44, which accounts for 28.5 percent of the population. It is expected that the city will continue to grow at a steady rate thanks to the younger demographic starting families. People are drawn to Philadelphia for cultural and artistic opportunities, as well as the youthful population.

07San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is home to an estimated 1.56 million residents. A declining unemployment rate in San Antonio is enticing for many people. The city has seen a steady population growth of around 2 percent, which is the same as the job growth rate in the city. Some estimates note that the healthy growth of population in various Texas cities could cause Texas to surpass California as the most populous state by 2030.

08San Diego, California

Just over 1.4 million people call San Diego home. This city has a rapid population growth and a large military presence, which has led to some service members coming back to the area after they are discharged or retired. The warm climate and beaches also attract new people to the city.

09Dallas, Texas

There are an estimated 1.3 million residents in Dallas. The city is home to a diverse group of people. Dallas also has a large LGBTQ population and has the 12th largest population of people identifying within this group. The mixture of urban, metropolis, and rural areas in and around Dallas appeal to many.

10San Jose, California

San Jose is home to just over 1 million people but is expected to grow quite rapidly. Santa Clara County as a whole is the fastest growing county in the state, and San Jose is the largest city in the county. This is due in part to the tech workers who are coming into the city. Many of these individuals are young, which further boosts the expectation that the city will grow quickly in population.

The Getaway Badge
Sign up to receive insider info and deals that will help you travel smarter.