How Many Cities Are There in the United States?

According to the 2018 US Census, there are 310 cities in the United States having a population of 100,000 or more. The population ranges from 100,000 in Vacaville, California to approximately 8.4 million in New York City, the most populated city in the United States. But these 310 cities represent only a small portion of the over 19,500 incorporated cities, towns, villages, and boroughs in the United States.

Historically, the United States has been a nation of tiny towns and villages. This is still true today. As of 2018, three-quarters (14,768) of the nation’s incorporated places have populations of less than 5,000 people, and nearly half have less than 1,000 people.

On the other side, urbanisation continues its march forward. In 2018, 127 million people lived in cities having at least 50,000 inhabitants. That is almost forty percent of the total U.S. population. Learn more about small and large U.S. cities and the variables that determine their populations by reading on.

History of Cities

For generations, U.S. settlers lived in close proximity to one another. These regions were known as settlements and served as the basis for communal dwelling places. Over time, these communities evolved into cities where people, local companies, and government offices could live, communicate, and work together.

Throughout the first 150 years of U.S. history, the urban population was very tiny. The advent of industrialization in America inevitably led to an increase in urbanisation. Increasing numbers of people now reside in urban areas and contribute to the continuation of mass employment, entertainment, and education.

Urban centres

The United States’ three largest cities are New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The total population of these three cities exceeds 15 million. In terms of the number of employment prospects, superior educational opportunities, and overall quality of life, these cities are regarded as the best among American cities. People continue to migrate to these cities throughout the past decade. USA Today notes that the rate of growth has slowed in favour of neighbouring cities in the South and West.

Small towns

Small cities are also increasing in popularity. Small cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants are gaining appeal for a variety of reasons. The ease of building personal relationships with neighbours and local officials is one of them. People also appreciate a slower pace and a better sense of community.

Population Movements

As the population of smaller towns increases, more Americans are moving to places with warmer climates, which is boosting the population of cities such as Las Vegas, Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Midland, Texas. A check at the list of U.S. cities by population growth reveals a significant increase in the population of these cities with a more temperate environment.

This development could be ascribed to numerous factors, such as technological advancements that allow people to work remotely or a desire to escape snow and freezing weather.

Small cities

Even while city populations are increasing, the majority of Americans still reside in small towns. Approximately 63% of Americans (205 million) reside in incorporated places, which include cities, towns, boroughs, and villages. Three-quarters of the 19,500 incorporated localities in the United States have less than 5,000 inhabitants, and nearly half have fewer than 1,000.

Science and the environment

A growing number of Americans work online, and if they are remote employees who are not obligated to reside in a specific region, they are free to live anywhere they like. This is a convincing argument for moving to one of these rising cities and small towns in the United States.


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