I made an interactive map with the US cities having population over 100,000, copying data from Wikipedia in Excel and displaying on map. Click each city to see details. Excel file is available for paid download.
I was interested in researching population evolution for United States cities since 2019 but it was taking too much time to go through each Wikipedia page, and I was waiting for 2020 census results to be published. Someone has updated List of United States cities by population on Wikipedia on 13 August 2021, but not all individual city pages are updated with 2020 census population, some still say “2019 estimate” and some say different population for 2010 and 2020 censuses compared with above page showing population for 326 cities over 100,000 people.
I made this small database in February 2022, it took me few hours of copy-pasting. Contains 363 entries from above Wikipedia page, of which 326 cities with over 100,000 people as 2020 census, 13 census-designated places with over 100,000 people at 2020 census, 24 cities formerly over 100,000 people. Summary of cities by population group is shown below:
Note: 2020 total is 361 because it exclude Allegheny and Brooklyn, cities that no longer exists because were annexed by Pittsburgh and New York City.
As 2020 census, 10 American cities have population over 1 million. Detroit also had over 1 million in the past, and was 4th most populous city in US in 1920, 1930, 1940, since its peak in 1950 to 2020 it lost 65.45% of population, dropping to 27th place. Other 3 cities over 100,000 people had population decline over 60%, Gary, St. Louis, Youngstown. Most northeastern cities lost population since 1950 because of industrial decline (see Rust Belt) and high crime rate, and because they were nearly fully built within administrative areas, population moved to suburbs or to other states. Western cities have fastest population growth in recent decades.
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Should I make a larger database?
Is anyone interested in a larger database including smaller cities and/or historical population? Does anyone know is such database does exist on internet? If not, I am planning to make myself such database of all cities in United States and offer it for sale.
United States administrative system is really complex: there are 50 states, 3134 counties and additional 100 county-equivalents. Then, they have incorporated cities, unincorporated communities and census-designated places. Each of these 3 can spawn over multiple counties. There are incorporated cities with only few hundreds people as well as unincorporated communities that exceed 100,000 people.
For comparison: Romania have only 2 level-deep administration: 41 counties divided into 320 cities (urban), 2686 communes (rural). Germany is divided 16 states divided into 2058 towns, Italy have 20 regions which are divided into 107 provinces which are divided into 7954 communes, Spain is divided in 17 Autonomous communities, which are divided in 50 provinces which are divided in 8122 municipalities.
To keep it simple, I may stick US cities database only to incorporated cities. There are 19,502 incorporated places registered in the United States as of July 31, 2019. 16,410 had a population under 10,000, only 10 cities had a population of over 1,000,000. It will take me dozens/hundreds hours to copy this info from Wikipedia manually, because of inconsistencies between Wikipedia city pages there is not possible to run an automated Python or C# script on all pages and extract data without errors.
Does anyone know any other list of cities in United States that is more consistent and reliable than Wikipedia?