Tag Archives: urbanized areas

Examining America’s 10 Largest Urban Areas

.. why it matters .. among other reasons, these 10 areas have 24% of the total U.S. population. Three have increased by more than 20% in the past 5 years.

More than 80-percent of America’s population is urban, but far more than 80-percent of America’s geography is rural. Census 2010 shows that America’s urban population increased by 12.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, compared to the national overall growth rate of 9.7 percent. Urban areas now account for 80.7 percent of the U.S. population, compared to 79.0 percent in 2000.

America’s 10 Largest Urbanized Areas
The following table shows the largest 10 Urbanized Areas (UAs) based on the American Community Survey 2011 and 2016 1-year estimates (ACS2016) and change over the period. UAs are sorted in descending order based on the 2016 population estimate. Note that Atlanta, Dallas and Houston moved up in rank.

Geodemographic relationships vary widely between the urbanized areas (UAs). Some, such as Miami, comprise most or all of the urban area within the corresponding metropolitan statistical area. Others, such as Philadelphia, are nested within a mix of adjacent urban areas interspersed with rural areas. Among other things, these different geodemographic structures reflect how planning, needs assessment and market development vary widely from associated metro-to-metro. These data show the importance and need to consider the urban/rural population distribution even in the largest metros.

Visual Analysis — Dallas Urbanized Area
The urbanized area (UA) of the corresponding metropolitan statistical area (MSA) generally occupies less than half of the MSA.
See the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX MSA Situation and Outlook Report

… View developed using CV XE GIS.

Map Views for Each of the Largest 10 Urbanized Areas
Maps for each of the 10 largest UAs are shown at
http://proximityone.com/urbanareas_2016.htm.

Each graphic shows the designated urbanized area in a darker salmon color fill pattern, associated metropolitan statistical area with bold brown boundary, and other urban areas with a lighter shade of salmon fill color, counties black boundaries and yellow labels. The ACS 2016 UA population is shown as a white label under the UA name. The ACS 2016 estimates are the most recent data available and will update with 2017 estimates in late 2018.

More About Analyzing Urban/Rural Patterns and Characteristics
See the related section on America’s urban/rural population and geography:
http://proximityone.com/urbanpopulation.htm.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on L

Urban Area Demographic Trends 2010-15

.. tools and analytics to examine all urban areas with particular focus on Urbanized Areas and demographic change between 2010 and 2015 .. examining urban areas in context of metropolitan areas .. the four fastest growing Urbanized Areas (UAs) from 2010 to 2015 were in Texas. McKinney, TX UA led the nation with an increase of 27.5% in total population. View, rank, compare 2010 and 2015 demographic characteristics for UAs using the interactive table in this related section. Urban areas (Urbanized Areas and Urban Clusters) are important for many reasons. More than metros and cities, urban area geography better reflects how the urban and rural population is changing. Both metros and cities can change geographic boundary over the years. Urban areas are based on Census 2010 and unchanging between 2010 and 2020. Annual demographic updates are available from the American Community Survey (ACS 2015).

This section is focused on tools and analytics to examine all urban areas with particular focus on Urbanized Areas and demographic change between 2010 and 2015. Use the interactive table >in the related section to view, rank, query urban areas and demographic change for larger urban areas. Use the related GIS tools and data to develop related thematic and relationship maps. Perform geospatial analysis of geographic and demographic-economic characteristics using the resources we have developed. Gain insights into patterns that might affect you. Use these resources to collaborate on how, where, what, when and why of change.

McKinney TX Urbanized Area in Context of City
The McKinney, TX UA (bold orange pattern) is shown in context of McKinney city (cross-hatched area) and other urban areas (lighter orange pattern). It is easy to see that some parts of the city are rural and that the UA extends beyond the city in many areas. See more about the McKinney UA and in comparison to other urban areas using the interactive table.


– view created using CVGIS software and related GIS project.

Most Urbanized Areas (UAs, 435 of 487) have population 65,000 population or more resulting in the availability of annual demographic-economic estimates. Data are fresher than available for smaller urban areas (ACS 5-year estimates for areas under 65,000). This means more current data to assess more recent characteristics. As annual data are available UAs enabling analysis of change over time. The “2010s” marks the first time these refreshed, time series-like data have been available for urban areas. Businesses and those examining change performing market analysis benefit from the ability to examine characteristics or urban areas in combination with counties and metros.

Houston Urbanized Area in Context of Houston Metro
The Houston metro has a bold brown boundary. It is easy to see how the Houston UA (darker orange fill pattern) geographically relates to the metro. Other urban areas (all) are shown with a lighter orange fill pattern. It is easy to see the urban/pattern character of the general region. While the Houston UA is the largest, there are four UAs that intersect with Houston metro. Use the interactive table below to view their names and characteristics.


– view created using CVGIS software and related GIS project.

Urbanized Areas tend to be associated with metropolitan areas having a similar name. But very often there are multiple UAs within a metro; sometimes one is not dominant. Often there are several UAs in a metro having similar size. Use the interactive table below to view the relationship of UAs and metros (CBSAs).

Using Interactive Table
Use the interactive table to view, rank, compare, query urban areas based on a selection of demographic measures. The following graphic illustrates how the table can be used. Click graphic for larger view.

The graphic shows the urbanized areas ranked in descending order based on 2010-2015 population. The rightmost column shows the area percent change in population over the period.

Fastest Growing Urbanized Areas, 2010-15

Try it yourself. Use the table to examine urban area patterns and characteristics based on your selected criteria.

Join me in a Data Analytics Lab session to discuss more details about accessing and using wide-ranging demographic-economic data and data analytics. Learn more about using these data for areas and applications of interest.

About the Author
— Warren Glimpse is former senior Census Bureau statistician responsible for innovative data access and use operations. He is also the former associate director of the U.S. Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards for data access and use. He has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector developing data resources and tools for integration and analysis of geographic, demographic, economic and business data. Contact Warren. Join Warren on LinkedIn.