A More Accurate Metric Captures America's Densest Metros

If you were confused by recent census data that named four California metros, including Delano (pop 53,819), as the most dense in America, a new report that looks at "population-weighted density" may deliver more satisfying results.

Richard Florida parses the findings included in a new report [PDF] published by the U.S. Census Bureau that provides a more nuanced look at the densities of America's metros. The new data measures population-weighted density, the concentration of people within a metro, which Florida believes is "an important improvement on the standard measure of density." While average density simply divides the total population of a city or metro area by its land area, population-weighted density can provide a more detailed picture of density at varying distances from a city's center by looking at the densities of separate census tracts.

"New York and Los Angeles are good examples of the differences between these two density measures," says Florida. "While they are close in the average density - 2,826 for New York versus 2,646 for L.A. - the New York metro has much higher levels of concentrated or population-weighted density, 31,251 versus 12,114 people per square mile. San Francisco, which has lower average density than L.A. (1,755 people per square mile), tops L.A. on population-weighted density with 12,145 people per square mile."  

 

Full Story: America's Truly Densest Metros

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95