The Census Bureau recently released a new report [PDF] that showed -- by at least one measure -- the nation's overall population density dropped by 6% between 2000 and 2010. But by this same measure, the population density of most California metro areas -- where almost 90% of Californians live -- is going up. And density's going up faster in the smaller counties.
Nationwide, the Census Bureau found that density dropped 6.0% in all metropolitan and micropolitan areas combined, and 5.5% in all metro areas. Of the 377 metro areas in the nation, population density dropped in 232 of them -- more than 60%. But not in California. In the Golden State, the population density of 14 of state's 22 metro areas went up. Population density increased the most -- by far -- in Madera County. Other places that saw population density go up were Shasta, Kings, Napa, Sutter, and the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties combined). Among those metros losing density were Sacramento, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Monterey.
But at more than 12,000 persons per square mile, L.A. and San Francisco remain the densest metro areas in the nation except for New York.