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Author Topic: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition  (Read 5412 times)

webny99

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Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« on: September 23, 2022, 02:20:19 PM »

A spin-off of the thread for geographic oddities... what are some population related facts or stats that you find odd, crazy, or otherwise surprising?

Here's one I've never been able to wrap my head around: The District of Columbia (2020 pop. 689,545) is more populous than the state of Vermont (2020 pop. 643,077).

My home county, Monroe County, NY (2020 pop. 759,443) is also more populous than Vermont, which seems odd too because Rochester isn't even a very big metro area on a national level.
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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2022, 02:35:50 PM »

Colorado's most populous county is not in the Denver metro area. El Paso County (Colorado Springs) outranks the City and County of Denver by about 20,000.

The two most populous countries in the world (China & India) have about as many people as the next 20 in population (USA, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Brazil, Bangladesh, Russia, Mexico, Japan, Philippines, Ethiopia, Egypt, Vietnam, DRC, Iran, Turkey, Germany, France, UK, and Thailand).

kirbykart

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2022, 02:45:32 PM »

There are over 20 metro areas just in the US with larger populations than the entire state of Wyoming. 

A local one for me that I never understood: Cattaraugus County, NY has 30,000 more people than neighboring Allegany County. Both counties are of a similar size and both are quite rural. The largest municipality in Cattaraugus County (Olean) is about 13,500 population-wise. For Allegany County the largest municipality (Wellsville) has a population of ~7,000. But that's 6,500 people. That doesn't explain the other 23,500 extra people in Cattaraugus County.

vdeane

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 09:36:10 PM »

^ I suspect Wellsville is more of an outlier in its county than you think.  Allegany county is one of the most desolate parts of the entire state (especially if factoring out the Adirondacks).  Plus Olean is a bigger area than the population comparison to Wellsville suggests.  Olean actually has suburbs.

This map is interesting: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/New_York_Population_Map.png
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SkyPesos

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2022, 09:41:44 PM »

City limit population in general is weird and highly inconsistent, and sometimes defy conventional wisdom. Two of my favorite cases:

- Jacksonville is the largest in FL by city limit population, but most people would think that Miami, Tampa, and/or Orlando are larger (and they are for metro area population).
- San Jose is more populous than San Francisco, even though the latter is considered the "primary" city of the Bay Area.
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thspfc

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2022, 12:36:09 PM »

There are over 20 metro areas just in the US with larger populations than the entire state of Wyoming. 
There’s 99. (Which is over 20, so you’re not wrong  :-D.) Jackson, MS (587k) is the smallest that is still bigger than Wyoming.
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webny99

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2022, 01:03:31 PM »

^ I suspect Wellsville is more of an outlier in its county than you think.  Allegany county is one of the most desolate parts of the entire state (especially if factoring out the Adirondacks).  Plus Olean is a bigger area than the population comparison to Wellsville suggests.  Olean actually has suburbs.

This map is interesting: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/New_York_Population_Map.png

Concur with this. The Town of Allegany (pop. 8004) in Cattaraugus County is basically a suburb of Olean, and it's more populous than anything in Allegany County. Cattaraugus County also has the city of Salamanca, which is itself similar in size to Wellsville. Then there's the difference in area, with Cattaraugus County being roughly 20% larger.
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NWI_Irish96

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2022, 01:34:44 PM »

The city of Indianapolis is 1.6% more populous than the city of San Francisco.

The San Francisco MSA is 125.5% more populous than the Indianapolis MSA.
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bing101

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2022, 01:39:53 PM »

New Zealand entire country's population has the same amount of people that lives in the City of Los Angeles and Singapore respectively.


Canada has the same amount of people that lives in California and


Australia has the same amount of people that lives in Texas.
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bing101

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2022, 01:45:27 PM »

Fresno has more people than Sacramento for most populated city in the Central Valley of California.


However Sacramento Metro area has more people overall than Fresno. Note Sacramento Area may sometime include parts of Solano County, CA given that the Southwest corner of the Sacramento Valley and Delta regions go all the way to areas like Dixon and Rio Vista.




Also the State of Wyoming has the same amount of people as Sacramento and Fresno have.




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyoming
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CNGL-Leudimin

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2022, 04:29:23 PM »

Both Vermont and West Virginia don't have any cities more populated than my hometown. As of the latest estimates Burlington VT has a population of 44,743; Charleston WV has 48,018; and Huesca, Spain has 53,429.
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dlsterner

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2022, 05:30:13 PM »

More than half of Canada's population lives south of Seattle (using a line drawn at Seattle's latitude).

Road Hog

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2022, 05:53:13 PM »

Anchorage, Alaska (pop. 292k) is a bigger city than many other states' biggest cities, including Birmingham, Little Rock, Bridgeport, Wilmington, Boise, Des Moines, Portland (ME), Jackson, Billings, Manchester, Newark, Fargo, Providence, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Sioux Falls, Salt Lake City, Burlington and Cheyenne.
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kirbykart

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2022, 07:47:23 PM »

If we look specifically at city limit populations (not MSA populations) then here's one of the craziest (at least to me): Phoenix is #5! Phoenix is so much larger than you would think.

kurumi

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2022, 10:16:12 PM »

City populations vs metro populations etc. etc. and maybe not defying CW but interesting:

8 out of the top 10 cities in the 1950 census peaked at that census.

Since then:
* NYC and LA have increased (though NYC did see declines before recovering)
* Chicago: 3.6M -> 2.7M today (25%)
* Philly: 2.0M -> 1.6M (20%)
* Detroit: 1.85M -> 623K (66%)
* Baltimore: 949K -> 576K (39%)
* Cleveland: 914K -> 372K (59%)
* St. Louis: 856K -> 301K (65%)
* DC: 802K -> 689K (14%)
* Boston: 801K -> 675K (16%)

Suburbanization and transportation changes have had an effect.

Also: NYC has been the #1 city since 1790, wire to wire. The longest-lived city in the top 5 otherwise: Philadelphia. It stayed there in every census until Phoenix knocked it to #6 in 2020.
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CtrlAltDel

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2022, 11:16:35 PM »

Cook County, Illinois, has a greater population than the 98 smallest counties of the state, combined.

I mean, it's no surprise that Cook County is the biggest, but that's all but three counties in the state, which is a lot.
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interstatefan990

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2022, 04:31:17 AM »

New York’s most populous city is in the 8 million range and its next most populous city is in the 200,000 range. This state needs more medium sized cities.
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Rothman

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2022, 07:48:43 AM »

New York’s most populous city is in the 8 million range and its next most populous city is in the 200,000 range. This state needs more medium sized cities.
Why?
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vdeane

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2022, 07:49:51 AM »

New York’s most populous city is in the 8 million range and its next most populous city is in the 200,000 range. This state needs more medium sized cities.
You might get your wish given telecommuting and other factors causing people to flee to upstate NY, but keep in mind that cities in this state can't annex their suburbs, so they'll never be on the size that they could be in a state with unrestricted annexation.  It's also a double-edged sword, and more people means more congestion.  I don't think people in upstate NY (me included) have tolerance for the levels of congestion that are routine in larger metro areas.

Also, NYC is big because it's a conglomerate of five counties.  It would be smaller if it only contained Manhattan.
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bing101

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2022, 10:01:52 AM »

Hempstead, New York if it was an incorporated city would have the same amount of people as Indianapolis City proper and San Francisco.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hempstead,_New_York
Manhattan, NY if it was it's own city it would in the same range as with San Jose, CA and Philadelphia, PA.
Brooklyn, NY if it was its own city it would be tied with Chicago

Bronx, NY would be tied with San Francisco, CA

Staten Island would be in the same range as Sacramento, CA, Long Beach, CA and Fresno, CA.

Queens would get the same amount of people as Houston.


« Last Edit: September 25, 2022, 10:09:22 AM by bing101 »
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DTComposer

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2022, 04:55:34 PM »

New York’s most populous city is in the 8 million range and its next most populous city is in the 200,000 range.

Perhaps not surprisingly, New York also has the biggest percentage drop between first and second largest cities:
Buffalo's population is only 3.3% of New York's.

Chicago is #2: Aurora's population is 6.6% of Chicago's.

The smallest drop is West Virginia: Huntington's population is 95.8% of Charleston's.

The average is 51.2%, which just happens to be Kentucky: Lexington's population is 51.2% of Louisville's.
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andrepoiy

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2022, 06:18:55 PM »

City limit population in general is weird and highly inconsistent, and sometimes defy conventional wisdom. Two of my favorite cases:

- Jacksonville is the largest in FL by city limit population, but most people would think that Miami, Tampa, and/or Orlando are larger (and they are for metro area population).
- San Jose is more populous than San Francisco, even though the latter is considered the "primary" city of the Bay Area.

The Canadian version would be this:

Ottawa and Hamilton ON city limits include the city centre, suburbs, and large swaths of rural land. Population ~1 mil and 500k respectively.

Vancouver BC city limits include the city centre and inner suburbs. Population ~600k. Metro population is 2.6 mil

Another interesting difference if I recall correctly is that the Canadian census does not count students at university as living in that city. Thus, municipalities with a large student population's official population count may not reflect the reality during school years. Example is Kingston, Ontario, where the official population is 130k, but probably is more like 150k when students are there.



Another thing: Ontario cities (by city limit population) are often larger than the most important cities in other provinces.

E.g. Mississauga, Ontario (700k), and Brampton Ontario (600k), both considered suburbs of Toronto, are the 7th and 9th largest cities in Canada. Bigger than Quebec City (500k) and Halifax (400k), both of whose city limits contain almost all of their suburbs and also adjoining rural lands. Mississauga also has almost the same number of people as New Brunswick.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2022, 06:37:57 PM by andrepoiy »
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dvferyance

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2022, 08:39:23 PM »

Wakesha WI population around 72,000 the county seat of my home county has more people than Burlington VT, Charleston WV Cheyenne WY and Portland ME which are the largest cities in their states.
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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2022, 09:07:49 PM »

Wakesha WI population around 72,000 the county seat of my home county has more people than Burlington VT, Charleston WV Cheyenne WY and Portland ME which are the largest cities in their states.

For that matter, the nearby "quaint little college town" of Chapel Hill (62,906) has more residents than Burlington VT and Charleston WV (but it's not as big as Wakesha).
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interstatefan990

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Re: Oddities that defy conventional wisdom - POPULATION edition
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2022, 09:44:11 PM »

New York’s most populous city is in the 8 million range and its next most populous city is in the 200,000 range. This state needs more medium sized cities.
Why?

It's just economically important. Buffalo and Rochester have their fair share of destinations, but they're just too small to drive true out-of-state tourism like other states do. People come to Florida for Miami, but they also come for Orlando. Same with Los Angeles and San Francisco. Same with Houston and Dallas. Atlanta and Savannah. The list goes on. If BUF and ROC were both a bustling metropolis, let's say 500k+ each, it would completely revitalize upstate tourism as well as bring newfound economic growth to towns along the Thruway. New York is such a beautiful state and it's sad that so many only come here for NYC and not all the trees, parks, lakes, and great roads we have to offer. Plus, as a downstate resident, I personally would like another city in this state to visit that feels like an actual city and not just a small downtown area surrounded by miles of suburbs and insignificant towns.

You might get your wish given telecommuting and other factors causing people to flee to upstate NY, but keep in mind that cities in this state can't annex their suburbs, so they'll never be on the size that they could be in a state with unrestricted annexation.  It's also a double-edged sword, and more people means more congestion.  I don't think people in upstate NY (me included) have tolerance for the levels of congestion that are routine in larger metro areas.

Also, NYC is big because it's a conglomerate of five counties.  It would be smaller if it only contained Manhattan.

Eh, the type of change I'm referring to happens over a century or so. I'm actually glad about the lack of annexation, because I wouldn't want something like the problem Houston and other cities have with uncontrolled urban sprawl. The thing is, no one really has tolerance for congestion, upstate or not. I don't know about the Albany area (assuming that's where you are) but I think Buffalo and Rochester are theoretically more than equipped to handle a couple tens of thousands more people, if not hundreds with new construction. The interstates in the Rochester area, at least when I was there, were way under capacity and almost empty-feeling in the evenings.

Yes, but Manhattan still has a population of 1.629 million, which is still incomparable to NY's #2 city.

Hempstead, New York if it was an incorporated city would have the same amount of people as Indianapolis City proper and San Francisco.

Hempstead is a town, not a city, though. Even if it was made a technical city it wouldn't have any of the features of one.
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