Most compact American cities with 100,000+ residents


Source: history.com

Source: history.com

Reno, Nevada has long used the moniker of “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Well, at 106 square miles and 225,221 residents, it no longer fits that title. Based on data from the 2010 Census, at the end of this post is a list of the most compact American cities with 100,000 or more residents. Those provided all contain 50 square miles or less of area.

One interesting fact that arrises from this data is that one can no longer say that dense, compact cities are only located in the Northeast and Midwest. Fifteen cities from the South and West are 11 to 30 square miles in area, which equates to half of those identified on that portion of the list. Meanwhile a whopping 36 cities, more than double the number of those from the Northeast and Midwest, are included in the 31 to 50 square mile segment. Needless to say, this is a huge change from as recently as 20, 30, 40, and 50 years ago.

Whether this data means as they age compact cities from the South and West will eventually face the same socio-economic, demographic, and planning dilemmas as their predecessors is unknown. A number of them (such as Berkeley; Garden Grove; Glendale, CA; Fort Lauderdale; Hollywood, FL;  Metarie; Ontario, Pasadena, CA; Santa Ana; Santa Clara; Sunnyvale; Tempe; and West Covina) have limited, if any room for expansion outward. But it is certainly food for thought. Namaste.

Two examples of hemmed-in, compact Sunbelt cities are shown below.

Less than 10 square miles

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts = 7 square miles
  • Paterson, New Jersey = 9 square miles

Between 11 and 30 square miles

  • Elizabeth, New Jersey = 13 square miles
  • Alexandria, Virginia = 15 square miles
  • Lowell, Massachusetts = 15 square miles
  • West Covina, California = 16 square miles
  • Hartford, Connecticut = 17 square miles
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania = 18 square miles
  • Berkeley, California = 18 square miles
  • Garden Grove, California = 18 square miles
  • Santa Clara, California = 18 square miles
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut = 19 square miles
  • Hialeah, Florida = 20 square miles
  • New Haven, Connecticut = 20 square miles
  • Yonkers, New York = 20 square miles
  • Providence, Rhode Island = 21 square miles
  • Gresham, Oregon = 23 square miles
  • Metarie, Louisiana = 23 square miles
  • Pasadena, California = 23 square miles
  • Salinas, California = 23 square miles
  • Sunnyvale, California = 23 square miles
  • Arlington, Virginia = 26 square miles
  • Boulder, Colorado = 26 square miles
  • Newark, New Jersey = 26 square miles
  • Syracuse, New York = 26 square miles
  • Thornton, Colorado = 27 square miles
  • Centennial, Colorado = 28 square miles
  • Erie, Pennsylvania = 28 square miles
  • Santa Ana, California = 28 square miles
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan = 29 square miles
  • Waterbury, Connecticut = 29 square miles
  • Brandon, Florida = 30 square miles

Between 31 and 50 square miles

  • Glendale, California = 31 square miles
  • Miramar, Florida = 31 square miles
  • West Jordan, Utah = 31 square miles
  • Hollywood, Florida = 31 square miles
  • Huntington Beach, California = 32 square miles
  • Springfield, Massachusetts = 33 square miles
  • Spring Valley, Nevada = 33 square miles
  • Westminster, Colorado = 33 square miles
  • Flint, Michigan = 34 square miles
  • Warren, Michigan = 34 square miles
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida = 35 square miles
  • Pembroke Pines, Florida = 35 square miles
  • Arvada, Colorado = 36 square miles
  • Bellevue, Washington = 36 square miles
  • Manchester, New Hampshire = 36 square miles
  • Miami, Florida = 36 square miles
  • Naperville, Illinois = 36 square miles
  • West Valley City, Utah = 36 square miles
  • Escondido, California = 37 square miles
  • Lansing, Michigan = 37 square miles
  • Modesto, California = 37 square miles
  • Sterling Heights, Michigan = 37 square miles
  • Elgin, Illinois = 38 square miles
  • Fairfield, California = 38 square miles
  • Sunrise Manor, Nevada = 38 square miles
  • Aurora, Illinois = 39 square miles
  • Carlsbad, California = 39 square miles
  • Murfreesboro, Tennessee = 39 square miles
  • Oxnard, California = 39 square miles
  • Worcester, Massachusetts = 39 square miles
  • Rancho Cucamonga, California = 40 square miles
  • Tempe, Arizona = 40 square miles
  • Billings, Montana = 42 square miles
  • Elk Grove, California = 42 square miles
  • Fontana, California = 42 square miles
  • Oceanside, California = 42 square miles
  • Santa Rosa, California = 42 square miles
  • South Bend, Indiana = 42 square miles
  • Lakewood, Colorado = 43 square miles
  • Eugene, Oregon = 44 square miles
  • Provo, Utah = 44 square miles
  • Evansville, Indiana = 45 square miles
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan = 45 square miles
  • Pasadena, Texas = 45 square miles
  • Pueblo, Colorado = 45 square miles
  • McAllen, Texas = 46 square miles
  • Mesquite, Texas = 46 square miles
  • San Francisco, California = 46 square miles
  • Vancouver, Washington = 46 square miles
  • Gilbert, Arizona = 47 square miles
  • Boston, Massachusetts = 48 square miles
  • Peoria, Illinois = 48 square miles
  • Salem, Oregon = 48 square miles
  • Fargo, North Dakota = 49 square miles
  • Ontario, California = 50 square miles
  • Vallejo, California = 50 square miles

SOURCE: en.wikipedia.org

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