Love the amenities a city has to offer? Interested to live in places filled arts, nightlife and bustle? Or are you looking for the amenities without the crowds?
Regardless of the urban environment you’re seeking, we’ve compiled the list of the 10 most populated US cities as of this very moment:
- New York City (8,400,000) – No surprise here, as NYC comes in at the top of the list with more than twice the population of the second city on the list. The city is not for the crowd-averse, but if you enjoy fine dining, theater, and music, the Big Apple is hard to beat.
- Los Angeles (3,800,000) – The first of three California cities among the nation’s most populated, Los Angeles provides homes for close to 4 million citizens. Known for its throngs of would-be models and actors, Los Angeles is one of the country’s two entertainment hubs, along with New York.
- Chicago (2,850,000) – If Chicago’s deep-dish pizza and host of improv comedy performance groups are a draw, you may want to join the Windy City’s 2.85 million citizens. Just don’t expect your hometown Cubs to take home a World Series anytime soon.
- Houston (2,250,000) – Houston is the first of three Texas cities on the list with a population of 2.25 million. The country’s largest city without formal zoning regulations, Houston hosts many companies in the oil and gas industry, in addition to biomedical research and aeronautics corporations.
- Phoenix (1,600,000) – This city comes in at #5 with 1.6 million people. The Arizona capital is also the hottest city in America, with average high temperatures above 100 degrees for three months out of the year, sometimes reaching 120.
- Philadelphia (1,500,000) – One of America’s capital cities during the Revolutionary War, the City of Brotherly Love is home to many early American landmarks. For just one example, consider Independence Hall, the building where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were authored.
- San Antonio (1,400,000) – Texas’s second largest city is home not just to 1.4 million people but to a vibrant collection of cultural events. The city’s major entertainment district, the river walk, is home to many bars, clubs, and pubs, including a Hard Rock Café.
- San Diego (1,350,000) – California’s second largest city houses just about 1.35 million people. Sitting on the Pacific coast, San Diego has a somewhat arid, Mediterranean climate. Most of the jobs in the city are in defense, manufacturing, and tourism. San Diego is home to many Navy and Marine Corps depots, as well as several Coast Guard stations.
- Dallas (1,295,000) – The third and final Texas city to grace the list is Dallas with just a shade fewer than 1.3 million people. The city is home to major league baseball, basketball, and hockey teams. (Though named for Dallas, the NFL’s Cowboys now play in Arlington.) The city is bustling with businesses, and is a place many Fortune 500 companies call home.
- San Jose (965,000) – Our final city, and the only on the top ten with fewer than one million citizens, is San Jose, California. Like most of the bay area, San Jose has a Mediterranean climate. Many jobs in the city are with computer and microprocessor companies.
How will the top ten change in the near future?
Well, we can rest assured that New York will long stand on the top of the heap. High paying Wall Street jobs will always draw folks to the world’s financial capital, and those high-earners will always draw other industries.
Expect Texas cities to climb, though. The Lone Star state is leading the nation in growth, thanks mostly to employers in the energy industry. This past December, Texas had a relatively low unemployment rate compared to the national average (8.3% compared to 10.0% at the time). Most of the state’s population growth has been in smaller towns, but growth begets growth, so expect Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston populations to rise.
Published or updated April 4, 2013.