Posts Tagged ‘United States population’

Concentrations of people and economic activity

March 27, 2017

The USA is a big country.  But its population and economic activity are not evenly spread across the country.

Here are the counties where half the U.S. population lives.

Here are counties where half of U.S. economic activity takes place.

And, below, the counties carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016—in blue, of course.   She carried 88 of the 100 largest U.S. counties.


Half the U.S. population lives in 146 counties

April 29, 2015

Some time ago I came across a map showing that half the world’s population lived in the densely-populated parts of China and India and a couple of the adjoining countries.

The other day I came across an article about how half the U.S. population lives in just 146 of the nation’s more than 3,000 counties and county-equivalents.  The 146 counties are shown on the map below.  My home county, Monroe County, New York, is one of the 146.

map of us 50 percent

Compiling a list of America’s counties is more complicated than I would have thought.

The United States has 3,007 counties, but not every American lives in a county.

Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes, which are the equivalent of counties.

Alaska's unorganized borough

Alaska’s unorganized borough

Alaska, when it was admitted as a state, had no county governments at all.  Instead Alaskans have the right to form governmental units called boroughs.  There are 19 boroughs in Alaska, but half the area of the state is an unorganized borough, covering 11 census areas.

There are 41 independent American cities, not part of any county, in Maryland, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia.  And there also is the District of Columbia.

Counting all these the United States has 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

There are two county-equivalents on the list of 146—Baltimore City and Washington, D.C.