US POPULATION HISTORY FROM 1850
50 LARGEST CITIES

Includes Cities Not in Top 50
But Which Achieved 400,000 Population
in at Least One Census

2 Tables Plus Notes & Analysis

Rankings: 1850, 1900, 1950 & 1996

Population History 1850-1910: 50 Largest US Cities (Municipalities)
And 2 Smaller Cities Formerly with more than 400,000 Population
In Thousands
Cities 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1996 Rank
Albuquerque 6 6 11 37
Atlanta 3 10 22 37 66 90 155 38
Austin 1 15 22 30 22
Baltimore 169 212 267 332 434 509 558 15
Boston 137 178 251 363 448 560 670 20
Buffalo 42 88 118 155 256 353 424
Charlotte 1 12 19 34 32
Chicago 30 109 299 503 1,100 1,698 2,185 3
Cincinnati 115 161 216 255 297 326 364 49
Cleveland 17 43 93 160 261 382 560 25
Colorado Springs 11 21 29 50
Columbus 18 19 31 52 88 126 181 16
Dallas 10 38 43 92 9
Denver 5 36 107 133 214 26
Detroit 21 46 80 116 206 286 466 10
El Paso 10 16 39 17
Fort Worth 7 23 27 73 28
Fresno 11 12 25 39
Honolulu 21 39 52 35
Houston 3 5 9 17 26 45 79 4
Indianpolis 8 19 48 75 105 169 234 12
Jacksonville 1 17 28 58 14
Kansas City (MO) 4 32 56 133 164 248 33
Las Vegas 2 41
Long Beach 2 18 36
Los Angeles 2 4 6 11 50 102 319 2
Memphis 9 3 10 34 64 103 131 18
Miami 2 5 44
Milwaukee 20 45 71 116 204 285 374 19
Minneapolis 3 13 47 165 203 301 46
Nashville 11 17 26 43 76 81 110 24
New Orleans 116 169 191 216 242 287 330 29
New York 696 1,175 1,478 1,912 2,507 3,437 4,767 1
Newark 39 72 105 137 182 246 347
Oakland 2 11 35 49 67 150 43
Oklahoma City 4 10 64 30
Omaha 2 16 31 140 103 124 45
Philadelphia 121 566 674 847 1,049 1,293 1,549 5
Phoenix 3 6 11 6
Pittsburgh 47 78 140 235 344 452 534 48
Portland (OR) 3 8 18 46 90 207 27
Sacramento 7 26 29 45 42
San Antonio 4 51 69 105 38 53 97 8
San Diego 1 2 3 16 18 40 7
San Francisco 35 57 149 234 299 343 417 13
San Jose 18 22 29 11
Seattle 1 4 43 81 237 23
St. Louis 78 161 311 351 452 575 687 47
Tucson 5 8 13 31
Tulsa 1 18 40
Virginia Beach 34
Washington 40 61 109 147 230 279 331 21
Data from decennial US census, except 1996 (US Census Bureau estimate)

Population History from 1920: 50 Largest US Cities (Municipalities)
And 2 Smaller Cities Formerly with more than 400,000 Population
In Thousands
Cities 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1996 1996 Rank
Albuquerque 15 27 35 97 202 245 333 385 420 37
Atlanta 201 270 302 331 487 495 425 394 402 38
Austin 35 53 88 132 187 241 315 486 541 22
Baltimore 733 805 859 950 939 905 787 736 678 15
Boston 748 781 771 801 697 641 563 574 558 20
Buffalo 507 573 576 580 533 463 358 328 311
Charlotte 46 83 101 134 202 241 315 396 442 32
Chicago 2,701 3,376 3,397 3,621 3,550 3,369 3,005 2,784 2,721 3
Cincinnati 401 451 456 504 503 454 385 364 346 49
Cleveland 796 900 898 915 876 751 574 506 498 25
Colorado Springs 30 33 37 45 70 136 215 280 345 50
Columbus 237 290 306 376 471 540 565 633 657 16
Dallas 159 260 295 434 679 844 904 1,007 1,053 9
Denver 256 288 322 416 498 515 493 468 498 26
Detroit 994 1,568 1,623 1,850 1,670 1514 1,203 1,028 1,000 10
El Paso 78 102 97 130 277 322 425 515 600 17
Fort Worth 106 163 178 279 356 393 385 448 480 28
Fresno 45 53 61 92 134 165 217 354 396 39
Honolulu 83 138 179 248 294 325 365 365 424 35
Houston 138 292 385 596 938 1,234 1,595 1,631 1,744 4
Indianpolis 314 364 387 427 491 737 701 731 746 12
Jacksonville 92 130 173 205 201 504 541 623 680 14
Kansas City (MO) 324 400 399 457 475 507 448 435 441 33
Las Vegas 2 5 8 25 64 126 165 258 377 41
Long Beach 56 142 164 251 344 359 361 429 422 36
Los Angeles 577 1,238 1,504 1,970 2,479 2,812 2,967 3,485 3,554 2
Memphis 162 253 293 396 498 624 646 618 597 18
Miami 30 111 172 249 292 335 347 359 365 44
Milwaukee 457 578 587 637 741 717 636 628 590 19
Minneapolis 381 464 492 522 483 434 371 368 359 46
Nashville 118 154 167 174 171 426 456 488 511 24
New Orleans 387 459 495 570 628 593 558 497 477 29
New York 5,620 6,930 7,455 7,892 7,782 7,896 7,072 7,323 7,381 1
Newark 415 442 430 437 405 382 329 275 269
Oakland 216 284 302 385 368 362 339 372 367 43
Oklahoma City 91 185 204 244 324 368 404 445 470 30
Omaha 192 214 224 251 302 347 314 343 364 45
Philadelphia 1,824 1,951 1,931 2,072 2,003 1,949 1,688 1,586 1,478 5
Phoenix 29 48 65 107 439 584 790 963 1,159 6
Pittsburgh 588 670 672 677 604 520 424 370 350 48
Portland (OR) 258 302 305 374 373 380 368 439 481 27
Sacramento 66 94 106 138 192 257 276 369 376 42
San Antonio 161 232 253 408 588 654 786 936 1,068 8
San Diego 74 147 203 334 573 694 847 1,111 1,117 7
San Francisco 507 634 635 775 740 716 679 724 735 13
San Jose 40 58 68 96 204 459 629 782 839 11
Seattle 315 366 368 468 557 531 494 516 525 23
St. Louis 773 822 816 857 750 622 453 397 352 47
Tucson 20 33 37 45 213 263 331 405 449 31
Tulsa 72 141 142 183 262 330 361 367 378 40
Virginia Beach 5 8 172 262 393 431 34
Washington 438 489 663 802 764 757 638 607 543 21
Data from decennial US census, except 1996 (US Census Bureau estimate)

Notes and Analysis
Cities
If in Another Metropolitan Area
Significant Annexations
or
Consolidation Since 1950?
Peak
Popula-
tion
000)
1996
Popula-
tion
(000)
Change from
Peak
Change from Peak if No Annexation
or
Consolidation
Albuquerque Yes 420 420 0.0%
Atlanta Yes 495 402 -18.8%
Austin Yes 541 541 0.0%
Baltimore No 950 678 -28.6% -28.6%
Boston No 801 558 -30.3% -30.3%
Buffalo No 580 311 -46.4% -46.4%
Charlotte Yes 442 442 0.0%
Chicago No 3,621 2,721 -24.9% -24.9%
Cincinnati No 504 346 -31.4% -31.4%
Cleveland No 915 498 -45.5% -45.5%
Colorado Springs Yes 345 345 0.0%
Columbus Yes 657 657 0.0%
Dallas Yes 1,053 1,053 0.0%
Denver Yes 515 498 -3.3% -3.3%
Detroit No 1,850 1,000 -45.9% -45.9%
El Paso Yes 600 600 0.0%
Fort Worth Dallas Yes 480 480 0.0%
Fresno Yes 396 396 0.0%
Honolulu Yes 424 424 0.0%
Houston Yes 1,744 1,744 0.0%
Indianpolis Yes 746 746 0.0%
Jacksonville Yes 680 680 0.0%
Kansas City (MO) Yes 507 441 -13.0%
Las Vegas Yes 377 377 0.0%
Long Beach Los Angeles No 429 422 -1.6% -1.6%
Los Angeles No 3,554 3,554 0.0% 0.0%
Memphis Yes 646 597 -7.6%
Miami No 365 365 0.0% 0.0%
Milwaukee Yes 741 590 -20.4%
Minneapolis No 522 359 -31.2% -31.2%
Nashville Yes 511 511 0.0%
New Orleans No 628 477 -24.0% -24.0%
New York No 7,896 7,381 -6.5% -6.5%
Newark New York No 442 269 -39.1% -39.1%
Oakland San Francisco No 385 367 -4.6% -4.6%
Oklahoma City Yes 470 470 0.0%
Omaha Yes 364 364 0.0%
Philadelphia No 2,072 1,478 -28.7% -28.7%
Phoenix Yes 1,159 1,159 0.0%
Pittsburgh No 677 350 -48.2% -48.2%
Portland (OR) Yes 481 481 0.0%
Sacramento Yes 376 376 0.0%
San Antonio Yes 1,068 1,068 0.0%
San Diego Yes 1,117 1,117 0.0%
San Francisco No 775 735 -5.2% -5.2%
San Jose San Franciso Yes 839 839 0.0%
Seattle Yes 557 525 -5.7%
St. Louis No 857 352 -59.0% -59.0%
Tucson Yes 449 449 0.0%
Tulsa Yes 378 378 0.0%
Virginia Beach Yes 431 431 0.0%
Washington No 802 543 -32.3% -32.3%
Average -25.6%
The O'Hare Airport annexation in Chicago is not considered because no significant population increase is attributable.

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