Friday, December 30, 2016

The Surprising Population Counts of Cities: Reality Versus Psychology

The headline and tagline of this article are misleading, but the rankings are interesting. (Surprisingly, the article doesn't bring up metro and urban areas, as opposed to a city proper, which makes a big difference for an example like Miami, though this does not satisfactorily explain many of the examples.)

Would you have guessed that the city of Fresno has a higher population than New Orleans? (In this case, the order does get reversed if you measure metro area, but they are still very similar, so it's not like the whopping case of Miami.)

I remember being surprised a few years ago to find out that Boston is not in the US top 20 if you consider the city proper (based on the 2010 census). I remember querying this in a particular data set (here is the associated readme file, by the way) with street-map networks of the center of the top 20 most populous US cities (and similarly for other continents).

Note (partly so I remember this later): metro population and urban population are two different things.

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