Connect with us

Mapping U.S. Urbanization, by State

Published

on

The following content is sponsored by Boxabl

Mapping U.S. Urbanization, by State

More and more U.S. residents are choosing to make their homes in urban settings.

And with the homeowner vacancy rate already at an all-time low of 0.8% at the end of 2022, this is putting increasing pressure on housing supply.

This visualization from sponsor Boxabl is part one of the Reimagining Home Series and asks which U.S. states are most urban?

The Social Fabric of the U.S. is Urban

At its founding and like many other countries at the time, the U.S. was largely a rural country. In 1790, only 5.1% of U.S. residents lived in urban settings.

Rising industrialization and immigration after the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877) helped drive the growth of cities. As more and more people made their homes in cities, the U.S. became more urban than rural, some time in the late 1910s.

But it wasn’t only immigrants that drove this rapid growth—rural migration also played a part. Between 1880 and 1890, almost 40% of U.S. townships experienced a population decrease, according to the Library of Congress.

Fast forward to 2023, and 83.3% of people in the U.S. now live in an urban setting. Here are the state-by-state numbers from the 2020 U.S. Census.

StateUrban PopulationUrban Population (%)
Alabama2,900,88057.70
Alaska475,96764.90
Arizona6,385,23089.30
Arkansas1,670,67755.50
California37,259,49094.20
Colorado4,966,93686.00
Connecticut3,110,15386.30
Delaware817,81782.60
District of Columbia689,545100.00
Florida19,714,80691.50
Georgia7,933,98674.10
Hawaii1,252,45086.10
Idaho1,273,43769.20
Illinois11,137,59086.90
Indiana4,829,68671.20
Iowa2,014,83163.20
Kansas2,124,05972.30
Kentucky2,644,85658.70
Louisiana3,332,23771.50
Maine526,30938.60
Maryland5,288,76085.60
Massachusetts6,416,89591.30
Michigan7,404,25873.50
Minnesota4,101,75471.90
Mississippi1,370,79046.30
Missouri4,275,66369.50
Montana579,17753.40
Nebraska1,432,00373.00
Nevada2,921,20394.10
New Hampshire803,42058.30
New Jersey8,708,77993.80
New Mexico1,578,55274.50
New York17,665,16687.40
North Carolina6,964,72766.70
North Dakota474,98961.00
Ohio9,001,09976.30
Oklahoma2,558,61164.60
Oregon3,410,98480.50
Pennsylvania9,941,07076.50
Rhode Island999,19191.10
South Carolina3,477,86967.90
South Dakota507,34757.20
Tennessee4,577,28266.20
Texas24,400,69783.70
Utah2,937,30389.80
Vermont225,85035.10
Virginia6,528,31375.60
Washington6,424,03583.40
West Virginia800,85744.60
Wisconsin3,953,69167.10
Wyoming357,75062.00

California (94.2%), Nevada (94.1%), and New Jersey (93.8%) were the top three most urban states in 2020, according to the U.S. decennial census. This excludes Washington, D.C., which is considered to be 100% urban. 

Not surprisingly, the three most populous states also had the largest urban populations: California (37.3 million), Texas (24.4 million), and Florida (19.7 million). 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, four states had rural majorities: Mississippi (46.3%), West Virginia (44.6%), Maine (38.6%), and Vermont (35.1%). Last place Vermont also had the smallest urban population at 225,850 in absolute terms.

The Rising Cost of Urbanization

With nearly 90% of U.S. residents projected to live in cities by 2050, finding a decent place to live is becoming harder and more expensive.

Median house prices in the U.S. hit an all-time high of $479,500 in the fourth quarter of 2022, before easing off slightly to $436,800 in the new year.

Area graph showing the rise of median mouse prices from 1965 to 2022.

The headline national house price papers over significant regional differences, and if you lived in the Northeast and West Census Regions you would be faced with the most expensive real estate in the country.

The Northeast median house price hit a high of $699,000 in the third quarter of 2022, while the West peaked in the second quarter at $582,600.

Thinking Outside of the Box with Boxabl

U.S. housing supply is under increasing pressure, with the gap between single-family home constructions and household formations growing to 6.5 million homes between 2012 and 2022.

Boxabl uses advanced, mass production techniques to build and ship homes that significantly lower the cost of home ownership for everyone.

This is the first piece in the Reimagining Home Series from our sponsor, Boxabl. Next up in part two is an analysis of housing affordability.

Visual Capitalist Logo

Learn more about how Boxabl is helping tackle the housing affordability crisis.

Click for Comments

You may also like

Subscribe