Metro Density Comparison Part 2

For tracts, I looked over the maps of all cities within metros that had populations between 1.5 and 2.5 million (based on 2010 census). I then found every tract that had a population density of 5,000 people per square mile or higher, but I tried to stay within the core city and its immediate surroundings. In most cases, this was just within the central metro county, but some cities are split between county borders and even state borders, so I tried to use an equal approximation.

First, the total number of tracts with 5,000+ densities by city and rank.

1. Las Vegas: 290
2. San Jose: 285
3. Cleveland: 211
4. Milwaukee: 198
5. Portland: 174
6. Sacramento: 168
7. Pittsburgh: 147
8. San Antonio: 118
9. Columbus: 98
10. Virginia Beach: 92
11. Cincinnati: 84
12. Providence: 84
13. Austin: 61
14. Orlando: 47
15. Indianapolis: 46
16. Kansas City: 44
17. Nashville: 21
18. Charlotte: 16

Average Density for all Tracts that have 5,000+ Densities by Rank

1. Milwaukee: 10,394.2
2. Providence: 10,163.5
3. San Jose: 10,114.8
4. Pittsburgh: 8,753.8
5. Las Vegas: 8,604.4
6. Austin: 7,981.4
7. Cleveland: 7,882.1
8. Columbus: 7,821.8
9. Portland: 7,679.8
10. Cincinnati: 7,586.7
11. Sacramento: 7,397.3
12. Virginia Beach: 7,304.1
13. San Antonio: 6,736.5
14. Kansas City: 6,703.7
15. Orlando: 6,689.5
16. Charlotte: 6,678.2
17. Nashville: 6,558.7
18. Indianapolis: 6,170.7

Average Density of Top 15 Densist Tracts by Rank

Milwaukee: 23,786.4
San Jose: 22,225.5
Pittsburgh: 18,581.4
Las Vegas: 18,227.8
Providence: 16,701.2
Portland: 15,401.5
Columbus: 14,733.6
Austin: 13,660.0
Cleveland: 13,458.6
Cincinnati: 12,443.9
Virginia Beach: 12,396.5
Sacramento: 12,261.4
San Antonio: 9,497.6
Orlando: 8,955.3
Kansas City: 8,476.5
Indianapolis: 7,294.0
Nashville: 7,113.9
Charlotte: 6,787.5

Columbus doesn’t do too badly with these numbers and certainly better than I was really expecting. In general, it’s more dense in parts than it gets credit for being. Las Vegas stands out as the most surprising to me, but I guess the built environment there is pretty dense when you think about it, at least in the urban core that these numbers measured. Charlotte, Indianapolis and Nashville have incredibly low densities for being major, moderate-fast growing metros/cities. Columbus and Indianapolis are often called twin cities and compared regularly, but this is one area where there’s a pretty stark difference. I plan to do a formal comparison of the two metros at some point in the future.

In regards to the 5,000+ density tracts, here’s a further breakdown.

All Tracts with a Density of 25,000 or More and % of Total 5,000+ Tracts by Rank

1. Austin: 2 3.3%
2. Milwaukee: 4 2.0%
3. San Jose: 4 1.4%
4. Virginia Beach: 1 1.1%
5. Columbus: 1 1.0%
6. Pittsburgh: 1 0.7%
7. Portland: 1 0.6%
8. Charlotte: 0 0.0%
9. Cincinnati: 0 0.0%
10. Cleveland: 0 0.0%
11. Indianapolis: 0 0.0%
12. Kansas City: 0 0.0%
13. Las Vegas: 0 0.0%
14. Nashville: 0 0.0%
15. Orlando: 0 0.0%
16. Providence: 0 0.0%
17. Sacramento: 0 0.0%
18. San Antonio: 0 0.0%

All Tracts with a Density of 20,000 or More and % of Total 5,000+ Tracts by Rank

1. Milwaukee: 13 6.6%
2. Austin: 3 4.9%
3. Columbus: 3 3.1%
4. Pittsburgh: 4 2.7%
5. San Jose: 6 2.1%
6. Las Vegas: 4 1.4%
7. Providence: 1 1.2%
8. Portland: 2 1.1%
9. Virginia Beach: 1.1%
10. Cleveland: 1 0.5%
11. Charlotte: 0 0.0%
12. Cincinnati: 0 0.0%
13. Indianapolis: 0 0.0%
14. Kansas City: 0 0.0%
15. Nashville: 0 0.0%
16. Orlando: 0 0.0%
17. Sacramento: 0 0.0%
18. San Antonio: 0 0.0%

All Tracts with a Density of 15,000 or More and % of Total 5,000+ Tracts by Rank

1. Milwaukee: 32 16.2%
2. Providence: 12 14.3%
3. San Jose: 31 10.9%
4. Austin: 5 8.2%
5. Pittsburgh: 12 8.2%
6. Columbus: 6 6.1%
7. Las Vegas: 13 4.5%
8. Portland: 6 3.4%
9. Sacramento: 3 1.8%
10. Cincinnati: 1 1.2%
11. Virginia Beach: 1 1.1%
12. Cleveland: 2 0.9%
13. Charlotte: 0 0.0%
14. Indianapolis: 0 0.0%
15. Kansas City: 0 0.0%
16. Nashville: 0 0.0%
17. Orlando: 0 0.0%
18. San Antonio: 0 0.0%

All Tracts with a Density of 10,000 or More and % of Total 5,000+ Tracts by Rank

1. Providence: 37 44.0%
2. San Jose: 112 39.3%
3. Milwaukee: 52 26.3%
4. Pittsburgh: 36 24.5%
5. Las Vegas: 67 23.1%
6. Cleveland: 37 17.5%
7. Cincinnati: 14 16.7%
8. Austin: 9 14.8%
9. Nashville: 3 14.3%
10. Portland: 21 12.1%
11. Virginia Beach: 8 8.7%
12. Orlando: 4 8.5%
13. Columbus: 8 8.2%
14. Sacramento: 13 7.7%
15. Charlotte: 1 6.3%
16. San Antonio: 3 2.5%
17. Kansas City: 1 2.3%
18. Indianapolis: 0 0.0%

All Tracts with a Density of 9,000 or More and % of Total 5,000+ Tracts by Rank

1. Providence: 47 56.0%
2. San Jose: 132 46.3%
3. Las Vegas: 101 34.8%
4. Milwaukee: 65 32.8%
5. Pittsburgh: 47 32.0%
6. Cleveland: 52 24.6%
7. Cincinnati: 19 22.6%
8. Austin: 13 21.3%
9. Portland: 29 16.7%
10. Columbus: 16 16.3%
11. Nashville: 3 14.3%
12. Sacramento: 24 14.3%
13. Kansas City: 6 13.6%
14. Charlotte: 2 12.5%
15. Virginia Beach: 10 10.7%
16. Orlando: 5 10.6%
17. San Antonio: 9 7.6%
18. Indianapolis: 0 0.0%

All Tracts with a Density of 8,000 or More and % of Total 5,000+ Tracts by Rank

1. San Jose: 183 64.2%
2. Providence: 52 61.9%
3. Las Vegas: 136 46.9%
4. Pittsburgh: 63 42.9%
5. Milwaukee: 82 41.4%
6. Cleveland: 87 41.2%
7. Sacramento: 49 29.2%
8. Austin: 17 27.9%
9. Cincinnati: 23 27.4%
10. Columbus: 26 26.5%
11. Portland: 41 23.6%
12. Kansas City: 10 22.7%
13. Orlando: 10 21.3%
14. Virginia Beach: 19 20.7%
15. San Antonio: 17 14.4%
16. Nashville: 3 14.3%
17. Charlotte: 2 12.5%
18. Indianapolis: 2 4.3%

All Tracts with a Density of 7,000 or More and % of Total 5,000+ Tracts by Rank

1. San Jose: 222 77.9%
2. Providence: 58 69.0%
3. Las Vegas: 185 63.8%
4. Cleveland: 119 56.4%
5. Milwaukee: 111 56.1%
6. Pittsburgh: 80 54.4%
7. Sacramento: 83 49.4%
8. Cincinnati: 38 45.2%
9. Columbus: 42 42.9%
10. Virginia Beach: 39 42.4%
11. Portland: 71 40.8%
12. Austin: 23 37.7%
13. Charlotte: 5 31.3%
14. Kansas City: 13 29.5%
15. San Antonio: 32 27.1%
16. Orlando: 12 25.5%
17. Nashville: 4 19.0%
18. Indianapolis: 8 17.4%

All Tracts with a Density of 6,000 or More and % of Total 5,000+ Tracts by Rank

1. San Jose: 260 91.2%
2. Las Vegas: 235 81.0%
3. Providence: 68 81.0%
4. Pittsburgh: 113 76.9%
5. Sacramento: 122 72.6%
6. Cleveland: 153 72.5%
7. Milwaukee: 142 71.7%
8. Columbus: 66 67.3%
9. Portland: 113 64.9%
10. Cincinnati: 54 64.3%
11. Orlando: 29 61.7%
12. San Antonio: 71 60.2%
13. Virginia Beach: 55 59.8%
14. Austin: 35 57.4%
15. Kansas City: 25 56.8%
16. Nashville: 10 47.6%
17. Charlotte: 7 43.8%
18. Indianapolis: 20 43.5%

Top 20 Densist Tracts from all 18 Metros

1. 48,971.9: Virginia Beach #38
2. 48,602.1: San Jose #500902
3. 32,306.4: Pittsburgh #404
4. 31,919.9: Milwaukee #11
5. 31,627.6: Milwaukee #147
6. 29,072: Columbus #181
7. 28,922.9: San Jose #509107
8. 27,544.8: Milwaukee #164
9. 26,825.8: Portland #56
10. 25,543.1: Austin #603
11. 25,271.2: Milwaukee #146
12. 25,229.7: Austin #604
13. 25,195.3: San Jose #509403
14. 25,053.2: San Jose #503118
15. 24,925.7: Columbus #13
16. 24,882.3: Las Vegas #2996
17. 24,666.9: Pittsburgh #9822
18. 24,481.1: Pittsburgh #406
19. 24,043.4: Portland #48
20. 24,025.6: Las Vegas #2207