U.S. Department of Commerce


Differential City Growth Patterns, 1950 to 2010

August 2, 2012

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City growth can reflect increases in population, area, or both. Many older, established cities have retained a similar amount of land area since 1950. These cities often border other municipalities and have no free adjacent territory to annex. In contrast, many cities in the South and West are often able to annex territory and population.

*Nashville-Davidson metropolitan government (balance), TN; Indianapolis (balance), IN; Louisville/Jefferson County metropolitan government (balance), KY

Notes: Cities are those of 500,000 or more people in 2010. Within each category, cities are arranged (left to right) from smallest to largest percent change in area between 1950 and 2010. Population and area data are from decennial censuses for 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010.