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Following the Frontier Line, 1790 to 1890

September 6, 2012

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In 1890, the Superintendent of the Census described the western part of the country as having so many pockets of settled area that a frontier line could no longer be said to exist. The advance of the frontier line that characterized shifts in population distribution for the previous 100 years was complete. This series of maps highlights population expansion into new territory, subsequent gains in population density, and increasing urbanization.

SOURCE: Decennial censuses 1790 to 1890
NOTE: The official Census Bureau designation of "unsettled" or frontier territory was that which had population densities of less than 2 people per square mile. Data do not include "Indians not taxed." Selected cities shown are for reference and may not have existed for the entire period covered by the graphic.

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