U.S. Department of Commerce


Cartograms of State Populations in 1890, 1950, and 2010

August 23, 2012

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The size and overall distribution of the U.S. population has changed over time, as some states--especially those in the South and West--have grown faster than others. This series of cartograms shows the distribution of the population in 1890, 1950, and 2010. A cartogram is a map that represents the size of geographic units by a statistic such as population count instead of by actual land area. In each cartogram below, one square represents 50,000 people.

SOURCE: Census 2010 tables showing historical populations for states based on current boundaries.

NOTE: Population counts for 1890 do not include "Indians not taxed." The number of squares per state was calculated by dividing the state population by 50,000 and then rounding to the nearest whole number. This data visualization requires a browser that supports the HTML5 canvas element. You will need at least Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 3.5, Safari 4, or Chrome 2.