United States Population

The United States is a nation of immigrants (Migration). Several phases of immigration can be distinguished: Until 1880/90, immigrants from Western and Northern Europe predominated, especially from Great Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Germany; the immigration of Chinese workers was banned in 1882. In a second phase until 1925, the countries of origin shifted to southern and eastern Europe, especially Italy, Russia, Poland and countries in south-eastern Europe). Quota laws (1921 and 1924), the economic depression of the 1930s and the Second World War saw the numbers decline sharply until the 1960s. The renewed immigration law of 1965 introduced a fourth phase: the national quotas were abolished, priority was given to family reunification, refugee reception and professional qualifications of immigrants. In 1990 a flexible ceiling was set at 675,000 immigrants per year. In 2017/18 the Trump administration tightened the immigration criteria: family reunification became more difficult, fewer people received permanent residence permits (green cards), the right to stay for nationals of some states, especially from Central America, was lifted and there were entry bans for countries from the Middle East and Africa Africa. The government put a focus on preventing illegal immigration. was lifted and there were entry bans for countries from the Middle East and Africa. The government put a focus on preventing illegal immigration. was lifted and there were entry bans for countries from the Middle East and Africa. The government put a focus on preventing illegal immigration.

Population groups: As a result of immigration from Europe that has prevailed for a long time, the white population dominates, followed by members of Latin American origin (Hispanics), blacks (African American) and Asians. However, the proportion of whites is steadily declining; The last national census (population census) from 2010 (next census 2020) resulted in a share of 72.4%. The proportion of indigenous peoples or Native Americans (Indians, Inuit, Aleutians and Athabascan) is around 1%. The majority of the Indians, who have only had full civil rights since 1924, live on around 300 reservations, mainly in the western United States. African Americans live predominantly in the southeastern United States and in the metropolitan areas of the northeast. According to itypetravel, the population groups of Asian descent are found particularly in Hawaii and California, as well as in the metropolises in the northeast. Much of the Hispanics are from Mexico. They mainly live in the southwestern United States.

Immigration to the USA

1981-90 1991-2000 2001-10
Total number in 1,000 7 338 9 095 10 504
of which (in%)
Europe 9.6 14.4 11.3
Latin America 47.2 47.5 40.9
Asia 38.4 31.8 36.9
Africa 2.6 4.2 8.6
other regions 2.2 2.1 2.3

Regional distribution: The population distribution can be divided into four regions: About 18% of the population live in the northeast (New England and Mid-Atlantic states), the density of many states, especially in the northeast, is relatively high, with the highest in New Jersey. Around 21% of the population live in the Midwest (Great Lakes region and the states adjoining it to the southwest), and in some cases the density is less than 10 residents per km 2. 23.5% of the population live in the west; it includes the sparsely populated mountain regions and the Pacific states. California is the most populous state in the USA with almost 40 million residents. In the south (South Atlantic coast up to and including Texas) around 37% of the population live with regionally very different densities. The population density is lowest in Alaska with 0.5 residents per km 2. Internal migration over the past few decades has been particularly directed from the northeast to the west and south. The main reason was de-industrialization from the 1970s onwards. The states with the largest population growth in the 2000s were Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Florida.

Cities and metropolitan areas: The proportion of the urban population has increased from (1950) 64% to (2017) 82%. In total there are more than 50 metropolitan areas with more than 1 million residents. The largest urban agglomerations are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas – Fort Worth, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC

The first cities of the Europeans emerged in the east: Saint Augustine in Florida in 1565, Jamestown in Virginia in 1607 and Plymouth in New England in 1620. The founding of cities in the 17th century also includes: New York (1626 as Nieuw-Amsterdam) on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Boston, Massachusetts (1630), Williamsburg, Virginia (1633), Charleston, South Carolina (1670) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1682). Century among others New Orleans, Louisiana (1718), Savannah, Georgia (1733), and Richmond, Virginia (1737). The industrialization in the 19th century led to rapid urban growth and numerous new foundations, especially at railway junctions in the west.

The cityground plan in the USA is often checkerboard with intersecting streets; an exception is e.g. B. the capital Washington, in which, following the French model, there are additional diagonal connections between special government sites (Capitol, White House), monuments and squares. In the core (downtown) of the cities is the central business district with mainly service companies and cultural institutions. Another zone of the inner cities is dominated by older buildings. On the one hand, the four to six-storey residential buildings from the era of high industrialization are neglected (slums) and residential areas of minorities or people with low incomes. On the other hand, these areas have developed into gentrifiedneighborhoods in many places, including through urban renewal programs.

Around the core of the big cities there is a suburban area, which experienced ever greater expansion, especially after 1950 (suburbanization). Furthermore, industrial parks, the outsourcing of offices to “office parks” and the construction of shopping malls, schools, etc. new work and supply centers that are detached from the inner cities, so-called edge or outer cities. In the 2010s, the opposite trend towards reurbanization (urbanization) intensified.

Metropolitan areas in the United States

Metropolitan areas with more than 2 million residents (2010)
Name 1) (abbreviation of the states) Metropolitan Area 2) city
Pop. (1 000) Pop. (1 000)
New York (N. Y., N. J., Pa.) 19 567 8 175
Los Angeles (Calif.) 12 829 3 793
Chicago (Ill., Wis.) 9 461 2,696
Dallas- Fort Worth (Tex.) 6 426 1 198
Philadelphia (Pa., N. J., Del., Md.) 5,965 1 526
Houston (Tex.) 5,920 2 100
Washington (D. C., Md., Va., W. Va.) 5 636 602
Miami (Fla.) 5 565 399
Atlanta (Ga.) 5 287 420
Boston (Mass., N. H.) 4 552 618
San Francisco (Calif.) 4,335 805
Detroit (Me.) 4 296 714
Riverside -San Bernardino (Calif.) 4 225 304
Phoenix (Ariz.) 4 193 1 446
Seattle (Wash.) 3 440 609
Minneapolis -Saint Paul (Minn., Wis.) 3 349 383
San Diego (Calif.) 3 095 1 307
Saint Louis (Mon., Ill.) 2,788 319
Tampa (Fla.) 2,783 336
Baltimore (Md.) 2 710 621
Denver (Colo.) 2 543 600
Pittsburgh (Pa.) 2,356 306
Portland (Oreg., Wash.) 2 226 584
Charlotte -Concord-Gastonia (NC, SC) 2 217 731
Sacramento (Calif.) 2 149 466
San Antonio- New Braunfels (Tex.) 2 143 1 327
Orlando (Fla.) 2 134 238
Cincinnati (Oh., Ky., Ind.) 2 115 297
Cleveland (Oh.) 2,077 397
Kansas City (Mon., Kans.) 2 009 460
1) Only the most important city mentioned in each case; the states in which the metropolitan area has a share are given in brackets.2) Areas partially changed (defined in 2005).

United States Population

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