The following is a list of incorporated places in the United States with a population density of over 10,000 people per square mile. As defined by the United States Census Bureau, an incorporated place is defined as a place that has a self-governing local government and as such has been "incorporated" by the state it is in. Each state has different laws defining how a place can be incorporated and so an "incorporated place" as recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau can designate a variety of places, such as a city, town, village, borough, and township.[a]
The other type of place defined by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes are census-designated places. Census-designated places are distinct from incorporated places because they do not have a local government and thus depend on higher government bodies, such as a county, for governance. Census-designated places are defined as being in an unincorporated area. Census-designated places that have a population density of over 10,000 people per square mile are listed in a separate table below. The five boroughs of New York City, and the census-designated places of Puerto Rico that have densities over 10,000, are also listed in separate tables below.
Incorporated places with a density of over 10,000 people per square mile
The following data about the most densely populated incorporated places in the United States is from the U.S. Census Bureau and is from the 2010 U.S. Census. The following ranking is made up of incorporated places of any population, but also of interest may be lists compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau of all places with at least 50,000 population, arranged alphabetically by state, and ranked by total population; the population density for each place is also given in the lists.
The population density is calculated by dividing the population by the land area so that it represents the number of people living in one square mile of land area. The population densities listed in the table below do not work out to be exactly the result of dividing the listed population by the listed land area because the land areas have been rounded off to two decimal places, but the population densities were calculated before rounding the land area figures. The land area figures are calculated using the U.S. Census Bureau's TIGER system. The U.S. Census Bureau has released the exact land area figures for all places in the U.S. in square meters and square miles; the exact land areas are the figures used for calculating the population densities seen in the table below.
The list below only includes incorporated places of the fifty states. Unincorporated census-designated places, places in Puerto Rico, and the five boroughs of New York City are all listed in separate tables below. The District of Columbia would be included in the list, but Washington, D.C. misses the 10,000 mark as it has a population density of 9,800 people per square mile as of the 2010 U.S. Census (as of 2013 American Community Survey estimates, however, Washington now has a density of 10,528 people per square mile).
Those cities not a part of a larger city's metropolitan area in bold.
The following is a list of unincorporated census-designated places with population densities of over 10,000 people per square mile as of the 2000 U.S. Census. The rank column indicates the rank the place would have if it was included in the above table of incorporated places.
The following lists the population densities of the five boroughs of New York City as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The rank column indicates the rank they would have if included in the above table of incorporated places. Staten Island has a population density below 10,000 but it is included for comparative purposes.
The following lists the census-designated places in Puerto Rico that have a population density of over 10,000 people per square mile as of the 2000 U.S. Census. The census-designated places in Puerto Rico include zonas urbanas (urban areas) and comunidades (communities). The municipality, or municipio, the place is located in is also included in the table below. The municipalities are what is thought of as "incorporated places" in Puerto Rico because there are no subordinate governments within them, only eight electoral districts which hold no administrative functions (the electoral districts are what generally constitute the census-designated places in this list below). No municipalities have a density over 10,000 as of the 2000 U.S. Census; the San Juan Municipio is the densest at 9,084.4 people per square mile. The Jayuya municipality is not part of any metropolitan area as it is only part of the Jayuya micropolitan area (see Puerto Rico census statistical areas). The rank column indicates the rank the place would have if included in the above table of incorporated places.
The following distributions only include the 125 incorporated places with population densities over 10,000 people per square mile. They do not include the 36 census-designated places, the boroughs of New York City, or the 11 places in Puerto Rico with densities over 10,000.
The following ranks United States metropolitan areas by the number of incorporated places with densities over 10,000 within them. If two or more metropolitan areas have the same number of incorporated places, as is the case of the eight metros with one place, the metro areas are ranked by the densest incorporated place within the metro area.
The following ranks U.S. states by the number of incorporated places with densities over 10,000 within them. The "10,000+ places" column only includes incorporated places, it does not include census-designated places (CDPs). If two or more states have the same number of places, as is the case of the 36 states that contain no incorporated places with a density over 10,000, the states are ranked by the densest incorporated place within the state. The density figures for the densest incorporated place within each state are from the 2000 U.S. Census, and all the data for this ranking is from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Hawaii officially does not contain any incorporated places, as the city of Honolulu is coextensive with Honolulu County, which makes up the whole island of Oahu. When the U.S. Census Bureau ranks incorporated places by population, it usually includes the Honolulu census-designated place, which is the urban center of Honolulu, in its ranking of incorporated places. Therefore, for this list of the densest incorporated places by state, the Honolulu CDP is considered the densest incorporated place in Hawaii. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are also included in this list, but are unranked so that the ranking includes only the 50 states. Puerto Rico also officially does not contain any incorporated places, as the lowest form of local government in Puerto Rico are the municipios, which are equivalent to counties. For this ranking, the municipios are counted as the incorporated places in Puerto Rico, and the San Juan Municipio is the densest.
^Townships are a special case because in many states townships do not act as incorporated places, but townships in New Jersey and townships in Pennsylvania are civil townships and do act as self-governing municipalities, and for most purposes are equivalent to other "incorporated" places as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Because these municipalities have local governments and are essentially incorporated in the state, townships in these two states are included in the list. Home Rule Municipalities in Pennsylvania, some of which retain the name "Township", are not civil townships under Pennsylvania law, but are not recognized as a separate category of places by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sometimes the U.S. Census Bureau regards these places as minor civil divisions and not "incorporated", as it also sometimes does to New England towns. However, all places in New England on this list are classified as cities and so do not have this problem, as cities in New England are regarded as "incorporated" by the U.S. Census Bureau.
^ abcdefThis New Jersey municipality is officially a township and is sometimes not regarded as "incorporated" by the U.S. Census Bureau. See the explanation above in the first note for why it is included in this list of incorporated places.
^This Pennsylvania municipality, although officially bearing the name "Township", is actually a Home Rule Municipality which is not subject to the Pennsylvania Township Code. However, the U.S. Census Bureau does not recognize Home Rule Municipalities as a separate category of incorporated place; therefore, it is sometimes not regarded as "incorporated" by the U.S. Census Bureau. See the explanation above in the first note for why it is included in this list of incorporated places.
^Education Development Center, Center for Children and Technology; Union City, New Jersey, Board of Education (2000-08-15). "The Transformation of Union City: 1989 to Present"(PDF). CCT Reports. Education Development Center, Center for Children and Technology. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
US Cities: Ranked by Density: 1990 – from Demographia, ranks all places in the U.S., including incorporated places and census-designated places (CDPs), with population densities over 10,000 people per square mile in 1990