Top 10 Largest Cities in the US in 2022

Population and development often go hand in hand in the very same way that population growth and the potential for future economic growth do. As such, some of the largest cities in the United States are also the most populated.

Below, you'll find a list of the 10 most populated cities in the United States. Along with their most recently recorded population, you'll find other relevant facts, including the median age, median household income, and estimated home/condo values. Knowing these figures makes it easy to see what cities are the most and least affordable. Note: all figures are from 2021 unless otherwise indicated.

Key Takeaways

  • Population and development are often interrelated in the same way that population growth and economic growth are related.
  • New York is the most populated city in the United States.
  • Three cities in California made the top 10 populated cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose.
  • Texas made the list with three cities: Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
  • Chicago, Phoenix, and Philadelphia also ranked among the top 10 most populated cities in the U.S.

1. New York

  • Population: 8.5 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: -3.8%
  • Median Age: 36.9 years
  • Median Household Income: $67,046
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $635,200
  • Nicknames: The Big Apple, The City that Never Sleeps, The Melting Pot
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, Broadway, Times Square

2. Los Angeles

  • Population: 3.9 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: -1%
  • Median Age: 35.9 years
  • Median Household Income: $65,290
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $670,700
  • Nicknames: L.A., La-La Land, City of Angels
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, Sunset Boulevard

3. Chicago

  • Population: 2.7 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: -1.8%
  • Median Age: 34.8 years
  • Median Household Income: $62,097
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $267,600
  • Nicknames: The Windy City, City of Big Shoulders, The Second City
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Millennium Park, Willis Tower, Navy Pier

According to the Census Bureau, the estimated population of the U.S. in 2021 was 331.9 million.

4. Houston

  • Population: 2.3 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: -0.6%
  • Median Age: 33.3 years
  • Median Household Income: $53,600
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $186,800
  • Nicknames: Space City, H-Town, The Big Heart
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Space Center, Hermann Park, Houston Zoo

5. Phoenix

  • Population: 1.6 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: +1%
  • Median Age: 33.9 years
  • Median Household Income: $60,914
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $250,800
  • Nicknames: Valley of the Sun, The Valley
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Desert Botanical Garden, Papago Park, South Mountain Park and Preserve

6. Philadelphia

  • Population: 1.6 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: -2%
  • Median Age: 34.6 years
  • Median Household Income: $49,127
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $171,600
  • Nicknames: The City of Brotherly Love, The Birthplace of America, The Quaker City
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art

7. San Antonio

  • Population: 1.5 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: +1.2%
  • Median Age: 33.8 years
  • Median Household Income: $53,420
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $156,700
  • Nicknames: Alamo City, Countdown City, River City
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: The Alamo, San Antonio River Walk, San Antonio Missions National Historical Par

Tokyo is the world's most populated city with more than 37 million people, followed by New Delhi (29.4 million) and Shanghai (26.3 million).

8. San Diego

  • Population: 1.4 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: -0.3%
  • Median Age: 35.2 years
  • Median Household Income: $83,454
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $629,500
  • Nicknames: America’s Finest City, City in Motion, Silicon Beach
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, USS Midway Museum

9. Dallas

  • Population: 1.3 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: -1.2%
  • Median Age: 32.9 years
  • Median Household Income: $54,747
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $208,700
  • Nicknames: City of Hate, D-Town, The Metroplex
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Klyde Warren Park, The Dallas World Aquarium

10. San Jose

  • Population: 1 million
  • Population Change Since 2020: -3%
  • Median Age: 37.1 years
  • Median Household Income: $117,324
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units: $925,800
  • Nicknames: The Capital of Silicon Valley, San Jo,
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: San José Museum of Art, California’s Great America, Computer History Museum

Recent Demographic Trends in U.S. Cities

The last several years has seen some changes in demographics and migration trends in and out of large American cities. COVID-19, for example, created a work-at-home culture that has allowed city residents to move to the suburbs an beyond without having to commute as much as before. Many tech companies have kept their work-from-home policies even as vaccination and immunity has largely decreased the severity of COVID-19. Other companies are switching to hybrid models that allow for some time in the office.

Thus, after more than a decade of steady population growth, large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have seen their populations drop modestly since 2020. Cities that did see continued growth tended be those more affordable cities located in warmer Sun-Belt climates in the South such as Phoenix. San Antonio, Jacksonville, and Ft. Worth.

What Are the Largest Cities in the U.S. by Population?

The largest cities by population in the United States are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, and San Jose.

What Is the Largest City in the U.S.?

New York is the largest city in the U.S. by population. It had a population of more than 8.8 million, according to 2020 census figures.

What Is the Biggest City in the U.S. by Area?

The largest city by area in the United States is Sitka, Alaska. The city spans 2,874 square miles of incorporated area.

The Bottom Line

While the size of a city's population may point to its economic strength and growth, there are other factors that may affect just how attractive it may be to potential residents. For instance, the cost of living can vary drastically. Cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego are very costly. On the other hand, our research has found that Houston, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Dallas are among the most affordable big cities based on median household income relative to the median household/condo cost.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. U.S. Census Bureau. “New York City, New York.”

  2. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “New York, NY.”

  3. U.S. Census Bureau. “Los Angeles City, California.”

  4. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “Los Angeles, CA.”

  5. U.S. Census Bureau. “Chicago City, Illinois.”

  6. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “Chicago, IL.”

  7. Choose Chicago. “Chicago Facts.”

  8. United States Census Bureau. "United States."

  9. U.S. Census Bureau. “Houston City, Texas.”

  10. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “Houston, TX.”

  11. Houston Public Media. “What Is Houston’s One True Nickname?

  12. U.S. Census Bureau. “Phoenix City, Arizona.”

  13. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “Phoenix, AZ.”

  14. New World Encyclopedia. “Phoenix, Arizona.”

  15. U.S. Census Bureau. “Philadelphia City, Pennsylvania.”

  16. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “Philadelphia, PA.”

  17. VOA Learning English. “Words and Their Stories: Nicknames for Philadelphia and Boston.”

  18. U.S. Census Bureau. “San Antonio City, Texas.”

  19. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “San Antonio, TX.”

  20. The Big Apple. “Alamo City (San Antonio Nickname).”

  21. The Big Apple. “Countdown City or 210 (San Antonio Nickname).”

  22. The Big Apple. “River City (San Antonio Nickname).”

  23. Google. “San Antonio.”

  24. World Population Review. "World City Populations 2022."

  25. U.S. Census Bureau. “San Diego City, California.”

  26. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “San Diego, CA.”

  27. SeeCalifornia.com. “California City Nicknames.”

  28. U.S. Census Bureau. “Dallas City, Texas.”

  29. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “Dallas, TX.”

  30. The Big Apple. “City of Hate (Dallas Nickname).”

  31. The Big Apple. “D-Town (Dallas Nickname).”

  32. Texas Standard. “How Many of These Texas City Nicknames Do You Know?

  33. U.S. Census Bureau. “San Jose City, California.”

  34. Census Reporter, citing the U.S. Census Bureau. “San Jose, CA.”

  35. Calisphere. “San Jose Garden City Brochure, 1915.”

  36. City and Borough of Sitka Alaska. "About Sitka."

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