Top 10 Most Populated Cities in the U.S in 2021

Are you thinking of moving to one of the biggest cities in the U.S.? Perhaps you’re even thinking of starting a business in a different location. Or maybe you just want to know a few details prior to vacationing in a city you have not visited before. Possibly, you’re just eager to know what makes busy cities tick.

Whatever the reason for your interest, below you will find a list of the 10 most populated cities in the United States. This doesn’t mean the cities with the most skyscrapers; it means the cities with the most people. And, yes, population and development often go hand in hand. Population growth and the potential for future economic growth also go hand in hand. Population growth (or decline) since 2000 has been included. Also included for each city are median age, median household income, and estimated home/condo values. This makes it easy to see what cities are the most and least affordable.

1. New York, N.Y.

  • Population (2019): 8,336,817
  • Population Change Since 2010: +2.0%
  • Median Age (2019): 37.2 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $63,998
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $680,800
  • Nicknames: The Big Apple, The City that Never Sleeps, The Melting Pot
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park

2. Los Angeles, Calif.

  • Population (2019): 3,979,576
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): +4.9%
  • Median Age (2019): 35.9 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $62,142
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $697,200
  • Nicknames: L.A., La-La Land, City of Angels
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, Sunset Boulevard

3. Chicago, Ill.

  • Population (2019): 2,693,976
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): −0.1%
  • Median Age (2019): 35.2 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $58,247
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $275,200
  • Nicknames: The Windy City, City of Big Shoulders, The Second City
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Millennium Park, Willis Tower, Navy Pier

4. Houston, Texas

  • Population (2019): 2,320,268
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): +10.7%
  • Median Age (2019): 33.4 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $52,338
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $195,800
  • Nicknames: Space City, H-Town, The Big Heart
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Space Center, Hermann Park, Houston Zoo

5. Phoenix, Ariz.

  • Population (2019): 1,680,992
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): +16.2%
  • Median Age (2019): 34.4 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $57,459
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $266,600
  • Nicknames: Valley of the Sun, The Valley
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Desert Botanical Garden, Papago Park, South Mountain Park and Preserve

6. Philadelphia, Pa.

  • Population (2019): 1,584,064
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): +3.8%
  • Median Age (2019): 34.7 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $45,927
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $183,200
  • 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, Texas

  • Population (2019): 1,547,253
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): +16.7%
  • Median Age (2019): 33.6 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $52,455
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $146,400
  • Nicknames: Alamo City, Countdown City, River City
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: The Alamo, San Antonio River Walk, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

8. San Diego, Calif.

  • Population (2019): 1,423,851
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): +9.4%
  • Median Age (2019): 35.4 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $79,673
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $658,400
  • Nicknames: America’s Finest City, City in Motion, Silicon Beach
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, USS Midway Museum

9. Dallas, Texas

  • Population (2019): 1,343,573
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): +12.2%
  • Median Age (2019): 32.9 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $52,580
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $231,400
  • 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, Calif.

  • Population (2019): 1,021,795
  • Population Change Since 2010 (2019): +7.3%
  • Median Age (2019): 37.4 years
  • Median Household Income (2019): $109,593
  • Median Value of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (2019): $999,900
  • Nicknames: The Capital of Silicon Valley, San Jo,
  • Prominent Tourist Attractions: San José Museum of Art, California’s Great America, Computer History Museum

The Bottom Line

Before taking a decisive step and moving to a different city, consider other factors besides the population. The cost of living can vary drastically. Cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego, while attractive for many reasons, are also 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.