US/3

The U.S. divided in thirds by population density


One third of the U.S. population lives in high density block groups, or no more than 0.34% of the total land area of the United States.1


population densities of over 4,715 people per square mile
One third of the U.S. population lives in medium density block groups, or no more than 1.31% of the total land area of the United States.1


population densities of 1,081 - 4,715 people per square mile
One third of the U.S. population lives in low density block groups, or as much as 98.35% of the total land area of the United States.1


population densities of under 1,081 people per square mile
Using the 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates, all U.S. Census block groups were sorted by population density and then divided in thirds with each third having approximately equal population of about 106 million.
The chart above takes those same block groups, but looks back at their population from the previous 6 years of ACS 5-Year Estimates.

By State

Below is the composition of high, medium and low density block groups by state as well as the rate of growth since 2010.
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1 U.S. Census block groups may contain non-residential land area such as industrial parks, shopping malls and national parks so portions of the block group may contain zero population.

Counties

The map below shows counties where more of the county population lives in high, medium and low density block groups.
114 counties where more of the population lives in high density block groups

447 counties where more of the population lives in medium density block groups

2,581 counties where more of the population lives in low density block groups

Using historical Census data, we can see how the proportion of the U.S. population living in low density has declined while the proportion living in high and medium density has increased.

Counties by State