United States - Urban population

The value for Urban population in United States was 264,279,500 as of 2016. As the graph below shows, over the past 56 years this indicator reached a maximum value of 264,279,500 in 2016 and a minimum value of 126,462,500 in 1960.

Definition: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverages.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects.

See also:

Year Value
1960 126,462,500
1961 129,276,200
1962 131,988,700
1963 134,615,400
1964 137,216,000
1965 139,663,100
1966 142,008,700
1967 144,288,800
1968 146,463,200
1969 148,629,100
1970 150,922,400
1971 152,865,500
1972 154,531,700
1973 156,035,000
1974 157,488,500
1975 159,070,600
1976 160,611,100
1977 162,256,700
1978 164,005,100
1979 165,847,500
1980 167,551,200
1981 169,552,400
1982 171,528,700
1983 173,459,600
1984 175,321,700
1985 177,239,100
1986 179,244,900
1987 181,215,200
1988 183,232,400
1989 185,333,900
1990 187,966,100
1991 191,509,200
1992 195,199,500
1993 198,806,800
1994 202,278,100
1995 205,718,400
1996 209,146,700
1997 212,694,300
1998 216,206,100
1999 219,721,700
2000 223,069,100
2001 225,792,300
2002 228,400,300
2003 230,876,600
2004 233,532,700
2005 236,200,500
2006 238,999,300
2007 241,795,300
2008 244,607,100
2009 247,276,300
2010 249,866,700
2011 252,260,300
2012 254,677,800
2013 257,001,900
2014 259,460,400
2015 261,906,200
2016 264,279,500

Development Relevance: Explosive growth of cities globally signifies the demographic transition from rural to urban, and is associated with shifts from an agriculture-based economy to mass industry, technology, and service. In principle, cities offer a more favorable setting for the resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas. Cities generate jobs and income, and deliver education, health care and other services. Cities also present opportunities for social mobilization and women's empowerment.

Limitations and Exceptions: Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverage. There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. Some define urban areas based on the presence of certain infrastructure and services. And other countries designate urban areas based on administrative arrangements. Because of national differences in the characteristics that distinguish urban from rural areas, the distinction between urban and rural population is not amenable to a single definition that would be applicable to all countries. Estimates of the world's urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. Because the estimates of city and metropolitan area are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. The indicator is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." The population of a city or metropolitan area depends on the boundaries chosen.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual

Classification

Topic: Environment Indicators

Sub-Topic: Density & urbanization