The population density in the U.S. varies widely by city and state. For example, New Jersey, the most densely populated state, has 1,218 residents per square mile. Alaska, at the other end of the scale, has less than one. Tight populations can strain resources, such as infrastructure. It can also make proximity to key resources, like medical care and retail, more manageable.
Based on information from Governing.com, the least densely populated cities tend to be in the least populated states. Anchorage is one of the least densely populated cities in America, among those with populations over 50,000, at 175 residents per square mile. Its population is 298,192.
The five most densely populated cities in America are all in New Jersey or New York State. New York City, with a population of 8,537,673, is one of them, ranked fourth, at 28,211 residents per square mile. The other four are in the immediate New York City area.
The fifth most densely populated city, with a population of 70,635 and a density of 22,424 people per square mile, is Passaic NJ. Passaic is almost immediately across the Hudson River from New York, between the routes to the Lincoln Tunnel and George Washington Bridge, each of which goes into Manhattan.
The third is Hoboken NJ, with a population of 54,379, has a density of 42,484 per square mile. Hoboken is immediately across the Hudson River from Manhattan’s Chelsea and Greenwich Village neighborhoods.
Ranked second, West New York NJ, with a population of 53,343, has a population density of 52,815 residents per square mile. It is across the Hudson from Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Ranked first in population density is Union City NJ. It has a population of 69,296, and a population density of 54,138 people per square mile. It sits near the exit of the Lincoln Tunnel across from central Manhattan.
According to the Census, about three-quarters of Union City’s population is Hispanic and about 17% is White. The median household income is $48,992, well below the national average. The poverty rate, at 19.6% is almost twice the national figure.