The United States is one of the largest countries in the world by land area, spanning more than 3.5 million square miles. While Americans have many options when it comes to choosing a place to live, large shares of the population live in relatively small, densely-populated, urban areas.
Of the more than 3,000 counties and county equivalents nationwide, 25 are home to more than one in every five Americans.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 25 most populous counties in America. Counties are ranked by their population as of July 1, 2021. Among the counties on this list, populations range from 1.5 million to nearly 10 million.
These counties span the country, though only two are in the Midwest. The largest share of counties on this list are in the West, including eight in California alone. Most of the counties on this list either contain or have some or all of the same borders as a major city. Here is a look at the largest cities in America.
Though each of these counties ranks among the largest in the U.S. by population, most have a smaller population now than they did one year ago. Housing prices in many of the most populous counties have soared in recent years. This has made them less affordable and led to rising outward migration. Falling birth rates and rising death rates during the pandemic have also contributed to population declines in these counties.
Over the past year, the number of people living in the metro areas on this list has fallen by over 600,000. In one county on this list, the population fell by nearly 7% in the last year. Here is a look at the American city most people are leaving.
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