We’re Popular: DC Area Rounds Out Top 10 Most Populous Cities

by UrbanTurf Staff

The DC area is the 9th largest metropolitan area in the country (population-wise), according to estimates from Buffalo Business First. The region, which (by Business First’s assessment) includes DC and parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, has a population of 5,602,683, according to the recently released estimates.

Business First uses an in-house computer program that projects the population of metro areas by analyzing demographic trends over the past decade. (UrbanTurf is looking for a more detailed explanation of its methodology.) The screen shot below shows that it provides new estimates almost daily. (By Wednesday, there will be a few more hundred people in the area.)

We're Popular: DC Area Rounds Out Top 10 Most Populous Cities: Figure 1
Image from Buffalo Business First.

Unsurprisingly, the metro area that is the most populated right now is New York City’s with a population of approximately 19.2 million, followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston.

For more details about the rankings, click here.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/were_popular_dc_area_rounds_out_top_10_most_populous_cities/3114


  1. Inconsistent said at 11:49 pm on Monday March 7, 2011:
    It's interesting that Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington are listed as one metro zone, but Washington DC and Baltimore are listed as two different ones, despite being about the same distance apart. If the same rules applied to DC and Baltimore, this area would move up on this list significantly.
  1. Exactly said at 3:13 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2011:
    You are correct -- this list is basically bunk -- it mixes de facto consolidated areas like Atlanta, Dallas and Houston against MSAs like DC and Bostin (not to mention the San Francisco Bay Area). The bottom line is that but for archaic political boundaries DC/Balt, San Fran/San Jose and Boston/Providence follow Chicago as the 4th, 5th and 6th largest areas. It will be interesting to see how the census adjusts things w/ the new 2010 data once the dust settles.
  1. Eric K said at 3:37 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2011:
    There will always be problems comparing metro regions across the country. Western metro areas/cities are so different from the East coast in terms of size and culture. For example, one would never consider Dallas and Ft. Worth to be separate metro areas because they have very similar cultures and developed together. DC and Baltimore on have very different cultures that developed independently, despite being only 30 miles apart. Also, 30 miles up I-95 is not the same as 30 miles on I-30.
  1. True but... said at 4:09 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2011:
    You are right to an extent. The interesting thing about DC though is that there are large parts of the Baltimore MSA that are really DC suburbs now -- partiularly significant sections of Howard and AA Counties. What's more the DC Area is THE economic driver for the entire DC/Balt CMSA -- so much so that Baltimore City is beginning to emerge as a sort of urban suburb of the DC region. Obviously there are differences between the two cities (and differences between all the major metro areas) but for better or worse the cultural gaps btwn the DC and B'more MSAs are slowly but surely dissolving year by year.
  1. Inconsistent said at 4:11 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2011:
    I grew up in Texas, and I think of Dallas and Fort Worth as extremely different cultures: Fort Worth that made it's name as a cattle town, and Dallas as an oil town. Very different...the only argument I could make for the two to be considered as one is that the suburbs between them keep getting larger (mostly Arlington) that blends the region. Based on that rationale, we should blend Baltimore and DC, since transportation and suburbs links them together.
  1. Los Politico said at 4:14 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2011:
    I grew up in Dallas and have lived in DC for some time. I would say there are 2 main differences between DFW and Washington/Baltimore. 1) Media. People in DC never watch local news about Baltimore and vice versa. In DFW on the other hand the affiliates cover both; ABC and FOX lean more towards Dallas and NBC and CBS covering more in Tarrant (Ft Worth and its burbs). 2) Airports. DFW is between the 2 cities and has pulled suburban growth towards itself and making the cities more unified. Dulles on the other hand pulls the center of gravity away from Baltimore. It’s fair to say the Bay Area should be one MSA, but with current rates of growth DFW will pass the consolidated Bay Area in 3 years anyway.
  1. tom veil said at 4:22 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2011:
    Why not just use US Census data?
  1. LaszloB said at 8:27 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2011:
    Interesting topic. About airports & as a NW resident, if I can't use National, I go to BWI ...
  1. TheCheeseStreet said at 10:19 pm on Tuesday March 8, 2011:
    Los Politico...being a DC resident, I use BWI far more often than I use Dulles as my mode of national/international transportation. I think a lot of DC residents do. Good point about Media, though. I almost never know what's going on in Baltimore unless it's national news.
  1. Los Politico said at 1:37 am on Wednesday March 9, 2011:
    I think people are confused about my point about the airports. It's not that we don't use BWI- I prefer it to Dulles as well, it's that the mere presence of Dulles has created an edge city larger than Baltimore to our west. If Dulles had been built between the Beltways we'd have a very different region, and that region would look more like DFW.
  1. EH said at 1:44 am on Wednesday March 9, 2011:
    Probably worth pointing out that 1) B'more is a complete dump, and 2) if it weren't for Johns Hopkins, B'more would disintegrate into the Chesapeake. To suggest that DC and B'more are somehow linked is ridiculous.

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