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Houston -- fourth largest US city

Old Sep 14th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Houston -- fourth largest US city

Where have I been? Am I the only one who was surprised in all this IKE coverage to hear that Houston is the fourth largest US city. Wow, what a surprise to me.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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New York and LA being 1 & 2 isn't a big shock to me but i think #3 Chicago is the one city that shocks me. I think I can see Houston being #3 before Chicago. I have been visiting there my entire life and when compared to LA and NY it looks much smaller in scale and population.

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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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I had the same thought! No clue it was that big, there are some other surprises for me on this list

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0763098.html
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Interesting Fact: If the borough of Brooklyn was a separate city, it would be the 4th largest city in the USA, larger than all of Houston.

That's how populous BROOKLYN is.

Wow.

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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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It seems to be one of the better kept secrets . . What suprised me, was that San Anotnio just overtook San Deigo as the 7th largest city.

We are hurting a little right now. First Ike than another 8 inches of rain last nite from a cold front moving in. Lots of flooding on top of the damage done by Ike.

Galveston was just about wiped out . it will be a while before they are back up and running.

I am on the west side, some damage but nothing like the East side . . We got power again yesterday, but a signifigant number do not . .
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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A lot of folks were also suprised when Houston was named the number 1 place to live by Kiplinger

http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/ar...work-play.html
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Even San Antonians are surprised by its ranking. The way I describe it is that it is big enough to offer desirable amenities but small enough to feel homey.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Locals like to bring this up from time to time, but that's pretty meaningless as it's talking only about the City of Houston.

Much more meaningful is size of the metropolitan. Houston is actually 6th right now, also behind the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Philadelphia.

If you only count city population, then Boston will be very small as it has only about 600,000 residents. But the Massachusetts Bay Area is the 10th largest metro area in the US.

Houston being in 4th only means it has a large city government.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Here's a list of US metropolitan areas, from Wikipedia, which has the rankings to which rk refers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...ropolitan_area

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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 12:12 PM
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Chicago is no surprise to me. It was the second largest city in the US for 100 years -- from 1890 to 1990 when Los Angeles surpassed it.

Houston first appeared on the top 10 list in 1960 in 7th place and moved up 1 place each decade until it became #4 in 1990 where it has remained since.

Here's the top 10 by decade according to Wikpedia. Interesting how the population has shifted.

http://tinyurl.com/6fq378
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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To me Chicago is obvious - it's Houston that's amazing - I would have put it at # 10 or 12.

Brooklyn I knew about.

I think one of the differences is if you count just the city itself or the entire Metro area.

NYC is only about 9 million - but the Metro area is more than 20 million. I would guess the proportions are different for many of the smaller cities.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Why are you guys surprised?

The metropolitan has huge growth from various immigrant communities, as well as people moving from other parts of the country because of cheap housing and fairly strong growth in economy.

If you go to the Texas Medical Center, you see at least 4-5 big buildings in construction simultaneously. Once one is finished, they tear down some other ones to rebuild, or find new spots.

And for Houston being #4 in city population, that's because most of the surrounding areas don't have much to start with. The city itself can expand, and sometimes annex some small towns when the suburb gets to them. It's different from older cities like Boston, where there's no room for the City of Boston itself to grow.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 06:44 PM
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I was surprised. The Wikipedia page is great, you can sort on different criteria.
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 09:04 PM
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"What suprised me, was that San Anotnio just overtook San Deigo as the 7th largest city."

What surprised me is that San Antonio (#7) overtook Dallas (#9)! But it is growing gangbusters down there.
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 04:24 AM
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You may be shocked to find that San Antonio and Dallas are also in the top 10 or were a few years ago.
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 05:05 AM
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First let me say that this discussion - and the links you have provided is one of the reasons I love Fodor's. I truly feel at home here!

I was not surprised by Chicago or Houston. As were a few others, I was surprised that San Antonio is 7, and ahead of Dallas.

Perhaps alot of it is in the context of how you (or I in this case) visit a city. For instance, I was in San Antonio for a few short days, staying on the Riverwalk as a visitor. This probably gives a limited view of the city as a whole.

In comparison, we live a few hours from Dallas and drive to and through there several times a year, to different parts of the city.

Does it seem odd that Pittsburgh is #22 on the Metro area list, but not even on the top 50 city list?

H
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 06:00 AM
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Pittsburgh and many older Eastern cities are very very small geographically, which is why the SMSAs in the Wiki link are a more reasonable way to compare locations. It's really impossible to compare populations based on technical city boundaries.

For instance, the city of Boston is just 48 square miles and Houston is 596 square miles. That's why the Boston SMSA is ranked 10th but the city per se is ranked 23rd. Similarly, they city of Miami is just 35 square miles and ranked 43rd among cities, but Miami/Dade county is 2000 square miles, which is about the same as the entire state of Rhode Island and the area is ranked #7.
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 06:16 AM
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I'm shocked at San Antonio being larger than Dallas. Dallas is SO much more a city in every way, shape, and form than San Antonio. I know that sounds unkind to the city I live in now, but it is true!
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 06:28 AM
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OO, I know what you mean. That just seems so weird to me. But to be honest I was even surprised that Houston is larger than Dallas -- clearly I'm living in the past and haven't been to either in a while.

At the same time as Anonymous points out -- there are statistics and there are statistics. Some cities have huge suburbs which are separate cities, therefore not counted into the total population. That's just one way that sometimes the statistics SEEM misleading.

And then there are the rankings strictly by size. How many people would know what the second largest city in Florida is? Cape Coral. And most would assume that would be after Miami, but wrong. The largest in area is Jacksonville!
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Old Sep 21st, 2008, 06:31 AM
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Seems like people still don't understand the difference between a city and a metropolitan.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is much bigger than San Antonio. But it is made up of two big cities - Dallas and Fort Worth, plus many many other ones which you may also have heard of - Arling, Irvine, etc. In fact, many of the places you visit - DFW airport, Texas Stadium, Ball Park at Arlington, Gaylord Texan Hotel and so on - are NOT in the city of Dallas.

But San Antonio, like Houston, has a large city area.
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