74% of Louisiana’s Population is Urban?
Gearing up for a little research project on Louisiana’s ten largest cities. I’ve heard the stat, 80% of people now live in cities or urban areas in the U.S., so I wanted to see where Louisiana fit into that. I was thinking New Orleans, Baton Rouge, maybe Shreveport would be our urban areas. Well, according to the Census Bureau, part of that 80% would also include residents of Bogalusa, Livonia, & Sunset. The Census Bureau now defines urban in two ways:
- UA – Urbanized Areas which has 50,000 or more people.
- UC – Urban Clusters which are areas with 2,500 – 50,000 people. That’s right! 2,500 people!
I actually found the document that list all of these from Louisiana (download it here). The list includes Winnfield & Jena (where I grew up wearing camo to school!), Oakdale, Springhill, & a lot of other small towns most would consider rural! It’s actually harder to notice a Louisiana town NOT listed than it is otherwise.
Louisiana has 11 Urbanized Areas with 50,000+ – Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Mandeville/Covington, Monroe/West Monroe, New Orleans, Shreveport, Slidell – & 64 Urban Clusters with 2,500-50,000 residents. 3.3 million of Louisiana’s 4.5 million in population live in one of these 75 areas.
The United States has 486 Urbanized areas with about 309 million residents or 71% of the population & 3,087 Urban Clusters with about 29 million residents or 9.5% of the population. So, 71% of the population live in areas with 50,000 or more residents. 80% of the population lives in areas with 2,500 or more residents.
Now, the point of expanding population density in the U.S. is still well noted. The population in Urbanized Areas grew by 2.9% in the last census cycle & Urban Cluster population declined by 1.2%. However, when you hear a report on America’s expanding urban population & how many people are moving to the cities, read deeply & see if they’re using these Census Bureau definitions. If so, just remember that for the Census Bureau, counting people moving into the cities, may mean they’re moving to Bunkie Louisiana, population 4,092.
Data on SBC Impact on Louisiana’s largest cities still forthcoming.