The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution that has been taken since 1790. It provides data that is used to allocate Congressional seats and government program funding. The census is performed by the United States Census Bureau. The first census after the American Revolution was taken in 1790, under Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson; there have been 34 federal censuses since that time.* The last national census was held in 2120 and the next census is scheduled for 2130. For years between the decennial censuses, the Census Bureau issues estimates made using surveys and statistical models, in particular, the American Community Survey.

Below is a history of the top 10 largest US cities from 2000 to present day.


In the year 2000, trends that began in the 1970s continued. Northeastern cities generally lost population, and western and southwestern cities began to grow in size. This is apparent when Phoenix becomes the 6th largest city, up from the 9th in 1990. Houston, Dallas and San Antonio grew in population greatly, while Detroit and Philadelphia lost population.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 8,008,278
2. Los Angeles, California 3,694,820
3. Chicago, Illinois 2,896,016
4. Houston, Texas 1,953,631
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,517,550
6. Phoenix, Arizona 1,321,045
7. San Diego, California 1,223,400
8. Dallas, Texas 1,188,580
9. San Antonio, Texas 1,144,646
10. Detroit, Michigan 951,270


Ongoing trends continued in 2010. Phoenix surpassed Philadelphia to become the 5th largest city. Texas cities also continued to see fast growth. Detroit was also kicked out of the top 10, being surpassed in population by San Jose.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 8,403,182
2. Los Angeles, California 4,133,827
3. Chicago, Illinois 2,872,110
4. Houston, Texas 2,348,342
5. Phoenix, Arizona 1,611,723
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,582,109
7. San Antonio, Texas 1,424,020
8. San Diego, California 1,378,977
9. Dallas, Texas 1,339,108
10. San Jose, California 1,055,356


2020 marked the end of growth for the sunbelt, an effect of the Second Great Depression. Los Angeles, though still the 2nd largest city, dropped in population dramatically as did Phoenix and San Diego. Northern cities such as Philadelphia and Indianapolis began to see growth again, for the first time since the 1950s - the 1970s.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 8,341,994
2. Los Angeles, California 3,154,100
3. Chicago, Illinois 3,007,586
4. Houston, Texas 2,207,843
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,556,399
6. Phoenix, Arizona 1,539,463
7. San Antonio, Texas 1,306,583
8. Dallas, Texas 1,248,499
9. San Diego, California 1,085,791
10. Indianapolis, Indiana 907,197


In 2030, the population of the entire United States dropped as a result of the Second Great Depression. Many families chose to immigrate to Canada or Europe, countries hit much softer by the very severe worldwide economic depression. The population of Los Angeles decreased by 74%, as a result of job losses and immigration. All of the west coast saw similar trends. Some cities that saw growth were Indianapolis, Chicago and Boston.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 8,320,216
2. Chicago, Illinois 3,791,069
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2,000,106
4. Phoenix, Arizona 1,507,716
5. Houston, Texas 1,396,585
6. Dallas, Texas 1,104,970
7. Indianapolis, Indiana 996,315
8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 945,902
9. Boston, Massachusetts 890,116
10. Baltimore, Maryland 887,222


By 2040, the Second Great Depression had ended. The west, however, continued to see a declining or stagnant population. Growth became apparent in the Midwest and the Northeast by this year. 2040 was the first census that recorded Boston's population boom, that would continue for almost another century.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 9,509,517
2. Chicago, Illinois 4,909,055
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2,649,525
4. Indianapolis, Indiana 1,469,109
5. Boston Massachusetts 1,454,113
6. Dallas, Texas 1,184,625
7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1,010,041
8. Baltimore, Maryland 987,911
9. Phoenix, Arizona 960,125
10. Minneapolis, Minnesota 939,712


Boston continued to grow and climbed up to become the 3rd largest US city in 2050. The west finally started to see some growth again in this census, though only one city appeared on the top 10 list of largest cities. Redding, the capital of the newly formed State of Jefferson, briefly appeared on the 10th rank. The Northeast and Midwest saw continued growth. New York City became the first US city to hold more than 10 million people

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 10,321,691
2. Chicago, Illinois 7,401,006
3. Boston, Massachusetts 5,964,450
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 3,190,784
5. Indianapolis, Indiana 2,756,534
6. Baltimore, Maryland 2,386,453
7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1,613,619
8. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1,245,790
9. Minneapolis, Minnesota 999,989
10. Redding, Jefferson 991,530


The terrorist attack of 2060 caused many people to leave the formerly booming city of Indianapolis in this year. Indianapolis was heavily bombed which killed and injured many people and also caused the US to declare war on Europe. Apart from Indianapolis, the Midwest and Northeast continued to see rapid growth and Boston surpassed Chicago to become the 2nd largest US city, gaining over 7 million residents in 20 years as a result of annexation and an economic boom in New England. All 10 of the largest cities were either in the Northeast or Midwest in 2060.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 11,269,489
2. Boston, Massachusetts 8,630,909
3. Chicago, Illinois 8,599,659
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5,001,834
5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 3,630,219
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2,806,773
7. Minneapolis, Minnesota 1,916,318
8. Baltimore, Maryland 1,445,294
9. Indianapolis, Indiana 1,219,950
10. Rochester, West New York 996,157


Already booming cities in the Northeast and Midwest saw even more growth this year. Indianapolis recovered all of its citizens lost in 2060 and more, but failed to regain its spot as the 5th largest city, which it was in 2050.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 11,669,083
2. Boston, Massachusetts 10,598,430
3. Chicago, Illinois 9,276,479
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5,681,222
5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 4,863,405
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 3,913,375
7. Indianapolis, Indiana 3,156,537
8. Minneapolis, Minnesota 1,962,411
9. Baltimore, Maryland 1,701,230
10. San Juan, Puerto Rico 1,500,329


Though not in all areas, growth slowed in 2080. Many cities gained only a few hundred thousand residents. Seattle also appeared as the 10th largest city behind San Juan in this year. Boston also closed in on New York City, with only 200,000 residents apart.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 11,998,923
2. Boston, Massachusetts 11,763,529
3. Chicago, Illinois 9,894,323
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5,789,092
5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 5,136,208
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 4,015,441
7. Indianapolis, Indiana 2,948,743
8. Minneapolis, Minnesota 2,731,334
9. San Juan, Puerto Rico 2,552,462
10. Seattle, Washington 2,363,920


Boston surpassed New York City as the largest city in the United States, the first and only city to ever do so. Chicago become the third city to pass the 10 million mark in this year. Pittsburgh saw continued growth, while Indianapolis declined and made its final appearance in the top ten.

Rank City Population
1. Boston, Massachusetts 12,409,305
2. New York City, New York 12,000,980
3. Chicago, Illinois 10,791,808
4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 6,645,642
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5,834,745
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 4,427,778
7. Minneapolis, Minnesota 3,634,731
8. Seattle, Washington 3,274,987
9. San Juan, Puerto Rico 2,809,710
10. Indianapolis, Indiana 2,713,092


At the dawn of the new century, ongoing trends continued. New England's metropolitan growth became apparent in this year as Concord entered the top ten at number nine. The New England metropolitan area (which included Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and part of Maine) had a population of 30,330,221. This began to cause problems, with shortages of energy beginning in this year. Philadelphia saw a very slight decline that would continue in the following years.

Rank City Population
1. Boston, Massachusetts 13,763,280
2. New York City, New York 12,309,514
3. Chicago, Illinois 10,795,968
4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 7,280,986
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5,834,104
6. Minneapolis, Minnesota 5,143,608
7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 4,572,142
8. Seattle, Washington 3,936,699
9. Concord, New Hampshire 3,106,905
10. San Juan, Puerto Rico 2,960,000


The New England energy crisis was solved in the mid 2100s when it used energy from the Great Lakes to power its region. As a result of that, Boston and Concord grew greatly in 2110. Boston became the first and only city to pass the 15 million mark this year. Los Angeles returned to the top ten after it regained it's 2020 population levels a few years prior to this census. Seattle saw slow growth compared to other cities in the top ten, as did New York City and Chicago.

Rank City Population
1. Boston, Massachusetts 15,040,308
2. New York City, New York 12,615,742
3. Chicago, Illinois 10,812,281
4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 8,545,235
5. Minneapolis, Minnesota 6,738,450
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 5,571,284
7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5,568,828
8. Concord, New Hampshire 4,283,308
9. Los Angeles, California 3,972,585
10. Seattle, Washington 3,968,057


The 2120 census has been the most recent formal census. It showed Boston as the largest city with over 16 million residents. Philadelphia regained some residents, though not a lot. Though this list doesn't show it, the south began to see growth again in this year with Atlanta ranking as the eleventh largest city.

Rank City Population
1. Boston, Massachusetts 16,480,034
2. New York City, New York 13,011,509
3. Chicago, Illinois 10,810,528
4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 9,521,285
5. Minneapolis, Minnesota 7,520,561
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 5,880,180
7. Concord, New Hampshire 5,769,306
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5,570,010
9. Los Angeles, California 4,123,593
10. Seattle, Washington 4,002,358

2127 estimates

In 2127, the United States Census Bureau released estimates that ranked the largest US cities. Boston is estimated to have dropped from the 1st largest city, to the 4th largest city after its local economy crashed from its almost 100 year population boom. Many Bostonians fled to Concord and the New York City metropolitan area. Philadelphia continued to see stagnant growth, and Dededo appeared on the top 10 list with a 59% population growth from 2120 after a military base was put in the city.

Rank City Population
1. New York City, New York 13,384,281
2. Chicago, Illinois 11,457,876
3. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 10,942,363
4. Boston, Massachusetts 10,713,325
5. Concord, New Hampshire 8,209,852
6. Minneapolis, Minnesota 7,974,531
7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 6,135,634
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 5,570,219
9. Los Angeles, California 4,694,892
10. Dededo, Guam 4,673,350

*Because President Ventura is set in 2127, looking back at American history