A Visual History Of Population In America

Tyler Durden's picture

You’ve likely seen the population density map of the United States in one form or another. A lot of people per square mile reside in big cities, fewer people reside in suburban areas, and a lot fewer people reside in rural areas.

But as FlowingData.com's Nathan Yau explains, cities weren’t always cities though. Rural wasn’t always rural. If you look at people per square mile over a couple of centuries, you get a better idea of how the country developed.

The animated map above shows population density by decade, going back to 1790 and up to recent estimates for 2015. The time in between each time period represents a smoothed transition. This is approximate, but it gives a better idea of how the distribution of population changed.

As you watch, keep in mind that the map is based on data that was available and that it only represents the United States population.

This is especially notable during the first century. No data shows in much of the country, the estimates are spotty in many territories, and there were people who lived in the blanked out areas before newcomers settled.

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Skiprrrdog's picture

Whats with the music from the Deliverance soundtrack?

shimmy's picture

And most of those people were immigrants but don't tell that to the "ALL immigrants are evil!" crowd who funny enough, most likely came from ancestors who only a few generations back were immigrants. 


pathosattrition's picture

Because law determines right and wrong! /s

bloofer's picture

There has probably never been a historical instance in which any national/ethnic/cultural/racial group merrily welcomed invasion or encroachment of another national/ethnic/cultural/racial group into their territory. This because allowing this leads to extirpation or displacement of those occupying the territory.

That's the way that works, and has always worked. The struggle to gain, control, and defend territory is one of the major themes of history. The ability to do these things is existential: Do or die.

The US historical policy of encouraging immigration (especially in the 1800s) was because the US had acquired a very large, and largely empty, land area in the form of the Louisiana Purchase. Control of these and other lands depended on them being rapidly settled. Without settlers, it is nearly impossible to defend territory. For the same reason, large families were encouraged from the Colonial period up until the end of the 19th Century. That era has rather obviously passed.

Hence it is puzzling to hear arguments in favor of US policy (or European policy, for that matter) that allows and even encourages outside national/ethnic/cultural/racial groups to encroach on their territory, especially in numbers that amount to invasion. While the invading groups in the US a Europe are not technically an organized and armed military invasion by another country or countries, such an invasion is an act of war by any normal historical standard. In a normal world, the invaded nation's military would be repelling the invaders by any means necessary. In our world, we find the nation's militaries and police forces are on the side of the invaders, acting against the interests of their own citizens.

The Ram's picture

Great summation Bloofer.  Quite unfortnately, many Americans cannot see the uncrediable devastation that will take place as we let 10s of millions of poor (and many muslim) people into our country with very little means to support themselves.  It's setting the US up for civil unrest and perhaps outright revolution.  The immigrants streaming in today are NOT the immigrants of the early 1900's.  Also, the technology today does not encourage employment, especially at an income level that will support families or even individuals.  The fortunate thing is that Mother Nature will win as resources deplete and the social and economic infrastructure no longer support growth.  That would be called starvation.  The rebalancing of the planet will be a bitch.

Setarcos's picture

Whose "laws"?  Indigenous people had laws too and signed treaties with the European invaders quite often, but natives' laws were not written and nor could they enforce them with superior weapons, nor could they trust the invaders, who only obeyed their own laws when it was convenient.

Nothing much changes.  Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians and Russians actually have written laws, but that does not stop the Washington Empire of Chaos from riding rough-shod over ALL laws, not least such presumed unwritten "laws" as a right to freedom.

DanDaley's picture

"Legal versus illegal."


When I mention to liberals that it is actuall illegal to come into this country without permission, they say that that shouldn't matter. 

Then when I say that rape and murder should probably be okay too, even if they are illegal, they get all pissed off. Laws only matter if the L-tards like them.

Setarcos's picture

I bet you expected down votes.  If I wasn't somehow stopped from voting (the page freezes when I try) you would have at least one up vote.

Stan Smith's picture

Immigrants are fine.   Illegal immigrants are not.  

Why is that so hard for progressives to understand?

Ms No's picture

I agree but all this talk about how we have to have perpetual growth makes one think that any system that would require that is already a failure. Soros and friends keep harping on this aspect of our supposed "population crisis".  Obviously bloated benefits and promises of benefits contribute to this but it seems that the system is constantly demanding that anyway, or at least it sounds like it.  This constant clamor for higher numbers could never work out very well for us.  What's funny is that they will import all of these people and then the benefits and welfare state will probably implode anyway.  These same pundits keep talking about "leveling the playing field" with "free trade" and open borders.  That just sounds like they want us all making two dollars an hour and live in a town that's indistinguishable from a garbage dump.  It certainly looks to be shaping up that way.


atthelake's picture

Because they let other people do their thinking for them.

MisterMousePotato's picture

"Immigrants are fine. Illegal immigrants are not."

"Why is that [it is] so hard for [people like you] to understand [how stupid it is to say something like that]?"

First, there's math. Arithmatic, in fact. We need more people in this country like a fish needs a bicycle. Google "immigration gumballs" on that point (especially the more recent update). More people = eventual disaster.

Second, well, there are in fact differences between people. Just because someone or something is "legal" ("stroke of the pen" - remember?) doesn't mean it's good or someone or something you want next door. San Bernardino jihadist shooter? Legal immigrant. Miami jihadist shooter? Legal immigrant.

You're stupid if you don't have a problem with "legal immigration." Current policies are destroying our nation. They may perhaps have already done so.

Fathead Slim's picture
Fathead Slim (not verified) MisterMousePotato Dec 4, 2016 10:58 AM

Yes, the PTB are importing a new populace which, they assume, will be easier to control. Immigration isn't at all beneficial to a society already under heavy economic pressure. It may be beneficial to a ruling elite, but that's assuming the parasites don't kill the host first.

OAW's picture

My problem is with the wor illegal.  Congress passed laws that required legal immegrants to be educated and tecnically competent.  The orchard owners  asked that the imegrants pick fruit.  They demanded MORE imegrants that could pick fruit.  They trucked in (illegal) imegrants who could pick fruit.  They kept the imegrants who could pick fruit in the us (illegaly).     The law was grossly out of step with the actual society!!!   No wonder problems arose!!!   The LAW is the problem, not the imigants!!!

atthelake's picture

My Irish ancestors came here legally, assimilated and have, always, contributed to America the best they can.

MisterMousePotato's picture

Your Irish ancestors would have assimilated and contributed whether they came here legally or not.

Yen Cross's picture

  The " Bean Bandits" did an "end around"[ dirty Sanchez] and invaded from the East?!

scintillator9's picture

While the population density may be going up in most places, according to the map, depending where one goes on on the map shown, there are many towns and cities that have populations that have remained static for 20 or 30 years or more, or actually had larger populations a century ago.


Ms No's picture

There was a supposed new archeological discovery involving Christian origins.  As usual they held it back from the public until they could frame whatever story they so desired to.  I'm not sure if it's real or if it's the Heebs trying to manipulate the story for a desired outcome.  If global warming and the Neo-Marxist movement are any indication you have to be suspicious of the findings of universities anymore.  Lab analysis isn't really "proof" anymore.     

"That changed when the discovery was finally announced to the public in 2011 (found in 08) and it was also revealed that the tablets suggested Jesus was not starting a new religion but instead restoring the old religion of King David that included worship in Solomon’s Temple of a God who was both male and female. From that point on, authors David and Jennifer Elkington – who were involved with making the pages of the codex public – have been working to protect and authenticate them....

This provides very strong evidence that the objects are of great age, consistent with the studies of the text and designs that suggest an age of around 2000 years...

The tests prove that the lead tablets are about 2000 years old. Reading them proves they mention the name of Jesus, making them a 2000-year-old document that mentions Jesus – probably the oldest ever discovered. Proving the authenticity of the rest of the historical references on them will take a lot more work, especially since they indicate Jesus was continuing a Judeo tradition, not creating a Christian religion. And don’t forget the reference to God as both man and woman. It will be difficult (as the Elkingtons have found) to get an unbiased, non-religious, historical analysis of that."



Lost in translation's picture

Too many people in CA.

Air is poisoned, water is running out, gridlock abounds, violent crime is soaring.

They've done experiments to show how the behavior of rats changes as new rats are introduced - first one, and then another, then another, and another, and so on - into the same small space, over time. As the numbers increase and boundaries disappear, all manner of aberrant behavior emerges: strange sexual behaviors, violence, cannibalism.

There are too many people here. Way too many.

equity_momo's picture

Thats a particulary aggressive looking tumour in the far-left lower corner. 

I'd recommend having that cut out for maximum chance of survival.

wisehiney's picture

175 plus years after my Patriot Fathers arrived.

A lot to leave out of your "visual history".

Yes and good and fuck you.

roddy6667's picture

That music would be more appropriate for documentary about Hillbilly Heroin.

DistortedPictures's picture

Looks the same a fungus on a petri dish. 

LA_Goldbug's picture

Yes that "fungus" is called Western Culture.


PS: Pay attention to the dialogue because this is not "Dances with the Wolves" pastiche. I bet the book must be even better.

Squidbilly's picture
Squidbilly (not verified) DistortedPictures Dec 4, 2016 7:04 AM

it's got to be said, there's a fungus amongus.

whatamaroon's picture

The population trends also follow the railroads;



hooligan2009's picture

umm, where were the 100 million indigneous americans living before they were wiped out?

by the end of the 20th century most scholars gravitated to a middle estimate of around 50 million, with some historians arguing for an estimate of 100 million or more


just sayin..

nevertheless's picture

Yes, you and every other Clinton voter...

honest injun's picture

If 320 million people live in America now how could there be '100 million indigneous americans' living here before medicine, domestication of animals, the invention of the wheel, machines, roads, refrigeration, farming, fertilizer, a written language, guns, higher education, permanent buildings, ships, trade, and hundreds of other things that make modern life possible?  The only evidence that I see that the Indians ever lived here is the names of places and rivers.

CoCosAB's picture

It looks like the development of a viral disease!

deerhunter's picture

When you have 3 estimates on a remodeling job that is normal competition. When you have twice that many hat will undercut a legitimate quote with 2 men in a truck and no permits or business licenses you have illegal immigrants doing the work. When homeowners hire these people they are every bit as complicit in the illegal immigration problem as
The illegals themselves . You can't have it both ways people.
My father emigrated here from Canada and my grandfather from Hollland to Canada before him. Always legally. That's all
I ask. If your very first act in moving to a new country is violating the laws of that country how much respect will you have for any other laws ? I don't want to hear about Cochise or Geronimo or slavery. That wasn't me . The Indians came from China back in the day and they already own our debt . Hell, let's just learn Mandarin and no one will be the wiser. Or new language maybe for the snowflakes . Chindian?

Faeriedust's picture

Honey, when I needed a new roof I TRIED to get three estimates.  One guy gave me a round figure, no specifics, said he'd put it in writing and I never heard back from him.  Nor went after him for it either, as he showed up to my house full of cats with three uninvited dogs in the truck with him and showed little more respect for me discussing the problems.  The second, sent to me by Lowes, gave me a fraudulent estimate on 30% more shingles than I needed of the wrong kind and never responded to my letter attempting to negotiate.  I didn't go after him either, since I hardly trust someone who tries to cheat me.  The third guy was a little high, but I thought he was honest.  He regretfully informed me that he didn't have time to do the job for six months.  In the end, I hired free-lancers, had to manage the job myself, and I would have been  ECSTATIC to get a few hard-working Mexicans to do the work, as those white boys spent half their time smoking, drinking, and losing if not stealing my materials.

I would certainly PREFER to get hard-working native-born citizens to do my work.  But when they joke that only Mexicans are willing to actually do a day's work for a solid day's pay and expect to be paid three times what I make for work that I could do myself if there were six of me -- I'll start looking for some honest Mexicans.  My experience with white American men is that they are lazy and think far too highly of themselves, perhaps because they spend their lives letting WOMEN pick up after them.


Alok's picture

America?? I see only the U.S on the image..

nevertheless's picture

I don't know what to think about "global warming", it sort of makes sense so I sort of believe it, but something really bothers me about it. I hear ALL THE TIME, from every news network, from most politicians, and from most entertainment sources, how dire our situation is, and how global warming is the greatest threat to humanity, really?


I mean global thermal nuclear war seems far more of a pressing issue, yet no one speaks of it, not the news, not the politicians, and rarely in movies except to glorify the end of the world (Hollywood's glorification of the end of the world is another curios phenomenon, but won'r get into that here, other than to say Jewish Hollywood has most American kids believing the end is coming, so live ONLY for today). 


Over population, that is certainly a probable factor in the "end of the world, yet again, not a word from the masters of the universe.


These two glowing omissions as to other dire threats to the Earth speak volumes to the disingenuous nature of those who warn us about the end of the world. 


"...nuclear war seems far more of a pressing issue, yet no one speaks of it, not the news, not the politicians,..."

There is a politician that knows a bit about nuclear war and AGW. He spoke about these things when he addressed the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. President Putin.


Ladies and gentlemen, one more issue that shall affect the future of the entire humankind is climate change. It is in our interest to ensure that the coming UN Climate Change Conference that will take place in Paris in December this year should deliver some feasible results. As part of our national contribution, we plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 70–75 percent of the 1990 levels by the year 2030.

However, I suggest that we take a broader look at the issue. Admittedly, we may be able to defuse it for a while by introducing emission quotas and using other tactical measures, but we certainly will not solve it for good that way. What we need is an essentially different approach, one that would involve introducing new, groundbreaking, nature-like technologies that would not damage the environment, but rather work in harmony with it, enabling us to restore the balance between the biosphere and technology upset by human activities.

It is indeed a challenge of global proportions. And I am confident that humanity does have the necessary intellectual capacity to respond to it. We need to join our efforts, primarily engaging countries that possess strong research and development capabilities, and have made significant advances in fundamental research. We propose convening a special forum under the auspices of the UN to comprehensively address issues related to the depletion of natural resources, habitat destruction, and climate change. Russia is willing to co-sponsor such a forum.





Also, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists  - see thebulletin.org


OAW's picture

Compairing a possible but unlikely disaster next year (nuclear war) to an almost certain disaster 100 years from now (global warming) is very difficult.  How do you value the difficulties of your grand children, knowing that you are contributing a tiny amount to those problems? And the value of a nuclear disaster that has one chance in 100,000 of making your life exceedinly difficult next year.  Much more likely is that the political system will screw up the economic system so that your retirement will not happen (simutaneouslyreducing the global warming threat enough to save your grand children, but not your gear grandchildren!)  Mankind is now strong and abundant enough to screw things up in many terrible ways.  I can only hope that sane persons will make decisions that permit us to muddle through.  I am not optimistic!

aka_ces's picture

Oh, Indians 0/5ths of a person, in a far-away mist ...