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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The United States Census Bureau defined metropolitan areas in 1950 for the first time, and that's the definition I used here, with just some adaptations in New England areas: the Census defined them by cities back then and I used the counties. All the sums are mine.

I also used the 1950's definiton for the 1940, 1930, 1920, 1910 and 1900 lists.

Metropolitan Areas -- 1950
1.New York -- 12,911,994
2.Chicago -- 5,495,364
3.Los Angeles -- 4,367,911
4.Philadelphia -- 3,671,048
5.Detroit -- 3,016,197
6.Boston -- 2,875,876
7.San Francisco -- 2,240,767
8.Pittsburgh -- 2,213,236
9.St. Louis -- 1,681,281
10.Cleveland -- 1,465,511
11.Washington -- 1,464,089
12.Baltimore -- 1,337,373
13.Minneapolis -- 1,116,509
14.Buffalo -- 1,089,230
15.Cincinnati -- 904,402
16.Milwaukee -- 871,047
17.Kansas City -- 814,357
18.Houston -- 806,701
19.Seattle -- 732,992
20.Portland -- 704,829
21.New Orleans -- 685,405
22.Providence -- 681,815
23.Atlanta -- 671,797
24.Dallas -- 614,799
25.Louisville -- 576,900
26.Denver -- 563,832
27.Birmingham -- 558,928
28.San Diego -- 556,808
29.Indianapolis -- 551,777
30.Worcester -- 546,401
31.New Haven -- 545,784
32.Hartford -- 539,661
33.Youngstown -- 528,498
34.Albany -- 514,490
35.Bridgeport -- 504,342
36.Columbus -- 503,410
37.San Antonio -- 500,460
38.Miami -- 495,084
39.Rochester -- 487,632
40.Memphis -- 482,393
41.Dayton -- 457,333
42.Springfield -- 455,565
43.Norfolk -- 446,200
44.Allentown -- 437,824
45.Akron -- 410,032
46.Tampa -- 409,143
47.Toledo -- 395,551
48.Wilkes-Barre -- 392,241
49.New Bedford -- 381,569
50.Omaha -- 366,395
51.Fort Worth -- 361,253
52.Wheeling -- 354,092
53.Honolulu -- 353,020
54.Syracuse -- 341,719
55.Knoxville -- 337,105
56.Phoenix -- 331,770
57.Richmond -- 328,050
58.Oklahoma City -- 325,352
59.Charleston -- 322,072
60.Nashville -- 321,758
61.Jacksonville -- 304,029
62.Harrisburg -- 292,241
63.Johnstown -- 291,354
64.San Jose -- 290,547
65.Grand Rapids -- 288,292
66.Utica -- 284,262
67.Canton -- 283,194
68.San Bernardino -- 281,642
69.Sacramento -- 277,140
70.Fresno -- 276,515
71.Tacoma -- 275,876
72.Salt Lake City -- 274,895
73.Flint -- 270,963
74.Wilmington -- 268,387
75.Scranton -- 257,396
76.Reading -- 255,740
77.Duluth -- 252,777
78.Tulsa -- 251,686
79.Peoria -- 250,512
80.Chattanooga -- 246,453
81.Huntington -- 245,795
82.Lancaster -- 234,717
83.Davenport -- 234,256
84.Mobile -- 231,105
85.Trenton -- 229,781
86.Des Moines -- 226,010
87.Wichita -- 222,290
88.Spokane -- 221,561
89.Erie -- 219,388
90.South Bend -- 205,058
91.York -- 202,737
92.Stockton -- 200,750
93.Charlotte -- 197,052
94.Little Rock -- 196,685
95.Beaumont -- 195,083
96.El Paso -- 194,968
97.Greensboro -- 191,057
98.Brockton -- 189,468
99.Binghamton -- 184,698
100.Fort Wayne -- 183,722
101.Shreveport -- 176,547
102.Lansing -- 172,941
103.Columbus -- 170,541
104.Madison -- 169,357
105.Portland -- 169,201
106.Greenville -- 168,152
107.Corpus Christi -- 165,471
108.Charleston -- 164,856
109.Augusta -- 162,013
110.Austin -- 160,980
111.Evansville -- 160,422
112.Baton Rouge -- 158,236
113.Manchester -- 156,987
114.Saginaw -- 153,515
115.Rockford -- 152,385
116.Savannah -- 151,481
117.Lorain -- 148,162
118.Hamilton -- 147,203
119.Albuquerque -- 145,673
120.Winston-Salem -- 146,135
121.Columbia -- 142,565
122.Jackson -- 142,164
123.Altoona -- 139,514
124.Montgomery -- 138,965
125.Raleigh -- 136,450
126.Macon -- 135,043
127.Roanoke -- 133,407
128.Pittsfield -- 132,966
129.Atlantic City -- 132,399
130.Springfield -- 131,484
131.Waco -- 130,194
132.Kalamazoo -- 126,707
133.Asheville -- 124,403
134.Lincoln -- 119,742
135.Orlando -- 114,950
136.Galveston -- 113,066
137.Springfield -- 111,661
138.Racine -- 109,585
139.Jackson -- 107,925
140.Topeka -- 105,418
141.Terre Haute -- 105,160
142.Springfield -- 104,823
143.Cedar Rapids -- 104,274
144.Sioux City -- 103,917
145.Durham -- 101,639
146.Lubbock -- 101,048
147.Lexington -- 100,746
148.Waterloo -- 100,448
UNITED STATES -- 151,325,798


Metropolitan Areas -- 1940
1.New York -- 11,660,839
2.Chicago -- 4,825,527
3.Philadelphia -- 3,199,637
4.Los Angeles -- 2,916,403
5.Boston -- 2,656,131
6.Detroit -- 2,377,329
7.Pittsburgh -- 2,082,556
8.San Francisco -- 1,461,804
9.St. Louis -- 1,432,088
10.Cleveland -- 1,267,270
11.Baltimore -- 1,083,300
12.Washington -- 967,985
13.Buffalo -- 958,487
14.Minneapolis -- 940,937
15.Cincinnati -- 787,044
16.Milwaukee -- 766,885
17.Kansas City -- 686,643
18.Providence -- 634,157
19.New Orleans -- 552,244
20.Houston -- 528,961
21.Atlanta -- 518,100
22.Seattle -- 504,980
23.Worcester -- 504,470
24.Portland -- 501,275
25.New Haven -- 484,316
26.Youngstown -- 473,605
27.Albany -- 465,643
28.Indianapolis -- 460,926
29.Birmingham -- 459,930
30.Louisville -- 451,473
31.Hartford -- 450,189
32.Wilkes-Barre -- 441,518
33.Rochester -- 438,230
34.Bridgeport -- 418,384
35.Denver -- 407,768
36.Springfield -- 404,568
37.Dallas -- 398,564
38.Allentown -- 396,673
39.Columbus -- 388,712
40.New Bedford -- 364,637
41.Wheeling -- 364,132
42.Memphis -- 358,250
43.Toledo -- 344,333
44.Akron -- 339,405
45.San Antonio -- 338,176
46.Dayton -- 331,343
47.Omaha -- 325,153
48.Scranton -- 301,243
49.Johnstown -- 298,416
50.Syracuse -- 295,108
51.San Diego -- 289,348
52.Charleston -- 276,247
53.Tampa -- 272,000
54.Miami -- 267,739
55.Richmond -- 266,185
56.Utica -- 263,163
57.Norfolk -- 258,927
58.Honolulu -- 257,696
59.Nashville -- 257,267
60.Duluth -- 254,036
61.Harrisburg -- 252,216
62.Grand Rapids -- 246,338
63.Knoxville -- 246,088
64.Oklahoma City -- 244,159
65.Reading -- 241,884
66.Canton -- 234,887
67.Flint -- 227,944
68.Huntington -- 225,668
69.Fort Worth -- 225,521
70.Wilmington -- 221,836
71.Lancaster -- 212,504
72.Peoria -- 211,736
73.Salt Lake City -- 211,623
74.Chattanooga -- 211,502
75.Jacksonville -- 210,143
76.Davenport -- 198,071
77.Trenton -- 197,318
78.Des Moines -- 195,835
79.Tulsa -- 193,363
80.Phoenix -- 186,193
81.Tacoma -- 182,081
82.Erie -- 180,889
83.Fresno -- 178,565
84.York -- 178,022
85.San Jose -- 174,949
86.Sacramento -- 170,333
87.Brockton -- 168,824
88.Binghamton -- 165,749
89.Spokane -- 164,652
90.South Bend -- 161,823
91.San Bernardino -- 161,108
92.Little Rock -- 156,085
93.Fort Wayne -- 155,084
94.Greensboro -- 153,916
95.Charlotte -- 151,826
96.Shreveport -- 150,203
97.Portland -- 146,000
98.Beaumont -- 145,329
99.Manchester -- 144,888
100.Wichita -- 143,311
101.Mobile -- 141,974
102.Altoona -- 140,358
103.Greenville -- 136,580
104.Stockton -- 134,207
105.Augusta -- 131,779
106.El Paso -- 131,067
107.Evansville -- 130,783
108.Madison -- 130,660
109.Lansing -- 130,616
110.Saginaw -- 130,468
111.Winston-Salem -- 126,475
112.Columbus -- 126,407
113.Atlantic City -- 124,066
114.Pittsfield -- 122,273
115.Rockford -- 121,178
116.Charleston -- 121,105
117.Hamilton -- 120,249
118.Savannah -- 117,970
119.Springfield -- 117,912
120.Montgomery -- 114,420
121.Lorain -- 112,390
122.Roanoke -- 112,184
123.Austin -- 111,053
124.Raleigh -- 109,544
125.Asheville -- 108,755
126.Jackson -- 107,273
127.Columbia -- 104,843
128.Sioux City -- 103,627
129.Waco -- 101,898
130.Lincoln -- 100,585
131.Kalamazoo -- 100,085
UNITED STATES -- 132,164,569


Metropolitan Areas -- 1930
1.New York -- 10,859,443
2.Chicago -- 4,675,877
3.Philadelphia -- 3,137,040
4.Boston -- 2,611,926
5.Los Angeles -- 2,327,166
6.Detroit -- 2,177,343
7.Pittsburgh -- 2,023,269
8.St. Louis -- 1,359,712
9.San Francisco -- 1,347,772
10.Cleveland -- 1,243,102
11.Baltimore -- 984,606
12.Buffalo -- 911,737
13.Minneapolis -- 857,513
14.Cincinnati -- 756,281
15.Milwaukee -- 725,263
16.Washington -- 672,198
17.Kansas City -- 665,655
18.Providence -- 616,495
19.New Orleans -- 505,306
20.Worcester -- 491,242
21.Seattle -- 463,517
22.New Haven -- 463,449
23.Youngstown -- 458,451
24.Albany -- 456,755
25.Portland -- 455,037
26.Wilkes-Barre -- 445,109
27.Birmingham -- 431,493
28.Atlanta -- 424,273
29.Rochester -- 423,881
30.Indianapolis -- 422,666
31.Hartford -- 421,097
32.Louisville -- 420,769
33.Springfield -- 408,297
34.Allentown -- 391,516
35.Bridgeport -- 386,702
36.New Bedford -- 364,590
37.Columbus -- 361,055
38.Houston -- 359,328
39.Denver -- 352,563
40.Wheeling -- 348,108
41.Toledo -- 347,709
42.Akron -- 344,131
43.Dallas -- 325,691
44.Omaha -- 313,272
45.Scranton -- 310,397
46.Dayton -- 306,740
47.Memphis -- 306,482
48.San Antonio -- 292,533
49.Syracuse -- 291,606
50.Johnstown -- 283,910
51.Utica -- 262,769
52.Duluth -- 251,179
53.Grand Rapids -- 240,511
54.Richmond -- 239,288
55.Harrisburg -- 233,467
56.Reading -- 231,717
57.Charleston -- 229,717
58.Norfolk -- 229,635
59.Nashville -- 222,854
60.Canton -- 221,784
61.Oklahoma City -- 221,738
62.Tampa -- 215,668
63.Flint -- 211,641
64.Huntington -- 210,382
65.San Diego -- 209,659
66.Knoxville -- 209,613
67.Honolulu -- 202,887
68.Wilmington -- 197,866
69.Fort Worth -- 197,553
70.Lancaster -- 196,882
71.Salt Lake City -- 194,102
72.Tulsa -- 187,574
73.Peoria -- 187,426
74.Trenton -- 187,143
75.Chattanooga -- 185,703
76.Davenport -- 175,523
77.Erie -- 175,277
78.Des Moines -- 172,837
79.York -- 167,135
80.Tacoma -- 163,842
81.Brockton -- 162,311
82.South Bend -- 160,033
83.Jacksonville -- 155,503
84.Phoenix -- 150,970
85.Spokane -- 150,477
86.Binghamton -- 147,022
87.Fort Wayne -- 146,743
88.San Jose -- 145,118
89.Fresno -- 144,379
90.Miami -- 142,955
91.Sacramento -- 141,999
92.Manchester -- 140,165
93.Altoona -- 139,840
94.Little Rock -- 137,727
95.Wichita -- 136,330
96.Portland -- 134,645
97.San Bernardino -- 133,900
98.Beaumont -- 133,391
99.Greensboro -- 133,010
100.El Paso -- 131,597
101.Charlotte -- 127,971
102.Atlantic City -- 124,823
103.Shreveport -- 124,670
104.Saginaw -- 120,717
105.Pittsfield -- 120,700
106.Augusta -- 120,393
107.Mobile -- 118,363
108.Rockford -- 117,373
109.Greenville -- 117,009
110.Lansing -- 116,587
111.Hamilton -- 114,084
112.Evansville -- 113,320
113.Madison -- 112,737
114.Springfield -- 111,733
115.Winston-Salem -- 111,681
116.Lorain -- 109,206
117.Savannah -- 105,431
118.Roanoke -- 104,495
119.Stockton -- 102,940
120.Sioux City -- 101,669
121.Charleston -- 101,050
122.Lincoln -- 100,324
UNITED STATES -- 123,202,624


Metropolitan Areas -- 1920
1.New York -- 8,490,694
2.Chicago -- 3,521,789
3.Philadelphia -- 2,714,271
4.Boston -- 2,315,111
5.Pittsburgh -- 1,759,989
6.Detroit -- 1,305,798
7.St. Louis -- 1,139,877
8.San Francisco -- 1,009,467
9.Los Angeles -- 997,830
10.Cleveland -- 972,162
11.Baltimore -- 852,051
12.Buffalo -- 753,393
13.Minneapolis -- 704,566
14.Cincinnati -- 628,999
15.Washington -- 571,882
16.Milwaukee -- 539,449
17.Providence -- 536,572
18.Kansas City -- 528,833
19.Worcester -- 455,135
20.New Haven -- 415,214
21.New Orleans -- 413,750
22.Albany -- 408,598
23.Wilkes-Barre -- 390,991
24.Seattle -- 389,273
25.Portland -- 372,777
26.Springfield -- 369,904
27.Youngstown -- 364,018
28.New Bedford -- 359,005
29.Rochester -- 352,034
30.Indianapolis -- 348,061
31.Allentown -- 346,664
32.Louisville -- 346,411
33.Hartford -- 336,027
34.Bridgeport -- 320,936
35.Birmingham -- 310,054
36.Atlanta -- 307,094
37.Wheeling -- 303,848
38.Denver -- 299,087
39.Scranton -- 286,311
40.Akron -- 286,065
41.Columbus -- 283,951
42.Johnstown -- 279,951
43.Toledo -- 275,721
44.Omaha -- 275,444
45.Duluth -- 256,162
46.Utica -- 247,795
47.Syracuse -- 241,465
48.Norfolk -- 241,148
49.Dayton -- 240,753
50.Memphis -- 223,216
51.Harrisburg -- 211,694
52.Richmond -- 211,135
53.Dallas -- 210,551
54.San Antonio -- 202,096
55.Reading -- 200,854
56.Houston -- 186,667
57.Wilmington -- 184,811
58.Grand Rapids -- 183,041
59.Charleston -- 180,027
60.Canton -- 177,218
61.Lancaster -- 173,797
62.Nashville -- 167,815
63.Davenport -- 166,249
64.Huntington -- 160,580
65.Knoxville -- 160,024
66.Trenton -- 159,881
67.Salt Lake City -- 159,282
68.Brockton -- 156,968
69.Des Moines -- 154,029
70.Erie -- 153,536
71.Fort Worth -- 152,800
72.Peoria -- 150,250
73.York -- 144,521
74.Tacoma -- 144,127
75.Spokane -- 141,289
76.Chattanooga -- 139,324
77.Manchester -- 135,512
78.Fresno -- 128,779
79.Altoona -- 128,334
80.Flint -- 125,668
81.Portland -- 124,376
82.Honolulu -- 123,496
83.Tampa -- 116,522
84.Oklahoma City -- 116,307
85.Fort Wayne -- 114,303
86.Binghamton -- 113,610
87.Jacksonville -- 113,540
88.Pittsfield -- 113,033
89.San Diego -- 112,248
90.Little Rock -- 109,464
91.Augusta -- 109,266
92.Tulsa -- 109,023
93.Charleston -- 108,450
94.South Bend -- 103,304
95.El Paso -- 101,877
96.San Jose -- 100,676
97.Saginaw -- 100,286
98.Springfield -- 100,262
99.Terre Haute -- 100,212
100.Mobile -- 100,117
101.Savannah -- 100,032
UNITED STATES -- 106,021,537


Metropolitan Areas -- 1910
1.New York -- 7,049,047
2.Chicago -- 2,752,820
3.Philadelphia -- 2,268,209
4.Boston -- 2,025,286
5.Pittsburgh -- 1,471,600
6.St. Louis -- 1,003,858
7.San Francisco -- 773,975
8.Baltimore -- 720,387
9.Cleveland -- 660,352
10.Buffalo -- 621,021
11.Detroit -- 613,773
12.Minneapolis -- 594,819
13.Cincinnati -- 590,456
14.Los Angeles -- 538,567
15.Providence -- 478,333
16.Washington -- 445,401
17.Milwaukee -- 433,187
18.Kansas City -- 422,180
19.Worcester -- 399,657
20.Albany -- 384,177
21.New Orleans -- 362,599
22.Wilkes-Barre -- 343,186
23.New Haven -- 337,282
24.Louisville -- 323,473
25.New Bedford -- 318,573
26.Portland -- 303,829
27.Springfield -- 294,696
28.Allentown -- 289,686
29.Seattle -- 284,638
30.Rochester -- 283,212
31.Indianapolis -- 263,661
32.Scranton -- 259,570
33.Wheeling -- 253,802
34.Hartford -- 250,182
35.Denver -- 246,767
36.Youngstown -- 246,616
37.Bridgeport -- 245,322
38.Atlanta -- 234,011
39.Johnstown -- 233,848
40.Omaha -- 233,652
41.Birmingham -- 226,476
42.Columbus -- 221,567
43.Duluth -- 210,696
44.Utica -- 210,513
45.Syracuse -- 200,298
46.Dayton -- 193,536
47.Toledo -- 192,728
48.Memphis -- 191,439
49.Harrisburg -- 190,631
50.Reading -- 183,222
51.Richmond -- 172,364
52.Lancaster -- 167,029
53.Norfolk -- 164,912
54.Grand Rapids -- 159,145
55.Wilmington -- 150,187
56.Nashville -- 149,478
57.Brockton -- 144,337
58.Spokane -- 139,404
59.York -- 136,405
60.Dallas -- 135,748
61.Peoria -- 134,282
62.Huntington -- 133,698
63.Charleston -- 133,360
64.Knoxville -- 132,713
65.Salt Lake City -- 131,426
66.Davenport -- 130,404
67.Manchester -- 126,072
68.Trenton -- 125,657
69.Canton -- 122,987
70.Tacoma -- 120,812
71.San Antonio -- 119,676
72.Houston -- 115,693
73.Erie -- 115,517
74.Portland -- 112,014
75.Des Moine -- 110,438
76.Altoona -- 108,858
77.Fort Worth -- 108,572
78.Akron -- 108,253
79.Chattanooga -- 107,959
80.Pittsfield -- 105,259
81.Augusta -- 100,735
UNITED STATES -- 92,228,496


Metropolitan Areas -- 1900
1.New York -- 5,048,550
2.Chicago -- 2,092,883
3.Philadelphia -- 1,892,128
4.Boston -- 1,685,682
5.Pittsburgh -- 1,083,846
6.St. Louis -- 801,131
7.Baltimore -- 639,332
8.San Francisco -- 542,964
9.Cincinnati -- 527,293
10.Buffalo -- 508,647
11.Cleveland -- 460,600
12.Minneapolis -- 431,940
13.Detroit -- 426,829
14.Washington -- 378,605
15.Providence -- 371,803
16.Worcester -- 346,958
17.Albany -- 334,120
18.Milwaukee -- 330,017
19.New Orleans -- 307,456
20.Kansas City -- 305,427
21.Louisville -- 294,102
22.New Haven -- 269,163
23.Wilkes-Barre -- 257,121
24.New Bedford -- 252,029
25.Springfield -- 234,423
26.Allentown -- 231,361
27.Rochester -- 217,854
28.Omaha -- 204,006
29.Indianapolis -- 197,227
30.Hartford -- 195,480
31.Scranton -- 193,831
32.Wheeling -- 193,212
33.Los Angeles -- 189,994
34.Bridgeport -- 184,203
35.Utica -- 183,849
36.Youngstown -- 174,112
37.Syracuse -- 168,735
38.Harrisburg -- 164,787
39.Columbus -- 164,460
40.Atlanta -- 163,139
41.Denver -- 162,323
42.Dayton -- 161,759
43.Reading -- 159,615
44.Lancaster -- 159,241
45.Johnstown -- 154,298
46.Toledo -- 153,559
47.Memphis -- 153,557
48.Portland -- 150,711
49.Birmingham -- 140,420
50.Wilmington -- 135,227
51.Richmond -- 133,916
52.Grand Rapids -- 129,714
53.Norfolk -- 126,023
54.Nashville -- 122,815
55.St. Joseph -- 121,838
56.Peoria -- 121,829
57.Duluth -- 119,267
58.York -- 116,413
59.Brockton -- 113,985
60.Manchester -- 112,640
61.Knoxville -- 111,142
62.Huntington -- 111,039
63.Seattle -- 110,053
64.Davenport -- 106,807
65.Portland -- 100,689
UNITED STATES -- 76,212,168


Growth Rate
Metropolitan Area -- 1950/1940 -- 1940/1930 -- 1930/1920 -- 1920/1910 -- 1910/1900

Atlanta -- 29.7% -- 22.1% -- 38.2% -- 31.2% -- 43.4%
Baltimore -- 23.5% -- 10.0% -- 15.6% -- 18.3% -- 12.7%
Boston -- 8.3% -- 1.7% -- 12.8% -- 14.3% -- 20.1%
Buffalo -- 13.6% -- 5.1% -- 21.0% -- 21.3% -- 22.1%
Chicago -- 13.9% -- 3.2% -- 32.8% -- 27.9% -- 31.5%
Cincinnati -- 14.9% -- 4.1% -- 20.2% -- 6.5% -- 12.0%
Cleveland -- 15.6% -- 1.9% -- 27.9% -- 47.2% -- 43.4%
Dallas -- 54.3% -- 22.4% -- 54.7% -- 55.1% -- 64.1%
Detroit -- 26.9% -- 9.2% -- 66.7% -- 112.7% -- 43.8%
Houston -- 52.5% -- 47.2% -- 92.5% -- 61.3% -- 81.4%
Kansas City -- 18.6% -- 3.2% -- 25.9% -- 25.3% -- 38.2%
Los Angeles -- 49.8% -- 25.3% -- 133.2% -- 85.3% -- 183.5%
Louisville -- 27.8% -- 7.3% -- 21.5% -- 7.1% -- 10.0%
Milwaukee -- 13.6% -- 5.7% -- 34.4% -- 24.5% -- 31.3%
Minneapolis -- 18.7% -- 9.7% -- 21.7% -- 18.5% -- 37.7%
New Orleans -- 24.1% -- 9.3% -- 22.1% -- 14.1% -- 17.9%
New York -- 10.7% -- 7.4% -- 27.9% -- 20.5% -- 39.6%
Philadelphia -- 14.7% -- 2.0% -- 15.6% -- 19.7% -- 19.9%
Pittsburgh -- 6.3% -- 2.9% -- 15.0% -- 19.6% -- 35.8%
Portland -- 40.6% -- 10.2% -- 22.1% -- 22.7% -- 101.6%
Providence -- 7.5% -- 2.9% -- 14.9% -- 12.2% -- 28.7%
St. Louis -- 17.4% -- 5.3% -- 19.3% -- 13.5% -- 25.3%
San Francisco -- 53.3% -- 8.5% -- 33.5% -- 30.4% -- 42.5%
Seattle -- 45.2% -- 8.9% -- 19.1% -- 36.8% -- 158.6%
Washington -- 51.3% -- 44.0% -- 17.5% -- 28.4% -- 17.6%
UNITED STATES -- 14.5% -- 7.3% -- 16.2% -- 15.0% -- 21.0%
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Definition Metropolitan Areas (1950)

Akron, OH SMA -- Summit County

Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY SMA -- Albany County; Rensselaer County and Schenectady County

Albuquerque, NM SMA -- Bernalillo County

Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ SMA -- Warren County, NJ; Lehigh County, PA and Northampton County, PA

Altoona, PA SMA -- Blair County

Asheville, NC SMA -- Buncombe County

Atlanta, GA SMA -- Cobb County; De Kalb County and Fulton County

Atlantic City, NJ SMA -- Atlantic County

Augusta, GA-SC SMA -- Richmond County, GA and Aiken County, SC

Austin, TX SMA -- Travis County

Baltimore, MD SMA -- Anne Arundel County; Baltimore city and Baltimore County

Baton Rouge, LA SMA -- East Baton Rouge Parish

Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX SMA -- Jefferson County

Binghamton, NY SMA -- Broome County, NY

Birmingham, AL SMA -- Jefferson County

Boston-Lowell-Lawrence, MA SMA -- Essex County; Middlesex County; Norfolk County and Suffolk County

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT SMA -- Fairfield County

Brockton, MA SMA -- Plymouth County

Buffalo, NY SMA -- Erie County and Niagara County

Canton, OH SMA -- Stark County

Cedar Rapids, IA SMA -- Linn County

Charleston, SC SMA -- Charleston County

Charleston, WV SMA -- Fayette county and Kanawha County

Charlotte, NC SMA -- Mecklenburg County

Chattanooga, TN-GA SMA -- Walker County, GA and Hamilton County, TN

Chicago, IL-IN SMA -- Cook County; Du Page County; Kane County; Lake County; Will County and Lake County, IN

Cincinnati, OH-KY SMA -- Campbell County, KY; Kenton County, KY and Hamilton County, OH

Cleveland, OH SMA -- Cuyahoga County and Lake County

Columbia, SC SMA -- Richland County

Columbus, GA-AL SMA -- Russell County, AL; Chattahoochee County, GA and Muscogee County, GA

Columbus, OH SMA -- Franklin County

Corpus Christi, TX SMA -- Nueces County

Dallas, TX SMA -- Dallas County

Davenport-Rock Island-Moline, IA-IL SMA -- Scott County, IA and Rock Island County, IL

Dayton, OH SMA -- Greene County and Montgomery County

Denver, CO SMA -- Adams County; Arapahoe County; Denver County and Jefferson County

Des Moines, IA SMA -- Polk County

Detroit, MI SMA -- Macomb County; Oakland County and Wayne County

Duluth-Superior, MN-WI SMA -- St.Louis County, MN and Douglas County, WI

Durham, NC SMA -- Durham County

El Paso, TX SMA -- El Paso County

Erie, PA SMA -- Erie County

Evansville, IN SMA -- Vanderburgh County

Flint, MI SMA -- Genesee County

Fort Wayne, IN SMA -- Allen County

Fort Worth, TX SMA -- Tarrant County

Fresno, CA SMA -- Fresno County

Galveston, TX SMA -- Galveston County

Grand Rapids, MI SMA -- Kent County

Greensboro-High Point, NC SMA -- Guilford County

Greenville, SC SMA -- Greenville County

Hamilton-Middletown, OH SMA -- Butler County

Harrisburg, PA SMA -- Cumberland County and Dauphin County

Hartford-New Britain, CT SMA -- Hartford County

Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii SMA -- Honolulu County

Houston, TX SMA -- Harris County

Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH SMA -- Boyd County, KY; Lawrence County, OH; Cabell County, WV and Wayne County, WV

Indianapolis, IN SMA -- Marion County

Jackson, MI SMA -- Jackson County

Jackson, MS SMA -- Hinds County

Jacksonville, FL SMA -- Duval County

Johnstown, PA SMA -- Cambria County and Somerset County

Kalamazoo, MI SMA -- Kalamazoo County

Kansas City, MO-KS SMA -- Johnson County, KS; Wyandotte County, KS; Clay County, MO and Jackson County, MO

Knoxville, TN SMA -- Anderson County; Blount County and Knox County

Lancaster, PA SMA -- Lancaster County

Lansing, MI SMA -- Ingham County

Lexington, KY SMA -- Fayette County

Lincoln, NE SMA -- Lancaster County

Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR SMA -- Pulaski County

Lorain-Elyria, OH SMA -- Lorain County

Los Angeles, CA SMA -- Los Angeles County and Orange County

Louisville, KY-IN SMA -- Clark County, IN; Floyd County, IN and Jefferson County, KY

Lubbock, TX SMA -- Lubbock County

Macon, GA SMA -- Bibb County and Houston County

Madison, WI SMA -- Dane County

Manchester, NH SMA -- Hillsborough County

Memphis, TN SMA -- Shelby County, TN

Miami, FL SMA -- Dade County

Milwaukee, WI SMA -- Milwaukee County

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN SMA -- Anoka County; Dakota County; Hennepin County and Ramsey County

Mobile, AL SMA -- Mobile County

Montgomery, AL SMA -- Montgomery County

Nashville, TN SMA -- Davidson County

New Bedford-Fall River, MA SMA -- Bristol County

New Haven-Waterbury, CT SMA -- New Haven County

New Orleans, LA SMA -- Jefferson Parish; Orleans Parish and St. Bernard Parish

New York-Northeastern NJ, NY-NJ SMA -- Bergen County, NJ; Essex County, NJ; Hudson County, NJ; Middlesex County, NJ; Morris County, NJ; Passaic County, NJ; Somerset County, NJ; Union County, NJ; Bronx County, NY; Kings County, NY; Nassau County, NY; New York County, NY; Queens County, NY; Richmond County, NY; Rockland County, NY; Suffolk County, NY and Westchester County, NY

Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA SMA -- Norfolk city; Norfolk County; Portsmouth city; Princess Anne County and South Norfolk city

Oklahoma City, OK SMA -- Oklahoma County

Omaha, NE-IA SMA -- Pottawattamie County, IA; Douglas County, NE and Sarpy County, NE

Orlando, FL SMA -- Orange County

Peoria, IL SMA -- Peoria County and Tazewell County

Philadelphia, PA-NJ SMA -- Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Montgomery County, PA and Philadelphia County, PA

Phoenix, AZ SMA -- Maricopa County

Pittsburgh, PA SMA -- Allegheny County; Beaver County; Washington County and Westmoreland County

Pittsfield, MA SMA -- Berkshire County

Portland, ME SMA -- Cumberland County

Portland, OR-WA SMA -- Clackamas County, OR; Multnomah County, OR; Washington County, OR and Clark County, WA

Providence, RI SMA -- Bristol County; Kent County and Providence County

Racine, WI SMA -- Racine County

Raleigh, NC SMA -- Wake County

Reading, PA SMA -- Berks County

Richmond, VA SMA -- Chesterfield County; Henrico County and Richmond city

Roanoke, VA SMA -- Roanoke County and Roanoke city

Rochester, NY SMA -- Monroe County

Rockford, IL SMA -- Winnebago County

Sacramento, CA SMA -- Sacramento County

Saginaw, MI SMA -- Saginaw County

St. Joseph, MO SMA -- Buchanan County

St. Louis, MO-IL SMA -- Madison County, IL; St. Clair County, IL; St. Charles County, MO; St. Louis County, MO and St. Louis city, MO

Salt Lake City, UT SMA -- Salt Lake County

San Antonio, TX SMA -- Bexar County

San Bernardino, CA SMA -- San Bernardino County

San Diego, CA SMA -- San Diego County

San Francisco-Oakland, CA SMA -- Alameda County; Contra Costa County; Marin County; San Francisco County; San Mateo County and Solano County

San Jose, CA SMA -- Santa Clara County

Savannah, GA SMA -- Chatham County

Scranton, PA SMA -- Lackawanna County

Seattle, WA SMA -- King County

Shreveport, LA SMA -- Caddo Parish

Sioux City, IA SMA -- Woodbury County

South Bend, IN SMA -- St.Joseph County

Spokane, WA SMA -- Spokane County

Springfield, IL SMA -- Sangamon County

Springfield, MO SMA -- Greene County

Springfield, OH SMA -- Clark County

Springfield-Holyoke, MA SMA -- Hampden County and Hampshire County

Stockton, CA SMA -- San Joaquin County

Syracuse, NY SMA -- Onondaga County

Tacoma, WA SMA -- Pierce County

Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL SMA -- Hillsborough County and Pinellas County

Terre Haute, IN SMA -- Vigo County

Toledo, OH SMA -- Lucas County

Topeka, KS SMA -- Shawnee County

Trenton, NJ SMA -- Mercer County

Tulsa, OK SMA -- Tulsa County

Utica-Rome, NY SMA -- Herkimer County and Oneida County

Waco, TX SMA -- McLennan County

Washington, DC-MD-VA SMA -- District of Columbia; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George's County, MD; Alexandria city, VA; Arlington County, VA; Fairfax County, VA and Falls Church city, VA

Waterloo, IA SMA -- Black Hawk County

Wheeling-Steubenville, WV-OH SMA -- Belmont County, OH; Jefferson County, OH; Brooke County, WV; Hancock County, WV; Marshall County, WV and Ohio County, WV

Wichita, KS SMA -- Sedgwick County

Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton, PA SMA -- Luzerne County

Wilmington, DE-NJ SMA -- New Castle County, DE and Salem County, NJ

Winston-Salem, NC -- Forsyth County

Worcester, MA SMA -- Worcester County

York, PA SMA -- York County

Youngstown, OH-PA SMA -- Mahoning County, OH; Trumbull County, OH and Mercer County, PA

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
 

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Using the towns and cities that the Census Bureau defined as the "SMA" for Boston, produces a population of 2,369,986, which drops it down one spot to #6, with Detroit taking over the #5 spot.

Even if you want to use counties, then Plymouth County probably shouldn't be included in the Metropolitan area, as only two of the towns in the county were a part of the SMA. The population of Suffolk, Norfolk, Middlesex, and Essex counties in 1950 was 2,875,876. In either case, it drops to #6 behind Detroit...;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
First, thanks moderators!

Using the towns and cities that the Census Bureau defined as the "SMA" for Boston, produces a population of 2,369,986, which drops it down one spot to #6, with Detroit taking over the #5 spot.

Even if you want to use counties, then Plymouth County probably shouldn't be included in the Metropolitan area, as only two of the towns in the county were a part of the SMA. The population of Suffolk, Norfolk, Middlesex, and Essex counties in 1950 was 2,875,876. In either case, it drops to #6 behind Detroit...;)
I hate New England! :eek:hno:

But serious, yes, I had some troubles with New England's definition, because until the 80's it was by cities not counties. Hudkina, the distance between Boston and Brockton is the same between Detroit and Troy, so let's leave that alone. Otherwise I'll need to recalculate the growth and change the ranking in the list.

Could you lable the cities by state, at least the Springfields since there are 3 and any other city that has multiple like Columbus.
I'll do that. And I need also to put "dash" between the numbers. And for while: the biggest Springfield is the Massachusetts one, followed by Illinois', Ohio's and Missouri's. The biggest Columbus is in Ohio, the smallest in Georgia. Charleston: biggest in WV, the smallest in SC. And Portland: biggest in OR, smallest in ME.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Growth Rate
Metropolitan Area -- 1950/1940 -- 1940/1930 -- 1930/1920 -- 1920/1910 -- 1910/1900

Atlanta -- 29.7% -- 22.1% -- 38.2% -- 31.2% -- 43.4%
Baltimore -- 23.5% -- 10.0% -- 15.6% -- 18.3% -- 12.7%
Boston -- 8.5% -- 1.8% -- 12.2% -- 13.9% -- 20.6%
Buffalo -- 13.6% -- 5.1% -- 21.0% -- 21.3% -- 22.1%
Chicago -- 13.9% -- 3.2% -- 32.8% -- 27.9% -- 31.5%
Cincinnati -- 14.9% -- 4.1% -- 20.2% -- 6.5% -- 12.0%
Cleveland -- 15.6% -- 1.9% -- 27.9% -- 47.2% -- 43.4%
Dallas -- 54.3% -- 22.4% -- 54.7% -- 55.1% -- 64.1%
Detroit -- 26.9% -- 9.2% -- 66.7% -- 112.7% -- 43.8%
Houston -- 52.5% -- 47.2% -- 92.5% -- 61.3% -- 81.4%
Kansas City -- 18.6% -- 3.2% -- 25.9% -- 25.3% -- 38.2%
Los Angeles -- 49.8% -- 25.3% -- 133.2% -- 85.3% -- 183.5%
Louisville -- 27.8% -- 7.3% -- 21.5% -- 7.1% -- 10.0%
Milwaukee -- 13.6% -- 5.7% -- 34.4% -- 24.5% -- 31.3%
Minneapolis -- 18.7% -- 9.7% -- 21.7% -- 18.5% -- 37.7%
New Orleans -- 24.1% -- 9.3% -- 22.1% -- 14.1% -- 17.9%
New York -- 10.7% -- 7.4% -- 27.9% -- 20.5% -- 39.6%
Philadelphia -- 14.7% -- 2.0% -- 15.6% -- 19.7% -- 19.9%
Pittsburgh -- 6.3% -- 2.9% -- 15.0% -- 19.6% -- 35.8%
Portland -- 40.6% -- 10.2% -- 22.1% -- 22.7% -- 101.6%
Providence -- 6.5% -- 1.8% -- 9.5% -- 12.4% -- 27.7%
St. Louis -- 17.4% -- 5.3% -- 19.3% -- 13.5% -- 25.3%
San Francisco -- 53.3% -- 8.5% -- 33.5% -- 30.4% -- 42.5%
Seattle -- 45.2% -- 8.9% -- 19.1% -- 36.8% -- 158.6%
Washington -- 51.3% -- 44.0% -- 17.5% -- 28.4% -- 17.6%
UNITED STATES -- 14.5% -- 7.3% -- 16.2% -- 15.0% -- 21.0%
^^
For me that is the most interesting section. These numbers tell part of US history.

During the depression (1930-1940), US had the smallest growth ever. Only: 7.8% (the second smallest were in 1980-1990, 9,8%). That's a common trend in difficult times, economically speaking.

Washington: the biggest growth were during the depression and WWII (1930 to 1950 - 44.0% and 51.3%). Bigger state, bigger Washington. Other interesting trend is the huge growth of Detroit (43.8% -- 112.7% -- 66.7%) and Los Angeles (183.5% -- 85.3% -- 133.2%) between 1900-1930. That symbolizes in my opinion, the ascension of US auto industry. One city make them, and the other drive them.
 

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looks like upstate NY metros maintained their populations despite massive losses in the cities. utica and rome halved their populations since 1950 but the metro area remained more or less the same.
 

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But serious, yes, I had some troubles with New England's definition, because until the 80's it was by cities not counties. Hudkina, the distance between Boston and Brockton is the same between Detroit and Troy, so let's leave that alone. Otherwise I'll need to recalculate the growth and change the ranking in the list.
But then you aren't comparing metropolitan areas as they were defined in 1950. The Boston SMA as defined using the 1950 definition only had a population of 2,369,986. The number you posted isn't accurate, even if Brockton was relatively close to Boston. (Lowell and Lawrence are just as close to Boston, yet weren't included in the SMA.) And like I said, even if you want to use counties as your base, chances are they wouldn't have included Plymouth County...;)
 

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using the 1950s MSA definition Miami (Dade county only) grew 5 times it's 1950 size.

Orlando (Orange county) grew over 8.7 times since 1950.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
But then you aren't comparing metropolitan areas as they were defined in 1950. The Boston SMA as defined using the 1950 definition only had a population of 2,369,986. The number you posted isn't accurate, even if Brockton was relatively close to Boston. (Lowell and Lawrence are just as close to Boston, yet weren't included in the SMA.) And like I said, even if you want to use counties as your base, chances are they wouldn't have included Plymouth County...;)
Ok, but what about the others SMAs in New England? Springfield (2 counties) and Providence (4 counties). Do you agree with the definition?
 

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For Providence the population of the cities and towns included by the Census Bureau was 737,203, but if you want to go by counties, I would say the only counties that would be included are Providence, Bristol (RI), and Kent, which combined only had 681,815. While Attleboro was a part of the metro area, Fall River and New Bedford (which make up the bulk of Bristol, MA) wouldn't be included. So you can either use the county method and lop off the Attleboro area or use the town/city method and include the extra areas.
 

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Looks like they were pretty strict with metro boundaries back then. Dallas and Ft.Worth were still separate metro's by the 1950's as were Miami, Ft.Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, on the other hand San Francisco and Oakland were combined into one metro.
 

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That's because Dallas and Fort Worth were still mostly unconnected, as were Fort Lauderdale and Miami. It wasn't until the 70's and 80's that those cities truly started becoming connected by suburban sprawl.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Into the Past

Metropolitan Areas 1890
1.New York -- 3,678,154
2.Philadelphia -- 1,579,793
3.Chicago -- 1,389,662
4.Boston -- 1,334,892
5.Pittsburgh -- 786,010
6.St. Louis -- 629,160
7.Baltimore -- 541,442
8.Cincinnati -- 472,942
9.San Francisco -- 450,481
10.Buffalo -- 385,472
11.Minneapolis -- 355,214
12.Detroit -- 330,172
13.Cleveland -- 328,205
14.Washington -- 318,909
15.Albany -- 318,863
16.Providence -- 293,305
17.Worcester -- 280,787
18.New Orleans -- 259,586
19.Kansas City -- 252,158
20.Louisville -- 248,315
21.Milwaukee -- 236,101
22.Omaha -- 212,313
23.New Haven -- 209,058
24.Wilkes-Barre -- 201,203
25.Allentown -- 197,404
26.Rochester -- 189,586
27.Springfield -- 187,572
28.New Bedford -- 186,465
29.Wheeling -- 172,194
30.Utica -- 168,530
31.Youngstown -- 154,096
32.Bridgeport -- 150,081
33.Lancaster -- 149,095
34.Hartford -- 147,180
35.Syracuse -- 146,247
36.Harrisburg -- 144,248
37.Scranton -- 142,088
38.Indianapolis -- 141,156
39.Denver -- 140,585
40.Reading -- 137,327
41.Dayton -- 130,672
42.Richmond -- 129,605
43.Atlanta -- 124,130
44.Columbus -- 124,087
45.Wilmington -- 122,333
46.Los Angeles -- 115,043
47.Portland -- 113,798
48.Memphis -- 112,740
49.Grand Rapids -- 109,922
50.Nashville -- 108,174
51.Johnstown -- 103,692
52.Toledo -- 102,296
UNITED STATES -- 62,979,766


Metropolitan Areas 1880
1.New York -- 2,795,324
2.Philadelphia -- 1,296,132
3.Boston -- 1,046,799
4.Chicago -- 761,433
5.Pittsburgh -- 528,928
6.St. Louis -- 517,403
7.Baltimore -- 444,175
8.Cincinnati -- 394,797
9.San Francisco -- 347,928
10.Albany -- 293,756
11.Buffalo -- 274,057
12.Washington -- 262,405
13.Detroit -- 239,608
14.New Orleans -- 232,661
15.Providence -- 229,856
16.Worcester -- 226,897
17.Cleveland -- 213,269
18.Louisville -- 184,796
19.Allentown -- 172,870
20.Utica -- 158,144
21.New Haven -- 156,523
22.Springfield -- 151,374
23.Wheeling -- 149,848
24.Rochester -- 144,903
25.Youngstown -- 143,912
26.Lancaster -- 139,447
27.New Bedford -- 139,040
28.Milwaukee -- 138,537
29.Minneapolis -- 137,402
30.Kansas City -- 133,893
31.Wilkes-Barre -- 133,065
32.Hartford -- 125,382
33.Reading -- 122,597
34.Harrisburg -- 122,125
35.Syracuse -- 117,893
36.Bridgeport -- 112,042
37.Dayton -- 109,899
38.Richmond -- 107,788
39.Indianapolis -- 102,782
40.Wilmington -- 102,295
UNITED STATES -- 50,189,209


Metropolitan Areas 1870
1.New York -- 2,175,509
2.Philadelphia -- 1,058,572
3.Boston -- 835,441
4.Chicago -- 482,108
5.St. Louis -- 467,692
6.Pittsburgh -- 405,554
7.Baltimore -- 355,198
8.Cincinnati -- 323,872
9.Albany -- 253,948
10.Buffalo -- 229,136
11.New Orleans -- 212,738
12.San Francisco -- 212,580
13.Washington -- 203,108
14.Worcester -- 192,716
15.Detroit -- 187,521
16.Providence -- 177,206
17.Louisville -- 167,023
18.Allentown -- 152,564
19.Utica -- 149,937
20.Cleveland -- 147,935
21.Springfield -- 122,797
22.Wheeling -- 122,501
23.Lancaster -- 121,340
24.New Haven -- 121,257
25.Youngstown -- 119,637
26.Rochester -- 117,868
27.Hartford -- 109,007
28.Reading -- 106,701
29.Harrisburg -- 104,652
30.Syracuse -- 104,183
31.New Bedford -- 102,886
UNITED STATES -- 38,558,371
 

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Once you start getting into the 19th century even the 1950 metro boundaries would be considered enormous. The influence of most cities didn't goo too far beyond the city boundaries.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
^^
Yeah, I thought about that too. That's why I'll stop in 1870. No numbers for pre-Civil War era. :)

I'll work in the opposite direction right now. I'll use 1950's definitions up to 2000.

But you see, despite that, we can notice some trends in the 1870-1890 period: the industrial Great Lake cities were in the very begining. Cities near the big rivers, like St. Louis, Cincinnati, New Orleans and Louisville were huge back then.
 
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