Population density in the United States
Population density has been tracked for over two hundred years in the United States. Over the last two centuries, the number of people living in the United States per square mile has grown from 4.5 in 1790 to 87.4 in 2010. After examining the data in detail, it becomes clear that a major population increase started around 1870. Population density was roughly 11 at the time and has doubled in the last century. Since then, population density grew by about 16 percent each decade. Population density doubled in 1900, and grew in total by around 800 percent until 2010.
The population density of the United States varies from state to state. The most densely populated state is New Jersey, with 1,205 people per square mile living there. Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state, with a bit more than 1,000 inhabitants per square mile. A number of New England states follow at the top of the ranking. The northeastern region of the United States is the most densely populated area by far.
The least populated U.S. state is, to no surprise, the vast territory of Alaska. Only 1.3 inhabitants per square mile reside in the largest state of the U.S.
Compared to other countries around the world, the United States does not rank within the top 50, in terms of population density. Most of the leading countries and territories are city states. However, the U.S. is one of the most populous countries in the world, with a total population of over 320 million inhabitants, as of 2015.