Humanities › Geography The 20 Biggest U.S. Cities Based on Population Share Flipboard Email Print ThoughtCo / Jaime Knoth Geography Population Basics Physical Geography Political Geography Country Information Key Figures & Milestones Maps Urban Geography By Matt Rosenberg Geography Expert M.A., Geography, California State University - Northridge B.A., Geography, University of California - Davis Matt Rosenberg is an award-winning geographer and the author of "The Handy Geography Answer Book" and "The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook." our editorial process Matt Rosenberg Updated July 09, 2019 The largest cities in the United States (at least the top few) don't tend to shift around in the ranks, but they definitely do grow. Ten U.S. cities have a population of more than a million. California and Texas each have three of the most populous cities. Notice that more than half of large cities are located in what could be broadly be defined as the "Sunbelt," the southwestern, sun-warmed region that is one of the most rapidly growing parts of the U.S., as people arrive from colder, northern states. The South has 10 of the 15 cities that are growing most quickly, and five of those are in Texas. This list of the 20 largest cities in the United States is based on the population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau as of July 2016. 01 of 20 New York, New York: Population 8,537,673 Matteo Colombo / Getty Images The U.S. Census Bureau showed a gain for New York City of 362,500 residents (4.4 percent) as compared with the 2010 figures, and each of the city's boroughs gained people. A longer lifespan balanced out people moving out of the city. 02 of 20 Los Angeles, California: Population 3,976,322 Jean-Pierre Lescourret / Getty Images The median home price (owner occupied) in Los Angeles is nearly $600,000, the median age of the people there is 35.6, and 60 percent of all the nearly 1.5 million households speak a language other than (or in addition to) English. 03 of 20 Chicago, Illinois: Population 2,704,958 Allan Baxter / Getty Images Overall, Chicago's population is declining, but the city is becoming more racially diverse. Populations of people of Asian and Hispanic origin are growing, while the numbers of Caucasians and Blacks are decreasing. 04 of 20 Houston, Texas: Population 2,303,482 Westend61 / Getty Images Houston was eighth in the top 10 fastest growing cities between 2015 and 2016, adding 18,666 people that year. About two-thirds are 18 years old and above, and only about 10 percent 65 and over. A similar ratio to the cities that are bigger than Houston. 05 of 20 Phoenix, Arizona: 1,615,017 Brian Stablyk / Getty Images Phoenix took over Philadelphia's spot on the country's list of most populous in 2017. Phoenix almost accomplished this back in 2007, but those estimated gains disappeared after 2010's full count. 06 of 20 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Population 1,567,872 Jon Lovette / Getty Images Philadelphia is growing but just barely. The Philadelphia Inquirer noted in 2017 that people move to Philly (an increase in population of 2,908 between 2015 and 2016) but then move out when their children turn school age; Philly's suburbs are barely just growing, too. 07 of 20 San Antonio, Texas: Population 1,492,510 Anne Rippy / Getty Images One of the biggest growers in the U.S., San Antonio added 24,473 new folks between 2015 and 2016. 08 of 20 San Diego, California: Population 1,406,630 David Toussaint / Getty Images San Diego rounded out the top 10 list of the fastest growing between 2015 and 2016 by adding 15,715 new residents. 09 of 20 Dallas, Texas: Population 1,317,929 Gavin Hellier / Getty Images Three of the fastest growing cities in the nation are in Texas. Dallas is one of these; it added 20,602 people between 2015 and 2016. 10 of 20 San Jose, California: Population 1,025,350 Derek_Neumann / Getty Images San Jose's city government estimates that it grew just under 1 percent between 2016 and 2017, enough to maintain its status as the third largest city in California. 11 of 20 Austin, Texas: Population 947,890 Peter Tsai Photography - www.petertsaiphotography.com / Getty Images Austin is a "no majority" city, meaning that no one ethnic or demographic group claims a majority of the city's population. 12 of 20 Jacksonville, Florida: Population 880,619 Henryk Sadura / Getty Images Besides being the 12th largest city in the nation, Jacksonville, Florida, was also the 12th fastest growing between 2015 and 2016. 13 of 20 San Francisco, Califorina: Population 870,887 Jordan Banks / Getty Images The median price for a home in San Francisco, California, was $1.5 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2017. Even a condo's median was more than $1.1 million. 14 of 20 Columbus, Ohio: Population 860,090 TraceRouda / Getty Images Growing about 1 percent between 2015 and 2016 was all that was needed to overtake Indianapolis to become the No. 14 most populous city. 15 of 20 Indianapolis, Indiana: Population 855,164 Henryk Sadura / Getty Images More than half of Indiana's counties saw a reduction in population between 2015 and 2016, but Indianapolis (up almost 3,000) and surrounding suburbs saw modest increases. 16 of 20 Fort Worth, Texas: Population 854,113 Davel5957 / Getty Images Fort Worth added almost 20,000 people between 2015 and 2016, making it one of the top growers in the nation, right between Dallas at No. 6 and Houston at No. 8. 17 of 20 Charlotte, North Carolina: Population 842,051 Richard Cummins / Getty Images Charlotte, North Carolina, has not stopped growing since 2010 but also reflects the nationwide trend since 2000 of a shrinking middle class, as reported in the 2017 Mecklenburg County Community Pulse report. The trend hits especially hard where there's manufacturing loss. 18 of 20 Seattle, Washington: Population 704,352 @ Didier Marti / Getty Images In 2016, Seattle was the 10th most expensive major city in the country to be a renter. 19 of 20 Denver, Colorado: Population 693,060 Photography by Bridget Calip / Getty Images A report by Downtown Denver Partnership found in 2017 that the center of the city was growing quickly and had 79,367 residents, or just over 10 percent of the city's population, more than triple the number living there in 2000. 20 of 20 El Paso, Texas: Population 683,080 DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images El Paso, on the far western tip of Texas, is the largest metropolitan area on the Mexican border.