Largest Metropolitan Areas

The 30 Largest Metropolitan Areas in the United States

New York Metropolitan Area
The New York metropolitan area is the most populous in the United States, with nearly 22 million people calling it home. Getty Images

The U.S. Census Bureau regularly releases population estimates for consolidated metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan statistical areas and primary metropolitan areas. CMSAs are urban areas (such as one or more counties with a city of more than 50,000 and its surrounding suburbs. The area needs to have a combined population of at least 100,000 (in New England the total population requirement is 75,000).

The suburbs need to be economically and socially integrated with the core city, such as by a high level of residents commuting into the core city, and the area needs to have a specific percentage of urban population or population density.

Most readers will likely be interested in the total populations for the 30 largest metropolitan areas, those urban and suburban areas containing populations above 2 million. The top five largest metropolitan areas are still the five largest in population as represented in the 2010 U.S. Census. Without further ado, here's the list, from New York City to Milwaukee; you'll note that many of the largest consolidated metros in New England stretch through multiple states, though several others across the country span borders as well.

The data here represents the estimates from July 2016.

1. New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA23,689,255
2. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA18,688,022
3. Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 9,882,634
4. Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA 9,665,892
5. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA 8,751,807
6. Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT 8,176,376
7. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX-OK 7,673,305
8. Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD 7,179,357
9. Houston-The Woodlands, TX 6,972,374
10. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL 6,723,472
11. Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs, GA 6,451,262
12. Detroit-Warren-Ann Arbor, MI 5,318,653
13. Seattle-Tacoma, WA 4,684,516
14. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI 3,894,820
15. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH 3,483,311
16. Denver-Aurora, CO 3,470,235
17. Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, FL 3,202,927
18. Portland-Vancouver-Salem, OR-WA 3,160,488
19. St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, MO-IL 2,911,769
20. Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV 2,635,228
21. Charlotte-Concord, NC-SC 2,632,249
22. Sacramento-Roseville, CA 2,567,451
23. Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem, UT 2,514,748
24. Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, MO-KS 2,446,396
25. Columbus-Marion-Zanesville, OH 2,443,402
26. Las Vegas-Henderson, NV-AZ 2,404,336
27. Indianapolis-Carmel-Muncie, IN 2,386,199
28. Cincinnati-Wilmington-Maysville, OH-KY-IN 2,224,231
29. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 2,156,253
30. Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, WI 2,043,274

See a listing of State Abbreviations.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Rosenberg, Matt. "Largest Metropolitan Areas." ThoughtCo, Jan. 11, 2018, Rosenberg, Matt. (2018, January 11). Largest Metropolitan Areas. Retrieved from Rosenberg, Matt. "Largest Metropolitan Areas." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 23, 2018).