America’s Least Densely Populated Cities are in Oklahoma
The US Census continually offers new information as the data gets crunched over time, but the statistics on America's least densely populated cities were really surprising.
The number one least densely populated large and small cities in America are in the Sooner State and practically right next to each other... meaning, residents have more area to live in than other places.
For instance, if you were to look at the population density of Manhattan, NYC, there are a little over 27,000 residents living in each square mile of the city. That's more densely populated than Tokyo, but pails in comparison to other huge cities like Manilla where that square mile population is nearly 120,000 people.
Large cities vs small cities.
Before you call shenanigans on this due to the incredibly close proximity, the government does have different definitions of cities big and small, plus towns, villages, etc...
Small cities are defined as having a population between 100-150k. Large cities are those with populations above 350k.
When all of the data was compiled, Norman ended up being the least densely populated small city in America with only 698.1 residents per square mile of incorporated land.
If you raised an eyebrow, so did I. Norman? Really? Oklahoma's third-largest city is the least densely populated small city in the nation? That's wild.
Of the same token, Oklahoma City was named the least densely populated large city in the nation too, with just under 1100 residents per square mile.
How did the two "smallest" cities in America just happen to land just 18 miles from each other?
It's the suburb thing.
What do all growing and successful cities have in common? Nobody wants to live there, but they want to live close enough to have their cake and eat it too. That's where the suburbs come into play.
Around OKC, residents have nearly 50 smaller towns to call home. Yukon, Edmond, Moore, Midwest City, etc... but some of these suburb towns are still well inside, but excluded from, the city limits of OKC.
Places like The Village, Nichols Hills, Bethany, etc... They don't count toward the population density of OKC. Quite the opposite.
It's all about the area.
Oddly enough, the smaller a town is, the higher the population density happens to be.
Example: Oklahoma's most densely populated "town" is named Sportsmen Acres.
I've never heard of it either, and for good reason.
With a population density of over 3,800 people per square mile, you might assume it's some secret little major metropolitan area, but that's just going by statistics, not the actual facts.
Sportsmen Acres is home to only 316 people but with an area of only 0.08 square miles. It's literally a suburban neighborhood outside of Pryor.
Now you can call shenanigans. Stats are weird.