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100 Biggest US Cities in 1900

Name the 100 largest "urban places" according to the US Bureau of the Census in the year 1900.
Honolulu is not included as Hawaii was not yet a state.
Last updated: May 24, 2016
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Population
City
3,437,202
New York
1,698,575
Chicago
1,293,697
Philadelphia
575,238
St Louis
560,892
Boston
508,957
Baltimore
381,768
Cleveland
352,387
Buffalo
342,782
San Francisco
325,902
Cincinnati
321,616
Pittsburgh
287,104
New Orleans
285,704
Detroit
285,315
Milwaukee
278,718
Washington
246,070
Newark
206,433
Jersey City
204,731
Louisville
202,718
Minneapolis
175,597
Providence
169,164
Indianapolis
163,752
Kansas City, MO
163,065
St Paul
162,608
Rochester
133,859
Denver
131,822
Toledo
129,896
Allegheny
125,560
Columbus
118,421
Worcester
108,374
Syracuse
108,027
New Haven
105,171
Paterson
104,863
Fall River
102,979
St Joseph
Population
City
102,555
Omaha
102,479
Los Angeles
102,320
Memphis
102,026
Scranton
94,969
Lowell
94,151
Albany
91,886
Cambridge
90,426
Portland, OR
89,872
Atlanta
87,565
Grand Rapids
85,333
Dayton
85,050
Richmond
80,865
Nashville
80,671
Seattle
79,850
Hartford
78,961
Reading
76,508
Wilmington
75,935
Camden
73,307
Trenton
70,996
Bridgeport
68,513
Lynn
66,960
Oakland
62,559
Lawrence
62,442
New Bedford
62,139
Des Moines
62,059
Springfield, MA
61,643
Somerville
60,651
Troy
59,364
Hoboken
59,007
Evansville
56,987
Manchester
56,383
Utica
56,100
Peoria
55,807
Charleston
Population
City
54,244
Savannah
53,531
Salt Lake City
53,321
San Antonio
52,969
Duluth
52,733
Erie
52,130
Elizabeth
51,721
Wilkes-Barre
51,418
Kansas City, KS
50,167
Harrisburg
50,145
Portland, ME
47,931
Yonkers
46,624
Norfolk
45,859
Waterbury
45,712
Holyoke
45,115
Ft Wayne
44,885
Youngstown
44,633
Houston
42,938
Covington
42,728
Akron
42,638
Dallas
42,345
Saginaw
41,459
Lancaster
40,169
Lincoln
40,063
Brockton
39,647
Binghamton
39,441
Augusta
39,231
Pawtucket
38,973
Altoona
38,878
Wheeling
38,469
Mobile
38,415
Birmingham
38,307
Little Rock
+2
level 75
May 27, 2014
What do you guys think? Would this be better or worse if I cut it in half and made it the top 50 cities?
+1
level 37
May 27, 2014
I wouldn't mind just a top ten :p. Top 100 keeps my city on though :).
+1
level 75
May 27, 2014
Which city is that?

There's already another quiz (not my own) about the biggest 10 US cities by decade, I think it goes from 1850 through 2000 or 2010. I'd recommend searching it up, it's a good quiz.
+1
level 41
Oct 9, 2018
My city is Cleveland so it would even be on the top 10 for that time period. Can't say the same for now though however it's crazy how much the populations have changed for every city. At one point Los angeles wasn't anything but look at it now. San Jose also comes to mind for that. I hope one day Cleveland can retake it's spot in the top 10.
+2
level 69
May 28, 2014
I'm alright with a top 100. Would be boring if you only had to guess the usual suspects.
+2
level 50
May 29, 2014
I prefer the top 100; it makes it more challenging.
+1
level 49
Jul 25, 2014
I think top 50 would work. For top 100 there is a lot of cities to go think about.
+2
level 44
Jul 29, 2014
I really dug that it was all 100, a great history lesson, but just give us 3 or 4 more minutes. Tough quiz. But good.
+1
level 35
Dec 20, 2015
Then my home city wouldn't be on here! (The population of it now is over a million)
+1
level 70
Feb 28, 2017
I could use a couple more minutes - I keep hitting around 60 total. I think I could hit 80 with a few more ticks on the clock.
+1
level 75
Feb 28, 2017
I made this quiz and my high score is 68. But that's enough to get 5/5 points.
+1
level 70
Jun 24, 2018
Looks like I tied your score back when I first took it. I was still coming up with correct answers through the end of the time allotment, so of course I wanted to add a few more ticks to the clock!
+1
level 46
Feb 28, 2017
Keep it. Utica doesn't make it many lists...
+1
level 44
May 30, 2017
Great quiz! I think it's fine at 100. I didn't think I could get them all but ended up with 69. Another minute or two and I might have reached 75/80. All thumbs.
+1
level 32
Mar 27, 2018
I think I'd like a top fifty better, especially since there weren't that many big cities back then and so you're scraping the bottom of the urban barrel to find things (some of which I guessed and others I would never have even dreamed of thinking of).
+2
level 79
May 27, 2014
Great quiz. Really shows how much the US population has shifted.
+1
level 75
Jun 8, 2014
It does! :) Many of these cities of course have increased dramatically in population. Dallas has 100x more people now. But the ones that are most often missed have often gotten smaller in the last 100 years. Holyoke, for one example, has 5,000 fewer inhabitants today than it did in 1900.
+1
level 75
Jun 8, 2014
and, actually, it has been absorbed into the Springfield, MA metro area so wouldn't even be counted today.
+2
level 81
Jun 22, 2014
St Louis has lost over 250,000 people since 1900. Also Pittsburgh, which shortly after 1900 annexed Allegheny, has lost 150,000. Buffalo and Cincinnati are also much smaller now.
+1
level 49
Jul 25, 2014
This quiz was very interesting to me. In 1900 this is after the westward expansion boom and the east coast cities we gaining back the population they lost in the mid 1800s. It goes to show how much things like city populations can change in just a short amount of time. If anyone would look at the populations of the same cities a decade later, the amount of people in the cities and the size of the cities will be hugely different in just a short 10 years.
+1
level 75
May 28, 2014
I think I typed "Fort Wayne" but didn't get credit.
+1
level ∞
May 28, 2014
Just checked. Fort Wayne would have worked!
+1
level 46
May 29, 2014
Great quiz. Could have used more time.
+1
level 77
Jul 25, 2014
Was NC a desert at that time?
+1
level 75
Jul 25, 2014
In the 19th century even the antebellum South when it was thriving could never match the northern states for their cities. The south was much more rural and less industrialized and therefore fewer people lived in cities there. In addition, by 1900, 35 years after the end of the Civil War, Reconstruction had repaired some of the damage done to the urban centers of these states but they were also starting basically from scratch in many places.
+1
level 44
Jul 29, 2014
Among Southern states, NC never had a good port city. There was Norfolk/Portsmouth, Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, New Orleans by comparison. And they never had factories either to compare with Richmond, Birmingham, Columbus. NC, like Mississippi, remained stagnant after Reconstruction and through the Jim Crow era. They didn't start to industrialize the Tobacco Road cities until the 10s and 20s.
+1
level 51
Sep 27, 2016
seriously? you couldnt be more wrong lmao. lets take a look at Wilmington, one of the best deep water ports along the east coast through much of the united states history. massive shipbuilding hub during ww2, over 240 ships built there. still a huge international shipping destination today.
+1
level 56
Jul 25, 2014
"Pittsburg" should be accepted as that was the official spelling of the city in 1900.
+1
level 81
Jul 29, 2014
Had to look that one up, you do have a point.
+1
level 75
Jul 29, 2014
I fixed it already. Thanks.
+1
level 60
Mar 6, 2016
Only for 20 years by the federal government. Most people refused to alter the spelling and they had to reverse the decision.
+1
level 65
Aug 2, 2014
great quiz! Keep it as it is. it's more challenging. - my 2 cents : )
+1
level 47
Nov 9, 2014
One of the best quizzes I have taken!!!
+1
level 75
Nov 9, 2014
Thanks. glad you liked it.
+1
level 75
Feb 9, 2015
How about a "Countries of the World in 1900" quiz?
+1
level 75
Feb 9, 2015
There are Most populous countries in 1900 and 1950 quizzes already. I made the latter. Since many modern countries were part of European empires in 1900, that quiz covers most of the world with just a top 20 list.
+1
level 75
Feb 9, 2015
Oh wait. here you go

Killitquick already did it.
+2
level 57
Jul 13, 2015
Killit quick? This quiz, kalbahamut, is for you!
+1
level 75
Sep 4, 2016
I always just assumed that killit was typing his name when a spider crawled across his keyboard and he didn't get it quite right on account of panic-induced typos.
+1
level 64
Feb 2, 2015
It's weird having moved from California to the Northeast. The city I'm currently living in has 20k fewer people now than it did in 1900. That just doesn't happen back home.
+1
level 57
Oct 11, 2015
Hey, this has been made. You know, "Biggest US Cities in 1900". The only difference is that this is 100, and the other is 50. More points for me! :)
+1
level 75
Oct 11, 2015
I think I made the same discovery in the comments above.
+1
level 41
Oct 12, 2015
So Florida was not representing in 1900
+1
level 72
Dec 9, 2015
Excited to see that it's Troy, NY, which is what I had in mind when I tried it
+1
level 60
Mar 6, 2016
It definitely helps that I'm from Pennsylvania. I wouldn't mind a reduction because I frankly don't expect anybody from outside the state to know a place like Altoona even exists.
+1
level 35
Jan 17, 2017
I'm also from Pennsylvania, and I barely know where Altoona is!
+1
level 32
Mar 27, 2018
I got Altoona but not Allegheny...
+1
level 53
Mar 24, 2016
52/100 and 4/5 points. I'm happy with that, I'll never get 100 anyway and all for one extra point! Got some 3%ers but then missed off some like Portland, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis. Not bad for an Englishman anyway.
+1
level 75
Mar 29, 2016
Not bad at all. My high score is 63 and I made the quiz.
+1
level 39
Jun 5, 2016
Biggest one I missed is Rochester at 162,608, which in 2016 is only modestly larger than that at 210k.
+1
level 80
Jul 3, 2016
Took it twice 2 years ago with 34-35/100. Now got 52. Practising with the modern 200 biggest cities one certainly paid off. Still forgot Atlanta and Salt Lake City.
+1
level 71
Jul 8, 2016
Being from Massachusetts helps. I got most of the low percentage New England and NY cities. All those old mill towns and industrial centers.
+1
level 38
Aug 11, 2016
This is one of the most interesting quizzes on the site, so many northern cities I didn't expect to be here!
+1
level 50
Nov 12, 2016
I would never have guessed Pawtucket, even though I once lived there. Mill town, so I should have, perhaps.
+1
level 58
Nov 28, 2016
A lot of Massachusetts area ones here
+1
level 75
Nov 28, 2016
Not so surprising. Boston was one of the top 5 urban centers in the country at the time and among the 3 oldest giving the surrounding areas ample time to grow in to population centers in their own right.
+1
level 31
Jan 1, 2017
I can't believe Lancaster was on here. The city isn't that big when I visited there. Rochester and Duluth were that big too?
+1
level 75
Feb 28, 2017
If New York is "the city that never sleeps," I think Rochester should be "the city that goes to bed early." I was there once, twenty years ago, for a convention. I remember thinking it was odd mostly because it seemed like a fairly large city, and yet everything closed by around 6 p.m. After that it was difficult even finding a place to deliver pizza to our hotel.
+1
level 49
Feb 28, 2017
I wouldn't have thought that Salt Lake City was in the top 100, let alone as far up as it is, in 1900. Considering it was only settled 53 years prior.
+2
level 75
Feb 28, 2017
Mormons multiply quickly
+1
level 41
Feb 28, 2017
Covington? Wow!
+1
level 47
Feb 28, 2017
i cheated a little
+1
level 64
Feb 28, 2017
It would be really helpful to have the states that these cities are in listed in the answers. The major ones I know, but not the more obscure ones.
+1
level 59
Mar 1, 2017
Got 32, should have got a few more. The only US place I've been is Los Angeles on a stopover for 2 days when I was 8. Will travel there one day. Interesting quiz, thanks.
+1
level 60
Mar 2, 2017
I was surprised when certain east coast cities were on there, like Scranton, Erie, and Jersey City, while I was surprised that certain west coast cities weren't, like San Diego and Phoenix. I guess this says a lot about migration patterns in the last century.
+1
level 44
Mar 10, 2017
I was confused by "urban places"... for instance I didn't list Hoboken, because I considered that part of the NYC metro area. Very interesting!
+1
level 72
Mar 30, 2017
New England all over this superb quiz.
+1
level 47
Oct 3, 2017
I you know the Mill towns in New England, you can do well on this quiz.
+1
level 47
Jun 30, 2018
48/100. Not bad for a Brit.
+1
level 48
Sep 12, 2018
70/100 but i forgot Washington
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