Talk:Lists of populated places in the United States

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Criteria for inclusion[edit]

I've added links to a List of Plantations in Maine, List of Towns in Maine, List of Cities in Maine, and List of Counties in Maine, and List of County Seats in Maine. Of those, all of the first 3 must stay as they are legit forms of organized municipalities in Maine. So definitely Plantations must stay (somewhat equivalent to villages in other states).
I see also that this page is loaded with entries such as Places in..... therefore on what basis is the objection to a list of Counties, or County Seats in Maine? Also see included in entries on this page: UNnincorporated places in North Carolina, Incorporated places in Maryland, Towns and Boroughs in Penn. JackME (talk) 15:46, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
The list of counties is not valid. This is a list of cities, towns, and villages. The plantations are valid - as per the reference they are defined between a township and town, and are distinct to Maine only. A county is not an 'organized municipality' and is not included in this list. Incorporated and unincorporated places are, by definition, similar to plantations - between townships and towns (or villages, or "hamlets" as in New York State). Rarelibra (talk) 17:10, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I will accept the removal of the link to the counties of Maine if you like, but I'm not sure what all those entries to "Places in...." are doing on this page. After all isn't a county also a place, and doesn't it often have a strong identity as well. If I should check each of those links to "Places in..." will I find only Cities, Towns, Plantations/Villages/Hamlets when I get to the page? What about a listing of "nickname" places within other legal municipalities, or populated but UNorganized territories? In short what is the overall definition of this page, and therefore the defined criteria for inclusion on it? Does it mean a list of places people live? Or a list of places which have legal standing? Zip codes? I think that's part of the problem I have with the page. If it were simply a list of CITIES in the US, then only those entities legally defined as cities should/would be on the page I imagine, but even then there would be those who live in large and even very large towns, who may even think of themselves as living in a city (as opposed to "the country") and therefore who would want their place listed. And just to be clear and for the record, I've been trying to be helpful and improve the page with my additions. So can we work on a definition of the page title, and thus the criteria for link inclusion on it? Thanks. JackME (talk) 17:53, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Sure - let's change it only to a list of cities, that way we can remove the plantations. :) Serious, if you want to drill through the places and see if they qualify, be my guest. If we want to be technical about it, we can remove the plantations, places, etc because they do not fit a "city, town or village". Or we can rename the title to "List of cities, towns, villages, places, plantations..." you get the point. I think it is a valid populated place in definition, really. Rarelibra (talk) 18:06, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
The issue should not be what they call themselves, but whether they are a "city, town, village or equivalent." Define the scope as legal municipalities. That way it will include (for example) boroughs in Pennsylvania (but not boroughs in Alaska) and plantations in Maine, but it will not include "villages" in places that don't recognize the "village" as a municipality type. --Orlady (talk) 19:23, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Has anyone checked this list to verify how many of these places are actually cities? I know for a fact that in Maryland, many of the ones listed are not. Wheaton, for example, is simply an urbanized unincorporated area, not even a census-designated place (it is part of the Wheaton-Glenmont CDP) or a post office (it is served by the Silver Spring post office). The term city has a legal meaning in most, probably all, states. I think that either this page should be renamed to "List of urbanized areas in the United States" or should be pruned to include only legally-defined cities. -- BRG July 12, 2003

Some of the 'Maine Cities' listed on this page are towns, and are not cities. Also some actual cities have been left off.

Trim or extend[edit]

Conversely, if these are not only incorporated areas, then many more are missing.

Where is San Juan, Puerto Rico?[edit]

Shouldn't there be subsections for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, etc ? Or conversely, the title could say that this is only for the 50 states. I just made it so, as a test.

  • Puerto Rico does not have legal defined "cities", it has only "municipalities" (municipios), which are kind of a combination of the US concept of "county" and "township". It just happens that San Juan has a lot more people than, say, Moca or Yabucoa. Tomer TALK July 3, 2005 20:45 (UTC)

Census info[edit]

Since the extended city listings are patchy and irregular, I've taken the census info available from this page, and wrote a perl script to (slightly) wikify lists of cities. However, I'm not quite sure how to go about posting them. Should I just put up the lists for states that do not have lists? Should I just replace all the states with the one standard and run the risk of possibly deleting a city that for some reason may not be in the census information?

Also, I've divided the urban areas into what the census info defined them as, i.e. villages, cities, and towns. I agree with BRG's idea above when he suggests changing the title of the page to "List of urbanized areas in the United States." Otherwise, you'll have a mess like in Indiana, where the List of cities in Indiana is seperate from the List of towns in Indiana, and some states have up to four classifications for urban areas. Although I'd say this works for a larger state, like Indiana, I'm not so sure about smaller ones.

Another issue is the format wanted for the pages; Oregon has the cities broken up by first letter, and doesn't use line breaks within each letter, but most of the others are just bulleted lists. I like the look of Oregon's page, since it keeps scrolling to a minimum. Once again, though, there's the small state/big state issue, where one look may not work well with both kinds of states.

In any case, I've put all the lists into an open directory on my server, and can be accessed by clicking here. The "cities.txt" is the slightly-edited, raw file I used to run "" with. I'd like to get these all up, eventually, but like I said at the beginning, I'm not sure in what manner I should. Any comments are welcome. -- Bamos March 17th, 6:46 PM EST

Usage of DPL's for this page[edit]

I feel it will be a lot easier to use DPL's to organize this page. For example, we could just add the following DPL rule (this example is for Michigan):

category=Cities in Michigan

And replace 'Michigan' for other states. (More on DPL's) --Mrmiscellanious 19:52, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

Would you suggest....[edit]

Should I update order of the rank of cities according to population? I was thinking it might be a good thing, but the only official numbers are from the 2000 census. If I was going to update it, it would have to be estimates of 2004.

'nestled' - my pet peeve[edit]

Sorry for the useless comment but I've been putting up articles on our Wikipedia for over the past month and it seems like every second article with more than just the census information claims that their city is 'nestled' in the heart of something. Nestled at the foot of Blue Mountain, nestled in the heart of the so-and-so valley, nestled along the banks of River C, etc. I'd love to just strike that word off of the whole encyclopedia. Once again, sorry for the useless comment. mithridates

Population Standard[edit]

Ok, this obviously needs a population standard. Most cities in these states are not listed at all and some of the smallest cities with populations under 2,000 are listed while ones with over 20,000 are left out. Case in point: Wrightsville Beach, NC. How about for this article, we only list the incorporated cities, towns, broughs, towns, etc (with exceptions in places like Virginia with independent cities and urban counties) with a population over 20,000 to be listed. Any municipality with less than 20,000 that should be dropped. That would limit North Carolina to only about 23 listings, which is more reasonable. The rest can be listed in the individual state lists. Who's with me? The standard needs to be listed in this article's first paragraph so we don't have so many people adding towns with 325 populations in. Obviously the standard shouldn't apply to small islands and territories, etc. --TinMan 03:01, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Ok, now that I'm browsing through states like North Dakota, how about the top 20 or 30 cities by population in each area? --TinMan 03:53, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with TinMan, but I was thinking of a population threshold of the top 10-15 incorporated places (only) for each state (probably 20 max). Hawaii (and other territories and Islands) would be the only state where unincorporated places are accepted because there are no incorporated places (except Honolulu). I would also drop the population list at the bottom due to the fact that the similar, but updated list can be found at List of United States cities by population. --Moreau36 22:11, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree with you, Moreau36. Top 15 cities (muncipalities) by population for each state seems fine. If the state capital isn't in that list, I think it should be added along with any other cities that have some extremely important significance like Alexandria, Virginia which is technically a county. Places like Hawaii can just list their most important cities, no more than 20. --TinMan 22:25, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
So, (what do you think?) for most states: top 15 cities by population (if that many) and 5 possible other cities of significant importance (like urban counties, small capitals, consolidated city-counties, regional commercial centers, only major place for miles, etc). Exceptions would apply to places like Hawaii and some territories. California would need the largest stripping of city names. --TinMan 22:37, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree as well. I'l help, but when should we start? 11kowrom 23:33, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm glad to see progress on this. I'll start working on it. I think it would be a good idea if we made a list of the states we already fixed. 23:39, 23 July 2006 (UTC)


I'm creating a list of states already checked. I just don't want to do the same states over and over again. 23:50, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Alabama
  • Alaska-Because of the state's population I left some small cities
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • North Carolina

Population list is dropped; see List of United States cities by population[edit]

  • If you don't mind, I've dropped the population list to in goals to simplify the article and the fact that there's a separate article on the population of cities: List of United States cities by population --Moreau36 01:15, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
    • Agreed. --TinMan 05:44, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Is there a way to get a list of all US cities by state and population that has a population of 6,000 or less?? Cadman56 19:26, 1 August 2007 (UTC)cadman56

Sure thing - go HERE and tabulate into a spreadsheet. Rarelibra 20:12, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Puerto Rico[edit]

Puerto Rico is not part of the United States - thus, should not be listed in a list of "cities in the United States". There should be a list of "municipalities in Puerto Rico". Just look at some of the island nations, for an example. Rarelibra 20:04, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

They're not independent countries. Although not full-fledge states, they are territories and commonwealths of the United States --Moreau36 20:30, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
The UN doesn't exactly know what to call Puerto Rico's relationship to the US yet. It's a strange one, but it's basically part of the US since it's associated with it, just like Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas Islands. I would keep it here. --TinMan 05:49, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Again, the "United States" consists of 50 states and one district. Puerto Rico, while a commonwealth, is its own COUNTRY. It is listed in the UN separately, as its own. Political ties are irrelevant - and the relationships of Guam, Northern Marianas, etc are defined under the United States Minor Outlying Islands - which are properties of the United States (unlike Puerto Rico, which is not). When someone comes to look for cities in the United States, they don't expect to find Puerto Rico here. And when looking for cities (municipalities) in Puerto Rico, they do not expect to be redirected to the United States. I saw they are moved to a separate, independent page linked to Puerto Rico correctly, as the other countries of the world have. Rarelibra 03:58, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Rarelibra, if Puerto Rico is it's own country, why does the United States government support the island partially and why doesn't it have there own national-style government? I don't get your logic --Moreau36 12:05, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and one more thing. If you believe that Puerto Rico does not belong to the United States in any way, it should also be removed from Political divisions of the United States to obtain consistencey. --Moreau36 12:09, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the official term for P.I. is "commonwealth associated with the United States". It is a very unusual relationship. The first few lines of the Puerto Rico article clealy state "Puerto Rico, is a United States territory with Commonwealth [1] status". Heck, they even pay taxes to the US: "Residents of the island do not pay federal income tax, but all commerce is controlled and highly taxed by the U.S. before importation or exportation. Puerto Ricans also pay federal payroll taxes to the U.S. Island residents pay social security taxes and federal taxes other than income but they have limited or no access to several key federal programs." Not to mention that the country has Interstate highways! So, I say, that it's at the same level as Guam, the Northern Marianas, and the other US territories; if you would include them, include Puerto Rico as well. --TinMan 12:27, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Unusual is definitely the best way to describe it. But then again, I'm sure the relationship of the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are also "unusual" in regards to the United Kingdom (as well as the Isle of Man). My whole point is that this list is (and will remain) a list for the United States proper (i.e. the 50 states and DC). Puerto Rico, for one, already had its own list so there is no need for duplication - and if it doesn't exist I will created a page for the UMI as well (to include Northern Mariana, Guam, and the others). Rarelibra 13:45, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Population sizes[edit]

All the individual entries on cities in all of Wikipedia ought also to indicate the total population of the entire URBAN AREA, and not just the population of whatever happens to be defined as the inner city by the local government regime. Here is a project for someone with time to do it... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rasmus Sonderriis (talkcontribs) 21:28, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

That really doesn't apply here. Rarelibra (talk) 21:59, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Wouldn't it be better to have the title "Lists of settlements in the United States" to avoid repetition of the word "list"? HeyMid (contribs) 21:43, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Where is Illinois?[edit]

I tried to look for Illinois, but it's not here. Why? (talk) 23:31, 5 November 2012 (UTC)