View Full Version : My prediction for future city populations by the year 2100

alex ballard
March 21st, 2005, 09:54 PM
Here's what the biggest cities will be by 2100:

NYC: 25,000,000
Los Angeles: 15,000,000
Chicago: 10,000,000
Houston: 8,000,000
Phoenix: 8,000,000
Dallas: 6,000,000
Atlanta: 6,000,000
San Diego: 5,000,000
Denver: 5,000,000
Las Vegas: 5,000,000
Philadelphia: 5,000,000
Detroit: 4,000,000

That's a smapling of how our census map will look by 2100. If you notice, I've accounted for the high growth in the West and for the revival of the NE corridor.

Comment on weiher you think this is realistic, and post your own predictions!

March 22nd, 2005, 07:38 AM
Is that for the entire NYC Metro area, or just the city limits?

March 22nd, 2005, 09:36 AM
I believe that current zoning laws will not allow NYC to accomodate more than 16 million people within the city limits. And even that number seems overly aggressive to me. Given NY's rate of growth over the last 50 years, I'd project that the population in 2100 would be 9-10 million.

LA, Phoenix and Las Vegas, on the other hand, frequently grow by expanding their city limits, so their populations are theoretically unlimited, and therefore your predictions could be more correct there.

The trick with the revival of the NE corridor is not population growth, but improvement in the wealth of the population residing in the NE corridor. And richer people can afford to live in bigger apartments/houses, so given limited residential areas, the overall number of dwellings might not really increase.

TLOZ Link5
August 9th, 2005, 07:47 PM
Found this old thread somewhat interesting, so I thought I'd weigh in.

As Eugenius said, some cities grow primarily through annexation as opposed to densification. Cities like Phoenix and Vegas are able to do that more easily than others. LA, which is situated in a county that is ridiculously fragmented politically, socially, and municipally, might not be so successful (in recent years, the San Fernando Valley threatened to secede, which would have brought the city's population down by a third). And Detroit's drastic decline only now shows tentative signs of reversal.

New York will likely continue to densify, and the wildcard of technology might make it feasible for the city to expand beyond its borders to include other counties. Its population will probably never be as high as Alex's estimate without some sort of annexation (southern Westchester? western Nassau?) Boston probably would have to merge with what remains of Suffolk County, in addition to annexing several sattelite cities like Cambridge and Newton. Philly would probably have to do the same with its older suburbs.

DC not in the top ten? Scandalous! Not to mention no other big Texas city, or Miami, or the Bay Area...

Atlanta is an interesting case. Despite its big-city reputation and impressive skyline, the city of Atlanta has a population of "only" 425,000, with little recent growth; in fact, it's smaller now than it was in 1970, though growing slowly. The surrounding metro area, which encompasses much of northwestern and central Georgia, is home to 4.8 million.

Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County and part of its territory is in neighboring DeKalb County; if the city were to annex both counties, it would have well over a million people. Currently, however, the unincorporated suburb of Sandy Springs, in Fulton County, is on the cusp of becoming an official city in its own right, which could complicate any talk of a merger. If it incorporates, Sandy Springs will take $20 million a year out of the county's coffers, but will not take over any of the services the county provides.

The impending incorporation of Sandy Springs has brought up a lot of talk of the future of Fulton County, and reignited tension between the affluent northern parts of the county and its poorer southern and central parts (dominated by Atlanta). Talk has ranged from retroceding the wealthy northern region, which was once known as Milton County, to a municipalization of the entire county, to making the city of Atlanta its own county, which would badly limit future expansion of the city and leave it only to its own devices.

More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulton_County%2C_Georgia

I dunno, Alex...optimisitc, but maybe you need to research a little more.

August 9th, 2005, 10:46 PM
Here's my population predictions for 2100..

NYC: 0
Los Angeles: 0
Chicago: 0
Houston: 0
Phoenix: 0
Dallas: 0
Atlanta: 0
San Diego: 0
Denver: 0
Las Vegas: 0
Philadelphia: 0
Detroit: 0

I predict Earth will essentially be destroyed within 50-100 years.

The first nuclear bomb was detonated in 1945. A mere 50 years later, even dirt poor countries like Pakistan have nukes. Technology is now advancing at an ever faster pace. Another 50 years from now, everyone will have nuclear weapons (or something even more powerful that has yet to be discovered).

At that point - with all the competing religious interests, terrorism and pre-emptive wars - it's just a matter of time before the Earth is destroyed. There are plenty of religious fanatics who would welcome Armageddon since they think it will trigger the 2nd coming of the Messiah or give them 72 virgins.

Humans might live on through space colonization, but I think Earth's days are numbered.

When you look at the big picture, it's a very curious phenomenon. Living organisms have been slowly growing & evolving on Earth for billions of years. But we hit an inflection point, and in a brief 100-200 year window of time, living organisms become so advanced that they start creating weapons of enormous power and the ability to travel in space. Technology advances at an exponential pace, and it becomes a race to see if humans will destroy themselves before they can escape from their own wrath.

TLOZ Link5
August 11th, 2005, 09:23 PM
Someone was feeling cheerful on Tuesday.

August 11th, 2005, 10:16 PM
I predict Earth will essentially be destroyed within 50-100 years.

Probably. See Alternative 3.