Growth of the Cities

 
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Cities grew up around factories. Many people moved to the city to live closer to the factory where they could find work. Cities also attracted people who ran shops, food stores, and other services needed by workers. Fewer people needed to farm because machines were doing much of the work. Cities became the business centers of the United States.

Top 10 Cities Ranked by Population from 1850-1910

1850

   1   New York city, NY *................    515,547
   2   Baltimore city, MD.................    169,054
   3   Boston city, MA *..................    136,881 
   4   Philadelphia city, PA *............    121,376  
   5   New Orleans city, LA *.............    116,375
   6   Cincinnati city, OH................    115,435 
   7   Brooklyn city, NY *................     96,838 
   8   St. Louis city, MO.................     77,860   
   9   Spring Garden district, PA *.......     58,894   
  10   Albany city, NY....................     50,763  

1870

   1 New York city, NY *................    942,292    
   2   Philadelphia city, PA..............    674,022     
   3   Brooklyn city, NY *................    396,099    
   4   St. Louis city, MO.................    310,864     
   5   Chicago city, IL...................    298,977     
   6   Baltimore city, MD.................    267,354    
   7   Boston city, MA *..................    250,526    
   8   Cincinnati city, OH................    216,239    
   9   New Orleans city, LA...............    191,418     
  10   San Francisco city, CA.............    149,473     

1890

    1   New York city, NY *................  1,515,301
   2   Chicago city, IL...................  1,099,850    
   3   Philadelphia city, PA..............  1,046,964   
   4   Brooklyn city, NY *................    806,343   
   5   St. Louis city, MO.................    451,770     
   6   Boston city, MA....................    448,477    
   7   Baltimore city, MD.................    434,439     
   8   San Francisco city, CA.............    298,997    
   9   Cincinnati city, OH................    296,908    
  10   Cleveland city, OH.................    261,353

 

1910
   1   New York city, NY *...... 4,766,883 
   2   Chicago city, IL......... 2,185,283
   3   Philadelphia city, PA.... 1,549,008
   4   St. Louis city, MO.......   687,029
   5   Boston city, MA..........   670,585
   6   Cleveland city, OH.......   560,663
   7   Baltimore city, MD.......   558,485
   8   Pittsburgh city, PA *....   533,905
   9   Detroit city, MI.........   465,766
  10   Buffalo city, NY.........   423,715

Information from the U.S. Census Bureau

  1850 1870 1890 1910
New York City 515547 942292 1515301 4766883
Baltimore 169054 267354 434439 558485
Boston 136881 250526 448477 670585
Philadelphia 121376 674022 1046964 1549008
New Orleans 116375 191418 242039 242039
Cincinnati 115435 216239 296908 363591
Brooklyn 96838 396099 806343 No data
St. Louis 77860 310864 451770 687029
Spring Garden 58894 No data No data No data
Albany 50763 69422 94923 100253
Chicago 29963 298977 1099850 2185283
San Francisco No data 149473 298997 416912
Cleveland 17034 92829 261353 560663
Pittsburgh 46601 86076 238617 533905
Detroit 21019 79577 205876 465766

  

Cities grew in areas:

  • near coal and iron deposits
  • near sources of water power
  • near transportation centers

Some city problems:

  • lack of water (Aqueducts were built.)
  • garbage
  • fires 
  • transportation (The first elevated railway opened in NYC in 1867, and by 1904 the first subway was opened.)
  • housing (Tall buildings with elevators were built.)