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New maps compare Detroit’s population density to cities around the world

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

Some Detroit residents love that even though it’s a big city, compared to many others it still feels like there’s room to breathe. Other people want it to feel more urban, and encourage more density downtown and into the neighborhoods (there’s plenty of room).

But how does Detroit’s population density really compare to other big cities around the country and the world? New maps created by SpareFoot Moving Guides provide an interesting perspective.

The maps take into account the 139 square miles of land in the city, with a population of 677,116. This creates a population density of 4,878 persons per square mile. If Detroit’s population was as dense as other major cities, how big would it be?

New York City’s density is nearly seven times that of Detroit’s, meaning if the Motor City had the same density as the Big Apple, the city would be 24 square miles, covering the Riverfront to Highland Park, 75 to about Livernois.

San Francisco has one of the wildest real estate markets in the country right now. Their population density is coming in at 18,440 per square mile. That population density would give us 37 square miles to work with.

Everything’s bigger in Texas, right? Houston boasts both big square miles and a huge population, putting their density at 3,830 per square mile. We’d have to expand our borders for that one.

Out in Manila, the massive city has a density of 107,497 per square mile. That kind of density would fit within the 7.2 mile downtown core of Detroit.

The report also provides comparisons of super dense cities like Paris, Dhaka, and Mumbai, and far less dense cities like Jacksonville, Florida, and Anchorage, Alaska. We hope Detroit’s population takes a turn toward an upswing in the next few years, and feel like we can all agree that there’s plenty of room for growth and a little more density.