Map Monday: Population Estimate Map of Minnesota, Earth

Here’s a cool new map website over at the National Aeronautics and Space Aerospace (NASA) that creates population projections of any area you like. Here is Minnesota with its surrounding area, but the cool thing is that you can draw a polygon around any part of the map and it will estimate the population within.

Here’s the map with a few samples:

[Two polygons showing parts of Minnesota.]

Play around with it and comment here if you find anything interesting to share! is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

4 Responses to Map Monday: Population Estimate Map of Minnesota, Earth

  1. Aaron Berger January 23, 2018 at 9:52 am #

    One thing I did with this tool that was kind of neat is to draw circles with the same radius over different cities since we often talk about how city-level comparisons are hopelessly variable due to municipal boundaries. I arbitrarily chose to draw Chicago-sized circles (radius = 13.89 km, area = 606 square km). I tried to center them on downtowns if geography permits and on the center of population if the downtown is right next to water (e.g. Chicago). I’m going to round population sizes here to the nearest 50,000 since I know my methods aren’t perfect.

    New York (Manhattan/Brooklyn/Queens): 6,250,000
    LA: 2,900,000
    Chicago: 2,400,000
    Philadelphia: 1,900,000
    Anaheim: 1,800,000
    Washington: 1,650,000
    Boston: 1,500,000
    San Jose: 1,400,000
    San Francisco/Oakland: 1,350,000
    San Diego: 1,200,000
    Denver: 1,100,000
    Houston: 1,100,000
    Baltimore: 1,000,000
    Minneapolis/Saint Paul: 1,000,000
    Seattle/Bellevue: 950,000
    Portland: 950,000
    San Antonio: 950,000
    Detroit: 900,000
    St. Louis: 750,000
    Austin 700,000
    Kansas City: 550,000

    • Aaron Berger January 23, 2018 at 10:49 am #

      It was interesting for me to look at how comparable cities are populated. I always thought we were one step ahead of Denver and one step behind Seattle, but when it comes to downtown-area population that’s backwards. While Seattle’s metro has a larger population, it is more spread out and Denver’s smaller population is more centrally located. Geography certainly plays a role here (although I tried to avoid as much of Puget Sound as I could while drawing the radius) but I think it’s a decent measure of the downtown-area population. Two other observations: this reaffirms that New York basically has no peer cities in the United States, and it’s incredible to me that Anaheim/Orange County has essentially the population density of Philadelphia.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke January 23, 2018 at 2:02 pm #

      Cool list. Strange that MSP is same size as Houston (wow) given how they are often compared from an MSA perspective.

  2. Cobo Rodregas January 23, 2018 at 10:13 am #

    This is super fun Bill, thanks for posting it! I now know there are within a 5K radius there are:
    ~80 thousand people around my current house.
    ~51K around my old apartment
    ~5.6K around my dorm(s)/ & apartment in college.
    and 531 around my childhood home.

    There was a factor of 10 increase of density each move until the last one where it was only ~1.6, interesting…

    (I don’t move much)

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