May 2, 2008

LA crosses 4,000,000 barrier

The population within the city limits of Los Angeles exceeded 4,000,000 for the first time in 2007, up 1.2% from 2006.

That reminds me of a novel question: What urban area in the U.S. has the highest population density per floor? For example, the wealthy Upper East Side in Manhattan has a very high population density per acre of ground because it's covered with high rise apartment buildings. Yet, the density per acre divided by the average number of floors on the Upper East Side is not all that high because the amount of floor space is large and households are small.

So, where is the lowest number of square feet of residential space per resident found?

One contender for that dubious title would have to be the Hollywood neighborhood in LA. Hollywood is mostly low rise, but the side streets are absolutely crammed with pedestrians. At the corner of two side streets in a residential area of mostly one story homes, you'll see a guy with a card table on the sidewalk selling oranges.

I imagine Chinatown in lower Manhattan has even fewer square feet per resident -- I gather hotbunk dormitories, where the same bed is rented by three different sleepers working on different shifts are not uncommon there -- but Hollywood is still way up there.

I would bet that more than a few people who thought it was a good idea to immigrate to Hollywood find it's not quite as glamorous as they imagined.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I imagine Chinatown in lower Manhattan has even fewer square feet per resident -- I gather hotbunk dormitories, where the same bed is rented by three different sleepers working on different shifts are not uncommon there

Holy crap! Have you ever read the sci-fi short story "Yellow Card Man?"

The upside of Shanghai and Sao Paulo is pretty good, so they say. The downside--not so much.

--Doug

Matthew Haydos said...

I suspect a lot of Brits emigrate to Canada not realising that its as much of a multicultural paradise as the one they're leaving.

tommy said...

As of 2000, it looks like Union City, New Jersey:

Cities and their populations per square mile.

New York, NY (23,705)
Los Angeles, CA (7,427)
Chicago (12,252)
Union City, NJ (44,625)

It appears as if most of the 10,000+/square mile cities are in the Northeast, particularly New Jersey, but San Francisco is up there with a density of 15,502. Berkeley is also close to the 10,000 mark: 9,783. South Gate, CA (wherever the hell that is) is at 11,660.

Contrast little Miami Beach (13,324, 7.0 sq. miles) and Miami (10,072, 35.7 sq. miles) with areas and densities typical of Northeastern cities and Jacksonville (837, 757.7 sq. miles) with an area fit for a Texas city. I've never been to Florida, but I have to wonder if the weather in Miami is really that much better than the weather in Jacksonville?

Born Again Democrat said...

I would imagine that the highest densities are found in Third World shanty towns. Thus the place to look might be in those places that most closely resemble shantie towns, or where occupancy standards are not enforced. OTH, we had a condo in St. Simons, GA, that got rented under false pretences to a construction company that was running three shifts of illegal Mexicans through the place, crashing several per bed. That could get the count pretty high if you can call it living there. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

I live a wealthy suburb of NYC that has the about the same density as LA proper. LA really isn't that dense. I once lived on a block in Manhattan that had about 3000 people living on just that block alone in high rise buildings.

Eric said...

You guys are missing the point. He's wondering about population per square foot of floorspace. By that measure a single story building may be more dense than a 50-story highrise.

Luke Duke said...

Lacrosses 4,000,000 barrier?

What, there's been 4,000,000 stories about those Duke boys?

Anonymous said...

Chinatowns "hot bunk' dormitories,where the same bed is used by three different people thru the day?Uhm,I imagine a Chinese guy with a kidney problem wouldnt be too popular. "Wong Fu! At least change sheet you #@%$#*%$!!!!!" There must be a lot of transmission of disease in that situation!

Peter said...

Contrast little Miami Beach (13,324, 7.0 sq. miles) and Miami (10,072, 35.7 sq. miles) with areas and densities typical of Northeastern cities and Jacksonville (837, 757.7 sq. miles) with an area fit for a Texas city.

Jacksonville's density figure is somewhat misleading as much of the land within city limits is completely undeveloped. Taking only the developed areas into account, Jacksonville's density probably isn't that much less than Miami's.


--

As of 2000, it looks like Union City, New Jersey

I'm not that familiar with Union City, but I know the nearby city of Bayonne quite well. If Union City's development pattern is similar to Bayonne's, which I believe indeed is the case, the extremely high density makes perfect sense. Bayonne is full of mostly 2- or 3-floor houses jammed together on tiny building lots. Even most of the streets are narrow.

Brent Lane said...

This subject touches on something I've thought about a lot recently, as our population continues to increase dramatically.

LA has a population density of 7427 people per square mile, which is roughly 9 times that of Jacksonville FL (837 per sq mi). For some reason, this factor is frequently overlooked when comparing per capita crime rates in determining the relative 'safety' of metropolitan areas.

To wit: LA actually has a lower per capita crime rate (786 violent crimes per 100K population in 2006) than Jacksonville (837 in the same survey). But LA's population density indicates that violent criminal activity is much more concentrated than in J-ville.

Looking at rough numbers, there were 30,500 violent crimes reported in LA in 2006, versus 6700 in Jacksonville - not surprising, since LA had roughly 5 times Jacksonville's metro population.

Now factor in the physical size of each city, by dividing the total number of violent crimes by the city's area. Using this formula, LA's "geographical crime rate" (for lack of a better term) is approximately 65 violent crimes per square mile per year (30,500 / 469 sq mi), as opposed to Jacksonville's comparatively miniscule rate of 8.8 (6700 / 758 sq mi). Interestingly, the ratio is very similar to the difference in population density noted above.

Obviously the 'geographical crime rate' is a very coarse statistic based on raw numbers and a very simplified analysis thereof. . .but consider this example: You live in City A on a block with a population of 100 people which has an average of 2 crimes a year. Your best friend lives in City B, on a block with a population of 1000 people, which averages 19 crimes a year, therefore his block's overall per capita crime rate is lower than yours. (200 crimes per 100k population for City A, versus 190 for City B).

Which one of you is safer?

DissidentManvzucletz said...

brent lane,
Obviously more analysis is needed to answer your question. It depends on whether or the size of the crime target group is always proportinate to the criminal group. If so, the members of the target group would be equally safe whereever they were. On the other hand if the target group doesn't grow in proportion to the criminal group (as population density increases), that would mean big trouble for persons in the target category in the big city. I don't expect the MSM to research the question with any honesty or integrity due to the possibility of politically incorrect findings. In the MSM's view it is better that people die than be told un-pc truths. In the same vein we must not consider the possibility that Iraq isn't suited to democracy. It is preferable (in the world of the MSM) to expend vast amounts of blood and treasure than allow people to think that thought.

One other thing, which has already been pointed out by Steve and other before is that crime rates aren't the whole story when there's an arms race between criminals and law-abiders. If people are avoiding certain areas, fortifying, spending vast sums on security etc. not to mention paying lots of money for incarceration, then they are already paying a price for criminality that isn't reflected in official crime statistics. The MSM, once again, doesn't like to talk about this because they (being Marxists) want to demonise the middle class. They often just smugly report static crime rates as proof that the fears that people have are irrational, and they pointedly refuse to research how quality of life may have been reduced by increased threat levels, increased numbers of would-be active criminals (e.g. the ones in jail whose incarceration is paid for with tax dollars), increased policing levels, and so on. I only read/watch MSM news to learn about the MSM. I generally take anything I see on the TV or read in the newspapers with a very large grain of salt, since the MSM now functions as a priestly caste, and no longer engages in factual reportage and analysis of material questions.

Consider now that I haven't even addressed the issue of how to deal with crime. From my point of view its a secondary issue. A much bigger worry to me is the MSM. IF that can't be reigned in then I don't think anything can be done about petty crime and thuggery.k

Half Sigma said...

the density per acre divided by the average number of floors on the Upper East Side is not all that high because the amount of floor space is large

Obviously you've spent too much time watching Friends and have never been in a real Manhattan apartment.