As of 2006, the largest cities in the United States, by population, are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, followed by Phoenix, Philadelphia and San Antonio. San Diego, Dallas and San Jose finish the list.
New York, New York, has been the largest city in the United States for longer than any other city. It is also, by far, the largest city on the list, with over 8 million residents, as of 2006. The second-largest city, Los Angeles, California, in contrast, has only 3.8 million residents living within the city limits, though many more live in the surrounding metropolitan area. Chicago, Illinois, has just over 2.8 million inhabitants.
Many of the largest cities in the United States are located in the Sun Belt, and much of their growth has been very recent, as of 2006. This shift in population, from the economic and political capitals of the Northeast to the warm, tech-heavy western United States, represents one of the most significant political changes in American history. Three of the top-10 cities, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose, are all located in the same state, California. Texas is similarly overrepresented on the list, with Houston, Dallas and San Antonio being home to a combined population of over 4.5 million people.