Half of the Population of the United States Lives in 146 Counties — and a Great Custom Mapping Tool You Can Use

O ne of the lofty goals which Dan Miller of Points with a Crew wants to accomplish is having been to every one of the 3,143 counties in the United States — but I wonder if he knew that approximately half the population of the United States resides in only 146 of those counties?

Half of the Population of the United States Lives in 146 Counties

Using data from the United States Census, Walter Hickey and Joe Weisenthal figured out that statistic and listed all 146 counties in this article for Business Insider — or, technically, 145 counties plus the District of Columbia, which is not a county.

Bonus: A Great Custom Mapping Tool You Can Use

During my research, I stumbled upon a tool called Mapchart.net, which I used to fill the counties in red in the map you see at the top of this article. With it, you can create your own custom map of the world, continents, countries, territories, states, counties and more with colors and descriptions of your choice. I found it to be rather accurate and fairly easy to use.

Here is the map again so that you may click on it for an enlarged view.

146 Most Populous Counties in the United States

Map created with mapchart.net. Click on the map for an enlarged view.

You can also visit the counties view of a map of the United States at mapchart.net and hover your cursor over each county to find out the specific name of each county.


I have always been interested — and mesmerized — with maps of all types; so I was naturally drawn to the information used in this article.

One personal statistic I have learned from this article is that in my entire life, I have never lived outside of the 146 counties highlighted on the map.

Having been to every one of the 3,143 counties in the United States does not interest me personally as a travel goal, as I am having a difficult enough time trying to have been in every country on every continent in the world. I have already been to all 50 states in the United States, though.

Map created with mapchart.net.

6 thoughts on “Half of the Population of the United States Lives in 146 Counties — and a Great Custom Mapping Tool You Can Use”

  1. Wendy Mahaffe says:

    I’ve been in more of the least populous counties in the US. Every state except Hawaii. I’m not a fan of big cities so the middle of nowhere places are where I want to be. Looking to add a few more obscure places to my visit list. I’m considering Canadian Rockies in the middle of Winter…either that or Alaskan Marine Highway in winter.

  2. enthusiast says:

    Interesting. Not all metropolitan areas are shown on the map, because some are divided among numerous small counties.

    Richmond, VA area doesn’t show up. Much of the population is divided up among Henrico, Chesterfield, and Richmond city. Likewise for the Hampton roads area and for New Orleans.

    Also, interestingly, Greenville County, SC is larger than Richland County (Columbia) and Charleston County.

    1. Bob White says:

      That would raise the number of counties involved, and the number of locations …
      But all of those would reveal the same thing …
      Most of the people live in urban/suburban locations … of concentrated populations … and increasingly, fewer and fewer people have a disproportionate amount of the power in the government that is being elected …
      The US would not pass an international election monitoring scrutiny …

  3. Bob White says:

    … THIS is why a new method of national elections must be formulated … it is looong overdue … …

    At the current rate, under the current system … by 2040
    30% of the people will control 70% of the federal government …
    It is an extremely hazardous flaw that MUST be fixed!

  4. It works really well for me

  5. Curiously, my county in California is on the original list from Business Insider — Sonoma — but it is not colored red on the map, but instead is still grey. And the same was true when they did this before a few years ago. So while I don’t necessarily question the data, it seems odd, or maybe it’s just sloppy, that the map contains such a glaring inaccuracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.