Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Philadelphia and Its People in Maps:
The 1790s

Densities of Structures and People

map of philadelphia, showing densities of structures and people

Map Copyright 2012, Paul Sivitz and Billy G. Smith, published with permission.

By 1800, the population density measured well over 50,000 residents per square mile, reaching levels of nearly 93,000 near the wharves and just south of the center city. Those figures far exceed density in American cities today; they even approximate some of the worst crowding in immigrant areas of New York later in the nineteenth century. In this map, the blocks in darker red contained the greatest concentration of people and houses while yellow indicates the least crowded areas.

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