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Megalopolis, Population

Megalopolis, Manhattan Island, rural Virginia, mainstream culture, high population density

The proximity to the ocean has also had a lasting effect on the population. Megalopolis was the first region of the country to be settled by immigrants during the 17th century. Over succeeding centuries, many immigrants to the United States entered the country through the Megalopolis region, with a large percentage deciding to settle in the area. As a result, the population displays a remarkable ethnic and racial mix. The regionís cities have many distinct ethnic neighborhoods, but at the same time immigrants continuously blend into the mainstream culture of the United States, adapting their customs to U.S. society and contributing aspects of their own heritage to the patchwork of U.S. culture.

The population of Megalopolis is highly urbanized. About 1,000 locations in the region are classified as urban by the U.S. Census Bureau. More than 90 percent of the population lives in urban areas, a percentage that is increasing as suburban development fills the spaces between cities. Several very large metropolitan areas dominate the region, including New York City (1997 estimate, 8.6 million); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1997 estimate, 4.9 million); Washington, D.C. (1997 estimate, 4.6 million); and Boston, Massachusetts (1997 estimate, 5.8 million).

The region has a high population density, with more than 350 persons per sq km (900 per sq mi). Density ranges from low in rural Virginia to more than 30,900 persons per sq km (about 80,000 per sq mi) on Manhattan Island in New York City. Megalopolis has a high population growth rate as well, adding continuously to the 45 million people, or one-sixth of the nationís citizens, who live in this region.

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