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BosWash Region – Population density and distribution

from 978-3-14-100790-9 from page 143 fig. 2
Diercke Karte BosWash Region – Population density and distribution
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BosWash Region – Population density and distribution
The East Coast of the USA is the core area of the earliest colonization of the "New World" by English settlers. Since the first half of the 17th century the north-eastern corner of the USA has been called New England; today it is understood to include the states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont – which are relatively thinly-populated and are not shown on the map – together with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. However the first permanent English settlement was at Jamestown, founded in 1607 in Virginia, the state that marks the southern edge of the map.

The Beginnings of Settlement
Among the earliest colonizers were the so-called Pilgrim Fathers, who set sail in 1620 in the ship Mayflower and founded Plymouth in today"s Massachusetts. The city, which has some 60,000 inhabitants today, is situated south-east of Boston. The city of Boston (capital of Massachusetts) was founded in 1630 and rapidly rose to become one of the most important ports in the region. The origins of Providence (capital of Rhode Island) and Hartford (capital of Connecticut) also date from the 1630s. New York was already born in 1626 as Nieuw Amsterdam. Another city that was already founded in the 17th century was Philadelphia (the largest city in Pennsylvania), the history of which traces back to a number of families from Krefeld in 1683.
The two cities in the south of the map section are younger: Baltimore (the largest city in Maryland) was founded in 1729, while Washington – designed on a drawing board – was built from 1792.

The BosWash Megalopolis
In the course of the centuries, the cities between Boston in the north and Washington in the south have fused into an approximately 750-kilometre-long agglomeration comprising numerous large city cores, a so-called megalopolis, for which the term BosWash has been coined. With some 45 million inhabitants, the band of cities accounts for 15 % of the US population – on less than 5 % of the country's territory.
The city regions are statistically divided into Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). These areas must have one or more cities with at least 50,000 inhabitants at their centre, and environs with an urban structure. 366 MSAs exist in the USA, no less than four of the ten largest MSAs being in BosWash with a combined population of nearly 35 million people. In first place in 2008 was New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island with 19 million people; in fifth place was Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington with 5.8 million inhabitants; ninth place was held by Washington-Arlington-Alexandria with its 5.4 million inhabitants, and in tenth place was Boston-Cambridge-Quincy with 4.5 million people.
BosWash has an outstanding national and international significance not only on account of the size of its population. A high proportion of the USA's industrial value creation is generated here, and with Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Yale, three of the world's most prestigious universities are situated in the region.
D. Falk; Ü: J. Attfield


Keywords: agglomeration city colonization megalopolis metropolitan statistical area New England population density United States USA

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