Upcoming US election has revealed a surprising fact about the American population

Upcoming US election has revealed a surprising fact about the American population
Demystified: How the Electoral College Works
Encyclopaedia Britannica / VideoElephant

With a population of 331.9 million, you might have assumed that US residents are pretty evenly distributed across the country... but this is incorrect.

It's most noticeably clear on election night when one party appears to be the winner when on the map they seemingly have voting victories in smaller geographical areas compared to their political rivals.

This is because America has a higher population density, therefore the smaller areas have a much bigger population while the visually larger areas are actually rural and so are less populated.

To put this high-density population into perspective, 1 in 3 Americans live in just four states.

That's right, the most populous state in the US is California with a population just shy of 39 million, followed by Texas in second place with 30.5 million people. After this is Florida which has a population of 22.6 million and also has the highest density of the top 10.

Then finally we have New York state in fourth with 19.5 million people living there.

Recently, a Reddit post about this topic went viral on the "Today I Learned" forum as people were shocked to learn this geographical fact, while others also shared how they have noticed how sparse the population is in certain areas of the country.

One person said: "Wow, that's a lot of Americans packed into just four states!"

"Honestly it’s crazy seeing how open the rest of the country is. I’m in New York and I went to Connecticut and Massachusetts this Sunday and it was just crazy seeing these open roads for miles when in New York it’s just constant traffic and people," another person wrote.


Someone else added: "Driving across the country made me realize how empty the US is. Just hundreds of miles of fields in some places."

"The population distribution is incredible, huh?" a fourth person commented.

So what does a higher density population mean in elections?

Well, it can mean your vote is worth less in the Electoral College, compared to less populated states. For instance, California has a population of 39 million and so the state gets 54 Electoral College votes which is equivalent to 722,200 votes per Electoral College vote.

Compare this with Wyoming has a population of 578,000 people and gets 3 electoral college votes which is equivalent to 192,000 votes per Electoral College vote.

It means that those living in California would need nearly four times more votes to get one electoral college vote compared to Wyoming.

We'll see this play out later this year as the US presidential elections take place this November.

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