Whether it is better to live in a big lively city or a quiet rural area is a contentious topic. City dwellers point to the availability of great restaurants, entertainment, and job opportunities as among the advantages of living in a large metro area. Others may mention cramped living quarters, high cost of living, and a bustling atmosphere as disadvantages of living in a large city.

Cities don’t have to be enormous to provide jobs and amenities to residents. While New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are major U.S. hubs, there are large cities in nearly every state. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the largest city in every state.

6. Denver, Colorado
> Population: 649,654
> State population: 5,278,906 (22nd highest)
> Share of state pop. living in Denver: 12.3% (18th highest)
> Land area: 153 sq. miles
> Population density: 4,246 / sq. mile

These large cities are far from identical, mostly because of their varying size, economic conditions, and population density. Some cities like Jacksonville, Florida and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma sprawl outward, while cities like Boston, Massachusetts increase more in density as their population grows.

In total, over 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas.

Click here to see the largest city in every state.
Click here to see the methodology.