THE CENSUS: Wide Open Spaces

Despite all the babies born during the 1950s, the U.S. is actually less densely populated today than it was a decade ago. The average population density is 50.4 people per sq. mi. as against 50.7 in 1950. Reason for this paradox, reported last week by the Census Bureau: when sparsely populated Alaska became a state, the U.S. added 2½ sq. mi. of territory for every Alaskan.

While no other state is as empty as Alaska, some Western states are still pretty roomy by contrast with the populous industrial states of the East.

States with the most people per...

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