In the last 100 years, instances of people being packed into spaces like chickens awaiting slaughter have become dramatically less frequent. As the helpful chart above shows, the Lower East Side circa 1910 — New York’s most densely-populated area of all time — was occupied with 2400 people per 10,000 square meters. These days, the most densely populated residences top out at half of that.
According to Vox, this is due to a combination of expanding office space and the fact that we now take up much more space for ourselves and all our crap. That makes a lot of sense — modern-day people are so entitled, they only sleep one or two people to a bed, instead of, like, 10 back in the day.
If you’d like to know more about the distribution of humans across the Island of Manhattan since 1790, there will be a public lecture at NYU on October 14th. (Photo: Brandon Fuller)