The animated map above shows the growth of the United States by the railways and then the Interstate System. It’s well worth a watch and full of interesting facts such as:
- In 1810 the US had a population of 7 million living on just 0.02% of the US mainland.
- By the mid-1860s 35,000 miles of railway track had been laid
- In 1869 the first transcontinental railroad opened
- By the 1890s the total miles of track were roughly 3 times longer than it had been in the 1870s
- In 1956 construction on the Interstate Highway System began and took 35 years to complete the original sections
- By 2015 there were 320 million people living on 10% of US mainland
You can see a lot more details about the creation of the video and in-depth looks at cities on the FT website here.