• Cities / Towns

Major U.S. Cities Missing Something Major

This list will likely have to be updated, amended, or "asterisked" on a regular basis. For example, titles such as "largest city without a four year college" or "largest city without a museum" could change or need further explanation.  

Here are some "largest withouts" found so far. Please notify of corrections or updates. Thanks!  

Information on city population comes from Wikipedia and population rankings are for city proper as opposed to metropolitan area.  
  • Photo: uploaded by AdmiralCrunch

    Largest City Without a Major League Team - Austin, Texas

    America's eleventh largest city does not host teams in the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, the WNBA nor Major League Baseball nor Major League Soccer.  

  • Photo: uploaded by AdmiralCrunch

    Based on research of the largest cities (using TripAdvisor and Wikipedia), Hialeah does not have a museum within city limits.  If there is no museum of Cuban-American History in the U.S., Hialeah needs to jump on it.

    This list formerly named Jersey City, NJ as the largest city without a museum, but the city has a tenuous claim to a Russian art museum which is open occasionally, depending on the availability of exhibits.  When expanding the search to science and history museums, the Liberty Science Center puts Jersey City in the clear. 

    With about 225,000 residents, Hialeah is America's 90th largest city and the sixth largest city in Florida.  There are art, science, and automotive museums within an hour's drive from Hialeah in Miami and Coral Gables.  
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain

    Cities larger than Modesto such as Aurora, Colorado; Santa Ana, CA, and Chula Vista, CA have weak claims to providing four-year college degrees within their city limits.  For example, for profit schools such as Kaplan University or private schools without regional accreditation often offer far less service and less opportunity to a community than a small four-year public college.  

    Some of the largest cities in Arizona including Phoenix have issues with "educational shortfall" that have given rise to clusters of for-profit colleges, many of which are flagged for poor quality.  Until recently, Gilbert, Arizona, the 86th largest city in the country, lacked even a two-year college within its city limits.  As of September of 2015, Saint Xavier University of Chicago has established a four-year college branch in Gilbert. 

    Brandman University offers non-traditional students (full-time workers, for example) a limited number of programs at their Modesto branch, but the campus is actually in Salida, California.  The closest four-year school offering a range of programs to traditional students is a campus of Cal State in Turlock, which is about a fifteen to thirty minute drive. 

    With 209,000 residents, Modesto is the 104th largest city.  


  • Photo: uploaded by AdmiralCrunch

    Largest City Without a Major University - Detroit, Michigan

    According to The Atlantic, Detroit's Wayne State University does "important work," but its operating budget is far smaller than can sustain more than a little high level research.  The article also points out that elite private universities (Case Western, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Washington University in St. Louis, etc) "occupy a disproportionate share of the very top tier in wealth and prestige," and are "places that operate in education, research, and health care on a scale that could substantially affect the economy of a city."  

     Detroit lacks a major private university.  It's important to note that one of the nation's largest public universities, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, is an easy drive from Detroit. However the school's bubble effect radius- which improves an area's standard of education, wealth, and quality of living - is too far away to benefit the city. 

    Another asterisk here is that while Wayne State may not be Case Western or Carnegie Mellon, it is now classified  as a Tier One Research University.  Bigger cities lacking Tier One schools within city limits include Phoenix, San Antonio, and San Jose.  

    Detroit is America's 18th largest city although it was once the fourth largest.