Ecosystem Targets and Supporting Indicators

Population Within 50-mile Buffer of Long Island Sound

This indicator uses US Census data to track the population living within the Long Island Sound watershed.

View Implementation Actions for Population Within 50-mile Buffer of Long Island Sound

Show/Hide Table Data

Population Within a 50-Mile Buffer of Long Island Sound


Densely populated areas near the coast can put stress on coastal bodies of water such as Long Island Sound. This indicator recognizes that pollution discharges into the Sound from sources such as stormwater runoff, wastewater treatment plants, and air deposits ultimately come from humans. The indicator tracks people who live within a one hour drive of the Sound, including those who live just outside the watershed boundaries but might commute back and forth into the watershed. The indicator also shows the millions of people who are close by the Sound to appreciate its resources with activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming.


The population within the 50-mile radius is 23,815,050, an increase of about 700,000 people from 2000 to 2010. The 3.13 percent increase is comparable to the population increase of 3.2 percent for the entire northeast. Overall, the US population increased by 9.7 percent to 308.7 million people with the majority of the increase occurring in the south and west. The Long Island Sound region remains one of the most densely populated areas in the US. About 7.5 percent  (23.3 million people) of the US population lives within the 50-mile radius.


The population within a 50-mile radius is estimated using US Census Bureau census tracts lying within 50 miles of Long Island Sound (see the map under the data table button).

Please complete your newsletter signup.