These US Towns Each Have Less Than 15 Residents

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What would you do if you lived in a town with just a few other people, or maybe just your family? In some locations in the United States, just driving through a small town like this could double the population. Throughout the country there are incorporated cities that might have a population of just one person.

Some cities were once thriving towns, complete with stores and churches and roads running through them. As time passed some of these places fell by the wayside for a variety of reasons. The local employer could have gone out of business and people left to look for better opportunities, or maybe an accident or natural disaster caused people to leave. Here are a few smaller than small towns in the United States.

Map showing the location of the towns mentioned in this article. Map: Caitlin Dempsey.

Monowi, Nebraska

Monowi, Nebraska was once a town of 150 people, but the Great Depression and a poor economy reduced it to a population of two by 2004. Now Monowi’s one resident runs the local tavern, serves as mayor, and takes care of the local library.

Sign for Monowi taken in 2007.  Photo: Bkell, public domain, MediaWiki Commons.
Sign for Monowi taken in 2007. Photo: Bkell, public domain, MediaWiki Commons.

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia, Pennsylvania was once a city of about 3,000 people who relied on the local coal mine for employment. In 1962 the mine caught fire, and residents were forced to evacuate. A few people refused to leave even with the mine on fire beneath their feet, and 10 people still make Centralia their home today.

Warning sign posted in Centralia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Doug Kerr, 2003, CC license.
Warning sign posted in Centralia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Picture 241 by Doug Kerr, 2003, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Tortilla Flat, Arizona

The town of Tortilla Flat in Arizona was the last stop on the Apache Trail and is now home to six people, a saloon, a restaurant, and a gift shop. The town once put itself up for sale on eBay, for a cool $5.5 million.

Weeki Wachee, Florida

Weeki Wachee is a city in Florida that officially has more mermaids than residents. With twelve total people living in the town, the local attraction is a theatre that puts on mermaid shows in a spring that pumps out nearly 117 million gallons of water a day.

Entrance to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Photo: Leonard J. DeFrancisci. CC BY-SA 3.0
Entrance to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Photo: Leonard J. DeFrancisci. CC BY-SA 3.0, MediaWiki Commons.

Bonanza, Colorado

Like other famous Wild West haunts, Bonanza, Colorado seems larger than life despite its small population. The silver mining town was once on the wild frontier but still has a population of about 13 people. There are no businesses in Bonanza, nor is there a post office, and residents reportedly keep mostly to themselves.

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