Of all the new nation's major urban centers, Boston had the oldest traditions. In 1790, it ranked third by population, and fell to fourth place by 1820. Nevertheless, while Philadelphia and New York led the nation in population, and New York surpassed other cities in commerce and finance; Boston was the national leader of culture. In addition to leading musical and other artistic pursuits, Boston was the center of the nation's literary culture, with the best bookshops and an advanced book publishing industry. Many people trained in the Boston area traveled to other parts of the country for greater opportunities. The cultured and cultivated of Boston maintained their identities, however, even when they lived in other cities. Bostonians in New York even formed a New England Society, with one of its stated intentions being the establishment and maintenance of a library.