List Of Largest Cities

The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria.

Cities may be defined as the cities proper, the extent of their urban area, or their metropolitan regions.

Definitions

City proper (administrative)

The municipality of Chongqing, China, whose administrative jurisdictional area is approximately the size of Austria, has the largest population of any city proper; over 70% of its residents live in rural areas.

A city can be defined by its administrative boundaries, otherwise known as city proper. UNICEF defines city proper as, "the population living within the administrative boundaries of a city or controlled directly from the city by a single authority." A city proper is a locality defined according to legal or political boundaries and an administratively recognised urban status that is usually characterised by some form of local government. Cities proper and their boundaries and population data may not include suburbs.

The use of city proper as defined by administrative boundaries may not include suburban areas where an important proportion of the population working or studying in the city lives. Because of this definition, the city proper population figure may differ greatly from the urban area population figure, as many cities are amalgamations of smaller municipalities (Australia), and conversely, many Chinese cities govern territories that extend well beyond the core urban area into suburban and rural areas. The Chinese municipality of Chongqing, which is the largest city proper in the world by population, comprises a huge administrative area of 82,403 km2, around the size of Austria. However, more than 70% of its 30-million population are actually agricultural workers living in a rural setting.

Urban area

A city can be defined as a conditionally contiguous urban area, without regard to territorial or other boundaries inside an urban area. UNICEF defines urban area as follows:

The definition of "urban" varies from country to country, and, with periodic reclassification, can also vary within one country over time, making direct comparisons difficult. An urban area can be defined by one or more of the following: administrative criteria or political boundaries (e.g., area within the jurisdiction of a municipality or town committee), a threshold population size (where the minimum for an urban settlement is typically in the region of 2,000 people, although this varies globally between 200 and 50,000), population density, economic function (e.g., where a significant majority of the population is not primarily engaged in agriculture, or where there is surplus employment) or the presence of urban characteristics (e.g., paved streets, electric lighting, sewerage).

According to Demographia, an urban area is a continuously built up land mass of urban development that is within a labor market (metropolitan area or metropolitan region) and contains no rural land.

Metropolitan area

List Of Largest Cities 
Tokyo, the world's largest city and metropolitan area

A city can be defined by the inhabitants of its demographic population, as by metropolitan area, or labour market area. UNICEF defines metropolitan area as follows:

A formal local government area comprising the urban area as a whole and its primary commuter areas, typically formed around a city with a large concentration of people (i.e., a population of at least 100,000). In addition to the city proper, a metropolitan area includes both the surrounding territory with urban levels of residential density and some additional lower-density areas that are adjacent to and linked to the city (e.g., through frequent transport, road linkages or commuting facilities).

In many countries, metropolitan areas are established either with an official organisation or only for statistical purposes. In the United States, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In the Philippines, metropolitan areas have an official agency, such as Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which manages Manila metropolitan area. Similar agencies exist in Indonesia, such as Jabodetabekjur Development Cooperation Agency for Jakarta metropolitan area.

List

There are 81 cities in the world with a population exceeding 5 million people, according to 2018 estimates by the United Nations. The UN figures include a mixture of city proper, metropolitan area, and urban area.

City Country UN 2018 population estimates City proper Urban area Metropolitan area
Definition Population Area
(km2)
Density
(/km2)
Population Area
(km2)
Density
(/km2)
Population Area
(km2)
Density
(/km2)
Tokyo List Of Largest Cities  Japan 37,468,000 Metropolis prefecture 13,515,271 2,191 6,169
37,732,000 8,231 4,584
37,274,000 13,452 2,771
Delhi List Of Largest Cities  India 28,514,000 Municipal corporation 16,753,235 1,484 11,289
32,226,000 2,344 13,748
29,000,000 3,483 8,326
Shanghai List Of Largest Cities  China 25,582,000 Municipality 24,870,895 6,341 3,922
24,073,000 4,333 5,556
São Paulo List Of Largest Cities  Brazil 21,650,000 Municipality 12,252,023 1,521 8,055
23,086,000 3,649 6,327
21,734,682 7,947 2,735
Mexico City List Of Largest Cities  Mexico 21,581,000 City-state 9,209,944 1,485 6,202
21,804,000 2,530 8,618 21,804,515 7,866 2,772
Cairo List Of Largest Cities  Egypt 20,076,000 Urban governorate 10,044,894 3,085 3,256

20,296,000 2,010 10,098
Mumbai List Of Largest Cities  India 19,980,000 Municipal corporation 12,478,447 603 20,694
24,973,000 976 25,587
24,400,000 4,355 5,603
Beijing List Of Largest Cities  China 19,618,000 Municipality 21,893,095 16,411 1,334
18,522,000 4,284 4,324
Dhaka List Of Largest Cities  Bangladesh 19,578,000 Capital city 10,295,407 338 30,460
18,627,000 619 30,092 14,543,124
Osaka List Of Largest Cities  Japan 19,281,000 Designated city 2,725,006 225 12,111
15,126,000 3,020 5,009
19,303,000 13,228 1,459
New York-Newark List Of Largest Cities  United States 18,819,000 City 8,804,190 778 11,316
21,509,000 12,093 1,779
MSA: 19,557,311; CSA: 23,143,097 12,093 1,665
Karachi List Of Largest Cities  Pakistan 15,400,000 Metropolitan city 20,382,881 3,530 5,774
15,738,000 1,124 14,002 20,382,000 3,780 5,392
Buenos Aires List Of Largest Cities  Argentina 14,967,000 Autonomous city 3,054,300 203 15,046
16,710,000 3,437 4,862 12,806,866
Chongqing List Of Largest Cities  China 14,838,000 Municipality 32,054,159 82,403 389
12,135,000 1,580 7,680
Istanbul List Of Largest Cities  Turkey 14,751,000 Metropolitan municipality 15,519,267 5,196 2,987
14,441,000 1,471 9,817
Kolkata List Of Largest Cities  India 15,333,000 Municipal corporation 4,496,694 206 21,829
21,747,000 1,352 16,085 15,333,000 1,887 8,126
Manila List Of Largest Cities  Philippines 13,482,000 Capital city 1,780,148 43 41,399
24,922,000 1,911 13,041
12,877,253 620 20,770
Lagos List Of Largest Cities  Nigeria 13,463,000 Metropolitan city 16,637,000 1,966 8,462 21,000,000 1,171 17,933
Rio de Janeiro List Of Largest Cities  Brazil 13,293,000 Municipality 6,520,000 1,221 5,340
12,592,000 2,020 6,234 12,644,321 5,327 2,374
Tianjin List Of Largest Cities  China 13,215,000 Municipality 13,866,009 11,920 1,163
10,368,000 2,813 3,686
Kinshasa List Of Largest Cities  DR Congo 13,171,000 City-province 14,565,700 9,965 1,462
12,836,000 474 27,080
Guangzhou List Of Largest Cities  China 12,638,000 City (sub-provincial) 18,676,605 7,434 2,512
26,940,000 4,535 5,940
Los Angeles List Of Largest Cities  United States 12,458,000 City 3,990,456 1,214 3,287
15,204,000 6,351 2,394 MSA: 13,291,486; CSA: 18,372,485
12,559 1,058
Moscow List Of Largest Cities  Russia 12,410,000 Federal city 13,200,000 2,511 5,257
17,332,000 6,154 2,816 20,004,462
Shenzhen List Of Largest Cities  China 11,908,000 City (sub-provincial) 17,494,398 2,050 8,534
17,619,000 1,803 9,772
Lahore List Of Largest Cities  Pakistan 11,738,000 Metropolitan city 13,004,135 1,772 7,339
12,306,000 945 13,022
Bangalore List Of Largest Cities  India 11,440,000 Municipal corporation 8,443,675 709 11,909
15,386,000 1,401 10,982
Paris List Of Largest Cities  France 10,901,000 Commune 2,148,271 105 20,460
11,060,000 2,853 3,877 12,244,807 18,941 646
Bogotá List Of Largest Cities  Colombia 10,574,000 Capital District 7,963,000 1,587 5,018
10,085,000 562 17,945 12,545,272 5,934 2,114
Jakarta List Of Largest Cities  Indonesia 10,517,000 Special region 10,154,134 664 15,292
33,756,000 3,546 9,519
33,430,285 7,063 4,733
Chennai List Of Largest Cities  India 10,456,000 Municipal corporation 6,727,000 426 15,791
12,395,000 1,085 11,424 11,564,000 2,280 5,072
Lima List Of Largest Cities  Peru 10,391,000 Metropolitan municipality 8,894,000 2,672 3,329
10,320,000 891 11,582 9,569,468 2,819 3,395
Bangkok List Of Largest Cities  Thailand 10,156,000 Special administrative area 8,305,218 1,569 5,293
18,007,000 3,199 5,629 16,255,900 7,762 2,094
Seoul List Of Largest Cities  South Korea 9,963,000 Special city 10,013,781 605 16,552
23,016,000 2,769 8,312 25,514,000 11,704 2,180
Nagoya List Of Largest Cities  Japan 9,507,000 Designated city 2,320,361 326 7,118
9,197,000 3,704 2,483 9,363,000 7,271 1,288
Hyderabad List Of Largest Cities  India 9,482,000 Municipal corporation 6,993,262 650 10,759
10,494,000 1,404 7,474
London List Of Largest Cities  United Kingdom 9,046,000 Capital city 8,825,001 1,572 5,614
11,262,000 1,738 6,480 14,372,596
8,382 1,715
Tehran List Of Largest Cities  Iran 8,896,000 Capital city 9,033,003 751 12,028
14,148,000 1,704 8,303
Chicago List Of Largest Cities  United States 8,864,000 City 2,746,388 589 4,663
9,057,000 7,006 1,293 MSA: 9,618,502; CSA: 9,806,184
18,640 516
Chengdu List Of Largest Cities  China 8,813,000 City (sub-provincial) 20,937,757 14,378 1,456
20,937,757 1,935 10,821
Nanjing List Of Largest Cities  China 8,245,000 City (sub-provincial) 9,314,685 6,582 1,415
8,422,000 1,614 5,218
Wuhan List Of Largest Cities  China 8,176,000 City (sub-provincial) 12,447,718 8,494 1,465
12,447,718 1,722 7,229
Ho Chi Minh City List Of Largest Cities  Vietnam 8,145,000 Municipality 7,431,000 2,061 3,606
15,136,000 2,165 6,991
Luanda List Of Largest Cities  Angola 7,774,000 Municipality 2,165,867 116 18,671
9,051,000 1,005 9,006
Ahmedabad List Of Largest Cities  India 7,681,000 Municipal corporation 5,570,585 464 12,006
8,009,000 404 19,824 6,300,000
Kuala Lumpur List Of Largest Cities  Malaysia 7,564,000 City 1,768,000 243 7,276
8,911,000 2,163 4,120 7,200,000 2,793 2,578
Xi'an List Of Largest Cities  China 7,444,000 City (sub-provincial) 12,183,280 10,135 1,202
12,328,000 1,826 6,751
Hong Kong List Of Largest Cities  China 7,429,000 Special administrative region 7,298,600 1,104 6,611
7,450,000 290 25,690
Dongguan List Of Largest Cities  China 7,360,000 Prefecture-level city 10,466,625 2,465 4,246
10,646,000 1,759 6,052
Hangzhou List Of Largest Cities  China 7,236,000 City (sub-provincial) 11,936,010 16,596 719
9,523,000 1,344 7,086
Foshan List Of Largest Cities  China 7,236,000 Prefecture-level city 9,498,863 3,848 2,469

Shenyang List Of Largest Cities  China 6,921,000 City (sub-provincial) 8,294,000 12,980 639
7,964,000 1,551 5,135
Riyadh List Of Largest Cities  Saudi Arabia 6,907,000 Municipality 6,694,000 1,913 3,499
7,237,000 1,673 4,326
Baghdad List Of Largest Cities  Iraq 6,812,000 Urban governorate 8,126,755 5,200 1,563
6,183,000 694 8,909
Santiago List Of Largest Cities  Chile 6,680,000 City (commune) 236,453 22 10,748
7,171,000 1,147 6,252 7,112,808 15,403 462
Surat List Of Largest Cities  India 6,564,000 Municipal corporation 4,466,826 327 13,660
6,538,000 238 27,471
Madrid List Of Largest Cities  Spain 6,497,000 Municipality 3,266,126 606 5,390
6,211,000 1,365 4,550 6,641,649
Suzhou List Of Largest Cities  China 6,339,000 Prefecture-level city 12,748,262 8,488 1,502
6,031,000 1,386 4,351
Pune List Of Largest Cities  India 7,184,000 Municipal corporation 3,124,458 276 11,321
8,231,000 650 12,663 7,276,000 7,256 1,003
Harbin List Of Largest Cities  China 6,115,000 City (sub-provincial) 10,635,971 53,068 200
3,830,000 671 5,708
Houston List Of Largest Cities  United States 6,115,000 City 2,325,502 1,553 1,497
6,500,000 4,931 1,318 6,997,384 21,395 327
Dallas List Of Largest Cities  United States 6,099,000 City 1,345,047 882 1,525
6,950,000 5,278 1,317
7,470,158 22,463 333
Toronto List Of Largest Cities  Canada 6,082,000 City 2,731,571 630 4,336
6,771,000 2,344 2,889 5,928,040 5,906 1,004
Dar es Salaam List Of Largest Cities  Tanzania 6,048,000 City 5,383,728 1,393 3,865
7,962,000 961 8,285
Miami List Of Largest Cities  United States 6,036,000 City 470,914 93 5,069
6,058,000 3,313 1,829 6,158,824 15,890 388
Belo Horizonte List Of Largest Cities  Brazil 5,972,000 City 2,502,557 331 7,563 5,328,000 1,287 4,140 5,156,217 9,459 545
Singapore List Of Largest Cities  Singapore 5,792,000 Country 5,638,700 726 7,770 5,983,000 523 11,440
Philadelphia List Of Largest Cities  United States 5,695,000 Consolidated city-county 1,526,006 370 4,129 5,799,000 5,429 1,068 MSA: 6,096,120; CSA: 7,381,187
Atlanta List Of Largest Cities  United States 5,572,000 City 498,715 354 1,408 5,478,000 7,400 740 5,949,951 21,690 274
Fukuoka List Of Largest Cities  Japan 5,551,000 Designated city 1,588,924 343 4,627 2,286,000 505 4,527
Khartoum List Of Largest Cities  Sudan 5,534,000 1,410,858
7,869,000 1,031 7,632
Barcelona List Of Largest Cities  Spain 5,494,000 Municipality 1,620,343 101 15,980
4,800,000 1,072 4,478 5,474,482
Johannesburg List Of Largest Cities  South Africa 5,486,000 Metropolitan municipality 4,803,262 1,643 2,924 14,586,000 4,040 3,610
Saint Petersburg List Of Largest Cities  Russia 5,383,000 Federal city 5,601,911 1,400 4,001 5,445,000 1,510 3,606
Qingdao List Of Largest Cities  China 5,381,000 City (sub-provincial) 10,071,722 11,229 897 6,229,000 1,759 3,541
Dalian List Of Largest Cities  China 5,300,000 City (sub-provincial) 7,450,785 13,742 542 4,135,000 1,044 3,961
Washington List Of Largest Cities  United States 5,207,000 Federal district 702,455 177 3,969
7,631,000 5,501 1,387
6,263,245 17,009 368
Yangon List Of Largest Cities  Myanmar 5,157,000 City 4,728,524 6,874,000 666 10,321
Alexandria List Of Largest Cities  Egypt 5,086,000 Urban governorate 5,441,866 2,300 2,366 4,712,000 293 16,082
Jinan List Of Largest Cities  China 5,052,000 City (sub-provincial) 9,202,432 10,244 898
4,017,000 932 4,310
Guadalajara List Of Largest Cities  Mexico 5,023,000 Municipality 1,385,621 151 9,176
5,525,000 816 6,771 5,286,642 3,560 1,485

See also

Notes

References

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