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Largest Cities in the World

by Vishul Malik

Determining the largest cities in the world can be a bit subjective, as different sources may use different criteria, such as population within the city proper, metropolitan area, or urban…

Largest Cities in the World

Determining the largest cities in the world can be a bit subjective, as different sources may use different criteria, such as population within the city proper, metropolitan area, or urban area. However, here is a list of the top ten largest cities in the world, based on the population within the city proper:

  • Tokyo, Japan – 37.4 million
  • Delhi, India – 31.4 million
  • Shanghai, China – 27.3 million
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil – 21.7 million
  • Mumbai, India – 20.7 million
  • Beijing, China – 20.3 million
  • Karachi, Pakistan – 16.1 million
  • Istanbul, Turkey – 15.5 million
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh – 15.4 million
  • Moscow, Russia – 12.5 million

Description: The map highlights, along with their urban agglomerations, top ten largest and leading cities of the world. These are Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Osaka, Beijing, Newark, and Cairo. Here’s the order : Tokyo : Tokyo, Japan is the largest city in the World. It is situated in the southeastern region of Honshu Island and is made up of islands Ogasawara and Izu. The prefecture became a reality in 1943 after Tokyo City combined with Tokyo Prefecture. It is also the capital city of Japan. New Delhi : New Delhi is an important city in India by virtue of being its capital. It also operates as the capital of National Capital Territory of Delhi. It is part of the Delhi metropolitan area – it is also one of Delhi Union Territory’s 9 districts. It covers an aggregate area of 16 square miles. Shanghai : Of all the cities in China, Shanghai has the maximum population. It is situated in eastern part of the Asian nation and lies in a central region in the Chinese coast. It is at the source of the Yangtze River. The city has attained remarkable economic growth in the previous 20 years. Mexico City : Mexico City functions as the synonymous North American nation’s Federal District capital. It is unique in the sense that it is not a state per se but operates as an independent federation. Mexico City is the biggest city of the country and is a key political, educational, cultural and economic hub. Sao Paulo : In the southern and western parts of the world, Sao Paulo is the biggest city. It is the heart of the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Area and has been rated as the 2nd most populated metropolitan region in both South and North America combined. Mumbai : Mumbai was known earlier on as Bombay. Of all the Indian cities, it has the maximum population and globally it stands on the 5th position in this regard. It has an estimated population of 12.5 million. New York City : In USA, New York has the maximum number of residents. It is also the heart of New York Metropolitan Area that is one of the most highly populated regions on a global basis. It also houses the headquarters of the United Nations and is a global commercial, media and business hub. Osaka : Osaka is the working heart and economic powerhouse of the Kansai region, Japan. It is the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and forms the largest part of Keihanshin Industrial Zone, the second biggest industrial and urban conglomeration in Japan. Located at the Yodo river, Osaka Bay, Osaka is the third biggest city of Japan in terms of population after Tokyo 23 wards and Yokohama. It spans a total area of 86 square miles with a population of about 2.5 million. Newark : Newark is the biggest city (by population) of New Jersey and the administrative center of Essex County. It is situated on the western shore of the Passaic River, only 13 kilometers from the western region of lower Manhattan Island, New York City. It is not only the second biggest city of the New York metropolitan region, but also the country’s chief center for airways, railways, and shipping. It consists of a total area of about 26 square miles with a population of over 278,400. Cairo : Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is situated on the north eastern part of the country. It is the second biggest city in Africa and also the biggest city in the Middle-East. It is a doorway to the Nile delta, a point where the lower Nile divides into the Damietta and Rosetta branches. Dubbed as the “city of a thousand minarets” chiefly because of its predominance of the architecture of Islam, Cairo has been a hub of the region’s cultural and political life. The city spans a total area of 175 square miles with a population of around seven million.

Most Populous Cities of the World

Rank City Country Population in 2016 (thousands)
1 Tokyo Japan 38,140
2 Delhi India 26,454
3 Shanghai China 24,484
4 Mumbai India 21,357
5 São Paulo Brazil 21,297
6 Beijing China 21,240
7 Mexico City Mexico 21,157
8 Osaka Japan 20,337
9 Cairo Egypt 19,128
10 New York USA 18,604
11 Dhaka Bangladesh 18,237
12 Karachi Pakistan 17,121
13 Buenos Aires Argentina 15,334
14 Kolkata India 14,980
15 Istanbul Turkey 14,365
16 Chongqing China 13,744
17 Lagos Nigeria 13,661
18 Manila Philippines 13,131
19 Guangzhou China 13,070
20 Rio de Janeiro Brazil 12,981
21 Los Angeles USA 12,317
22 Moscow Russian Federation 12,260
23 Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo 12,071
24 Tianjin China 11,558
25 Paris France 10,925
26 Shenzhen China 10,828
27 Jakarta Indonesia 10,483
28 Bangalore India 10,456
29 London United Kingdom 10,434
30 Chennai India 10,163
31 Lima Peru 10,072

World Top Ten Populous Cities of the World

World Top Ten Populous Cities of the World2014 World Urban Major Facts : 1. In today’s time, more people are mushrooming towards urban areas, as in 2014, 54 percent of the population from across the world are living in cities. In the year 1950, 30 percent of the worldwide population was urban and it has been projected that by 2050, the world population of the urban dwellers will increase to 66 percent. 2. Presently, the most urbanized places are North America with 82 percent urban population, The Caribbean and Latin America with 80 percent, and Europe with 73 percent. On the contrary, Africa and Asia have a major rural population with 40 and 48 percent of their respective populations residing in urban places. However, in the coming decades, growth rate of urban areas is expected to increase and comparatively, Africa and Asia are urbanizing at a faster pace. By 2050, the urban population of both the continents is projected to reach 56 and 64 percent, respectively. 3. The worldwide rural population is nearly 3.4 billion today, which is presumed to drop to 3.2 billion by the year 2050. Almost 90 percent of the worldwide rural population are a part of Africa and Asia. China with 635 million has the largest rural population after India (857 million). 4. Globally, since 1950, the population of the urban areas has evolved briskly from 746 million to 3.9 billion in 2014. Today, 53 percent of the urban population of the world is from Asia followed by Europe and the Caribbean and Latin America with 14 and 13 percent, respectively. 5. Three Countries, namely India, China, and Nigeria are presumed to contribute 37 percent between 2014 and 2050 to the urban population of the world. It is projected that India will add 404 million to the world’s urban population, then China with 292 million, and Nigeria with 212 million. 6. By 2050, growing population and urbanization both are projected to contribute 2.5 billion population to the world’s urban population with almost 90 percent of the rise mainly from Asia and Africa. 7. Almost half of the world’s urban residents live in comparatively small colonies with not more than 500,000 dwellers whereas out of eight only one get to live in the 28 big cities with over 10 million dwellers. 8. The largest city in the world is Tokyo with a population of 38 million inhabitants, then, comes Delhi having 25 million inhabitants, Shanghai having 23 million, and Sao Paulo, Mexico City , and Mumbai each with nearly 21 million residents. It is reckoned that by 2030, there will be 41 mega-cities in the world with over 10 million dwellers. It is projected that Tokyo will remain the largest city in the world with 37 million population in 2030 with Delhi following closely, where the number is projected to rise to 36 million. 9. But there are also such cities that have in recent years experienced a drop in population. Natural calamities and Economic depression are the key factors in population losses in a few cities as well. Also, the low-fertility nations of Asia and Europe have a stagnant or declining population causing a major drop in the world’s population. 10. Since the world is urbanizing rapidly, sustainable progressive challenges will be increasingly posited in the urban areas, specifically in the countries with the lower-middle-income where urbanization growth is rapid. Consolidated and cohesive approach is required to raise the standard of living of both urban and rural population. WBASH150714 Reference: United Nations Organization Notes : (2) Mega city. (3) Regioe metropolitana; refers to the Regioe Integrada de Desenvolvimento do Distrito Federal e Entorno. (5) Data after 2000 include urban population in Daxing, Pinggu, and Huairou Districts. (7) For 2000, the population of the city is composed of population in all City Districts meeting the criteria such as “contiguous built-up area,” being the location of the local government,being a Street or Having a Resident Committee. (12) 1991 and 2001 data based on a definition of urban agglomeration that is not restricted to state boundaries (National Capital Territory). Contiguous suburban cities and towns, such as Faridabad, Gurgaon, and Ghaziabad are included in Dehli. (16) As defined by the Statistics Bureau of Japan, Census figure of 2005 refers to Kanto major metropolitan area (M.M.A.). (17) Zona metropolitana, which includes several municipios. (25) Data refer to the urbanized area (UA), that is, contiguous territory that meets minimum population density requirements. Each UA is named after the most populous place or places contained within it.+  

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