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The 70 largest cities in the world - 2021 (by population)

Tokyo, Shanghai or New York - which is the largest city in the world?

It is not quite that easy:

Determining the largest cities in the world depends on how you define the term "city".

Tokyo-Yokohama and its surrounding suburbs form the largest metropolitan area in the world.

With over 38 million inhabitants, Tokyo has a higher population than the entire country of Canada (36.7 million).

If we refer to the area to determine the largest city in the world, Chongqing in China is number 1 in the ranking with 82,000 km² (that's twice the size of Switzerland).

If we take only the core city, Tokyo, Shanghai and Mexico City are arguing about number 1 (the numbers are not entirely clear here).

We are mainly referring to the largest metropolitan areas in the world (by population).

That means cities that are becoming a metropolitan area through the merging of the city limits.

You can find a full one at the end of the articleList with the 70 largest cities in the world (according to the number of inhabitants).

Largest cities in Germany ● Largest cities in Europe

● Biggest cities in USA● Biggest cities in China

List of the 10 largest cities in the world

city population country continent
Tokyo 37,98 Japan Asia
Jakarta 34,54 Indonesia Asia
Delhi 29,62 India Asia
Mumbai 23,36 India Asia
Manila 23,09 Philippines Asia
Shanghai 22,12 China Asia
São Paulo 22,05 Brazil South America
Seoul 21,79 South Korea Asia
Mexico City 21,00 Mexico North America
Guangzhou 20,90 China Asia
Source: Wikipedia (as of September 2020)


1. Tokyo: population 37.98 million

Life pulsates in Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

Not least because of the many residents. With almost 38 million inhabitants in the metropolitan region - including surrounding cities such as Yokohama, Saitama and Kawasaki - Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area and clearly the largest city in the world.

The megacity is literally bursting at the seams: The United Nations is assuming that Tokyo will continue to reach its limits and will even shrink by a million people by 2030.

surface: 8,230 km2

Population density: 4,614 / km²

language: Japanese

currency: Yen

Worth seeing: Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree, Kōkyo Imperial Palace, Nikko


2. Jakarta: population 34.54 million

Jakarta is a city that never sleeps.

Together with the neighboring cities of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi, Jakarta is the second largest metropolitan region in the world with over 34 million inhabitants.

Particularly drastic: Jakarta is sagging. Every year the city sinks between three and seven inches further into the ground.

surface: 3,540 km2

Population density: 9,756 / km²

language: Indonesian / Bahase Indonesia

currency: Rupiah

Worth seeing: Taman Fatahillah, Istiqlal Mosque, National Monument, Jarkata Cathedral


3. Delhi population of 29.62 million

Delhi as a metropolitan area consists of two cities:

Old Delhi and New Delhi.

New Delhi is not only the capital of India, but also a political center.

Almost 30 million people live here and the city continues to grow.

According to a forecast by the United Nations, there should be 36 million inhabitants in 2030.

surface: 2,232 km2

Population density: 13,266 / km²

language: Hindi

currency: Indian Rupee

Worth seeing: Red Fort, Humayun Mausoleum, National Museum, India Gate, Jami Majid


4. Mumbai 23.36 million inhabitants

Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is not only one of the largest cities in the world, but also one of the largest cities in India alongside Delhi.

The name is composed of the word for mother and the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi.

With a population of over 23 million, this city also repeatedly encounters problems.

Especially with the garbage disposal of all these people.

The sewage supply suffers the most, which repeatedly results in diseases.

The United Nations estimates that the population in this metropolitan area will increase by a further 6 million in the next ten years.

surface: 944 km2

Population density: 24,773 / km²

language: Hindi

currency: Indian Rupee

Worth seeing: Gateway of India, Shree Siddhivinayak Temple, Elephanta, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya


5. Manila 23.09 million people

Manila is the capital of the Philippines. Together with 16 other surrounding cities and a municipality, it forms the metropolitan area of ​​Metro Manila. Around 23 million people live here.

An uncontrolled expansion has been taking place here since the 20th century.

This disproportionate increase in population led to the creation of informal settlements as the planning did not follow suit.

surface: 1,873 km2

Population density: 12,330 / km²

language: English / Tagalog / Taglish

currency: Philippine peso

Worth seeing: Fuerza de Santiago, Manila Ocean Park, San Agustín, National Museum of the Philippines


6. Shanghai has a population of 22.12 million

The port city of Shanghai is located in eastern China and, with around 22 million inhabitants, is one of the largest cities in the world.

And it doesn't stop growing. Around 15 million people live in the direct city center.

The rest is divided between the surrounding city districts.

It is estimated that the population will grow to around 30 million by 2030.

That is why the city is trying to gain more and more land by constantly expanding the area of ​​the city on the Yangtze River.

The container port in Shanghai is also one of the largest in the world and is where the largest ships dock.

surface: 4,068 km2

Population density: 5,436 / km²

language: Chinese

currency: Yuan

Worth seeing: The Bund, Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Museum, Jade Buddha Temple


7. São Paulo 22.05 million inhabitants

With over 22 million inhabitants, Sao Paulo is the largest city in the southern hemisphere and also among the largest cities in the world.

But it's not always a blessing to be a metropolitan area with so many inhabitants.

Massive pollution is a major problem in the city, and it is not going to improve much.

Because by 2030 the United Nations is forecasting around 2 million more inhabitants.

surface: 3,116 km2

Population density: 7,076 inhabitants

language: Portuguese

currency: Real

Worth seeing: Parque do Ibirapuera, Avenida Paulista, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Catedral da Sé


8. Seoul population of 21.79 million

The metropolitan area of ​​the South Korean capital Seoul with over 22 million inhabitants is called Sudogwon.

Over 48% of the South Korean population lives in this metropolitan area and, according to forecasts, this proportion will increase to over half in the next few years.

Originally, the capital Seoul and the neighboring cities of Incheon and Suwon belonged to Sudogwon.

However, the megacity has been expanding since the 1980s and more planned cities have been added, which is why it is still one of the largest cities in the world today.

Sudogwon currently has more than 12 cities.

surface: 2,768 km2

Population density: 7,871 / km²

language: Korean

currency: South Korean won

Worth seeing: N Seoul Tower, Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Bukchon Hanok Village


9. Mexico City population of 21.00 million

With a population of 21 million, the metropolitan area around the capital of Mexico is the most populous in North America.

Approximately one fifth of all Mexicans live in this area in the Valley of Mexico. The mega-city is surrounded by two volcanoes and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada - the geographical location and the high volume of traffic create noticeable smog problems in the city with its Aztec past.

Surface: 2,386 km²

Population density: 8,802 / km²

Language: Spanish

Currency: Mexican peso

Worth seeing: Remains of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán, Chapultepec Park, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes


10. Guangzhou, population 20.90 million

The Asian metropolis is hardly known in this country. Surprising, because with almost 21 million inhabitants, the Chinese metropolitan region around Guangzhou is the tenth largest in the world.

In Guangzhou there are huge industrial plants from the textile, plastic, iron, shipbuilding and food processing sectors.

Together with Hong Kong and other cities, Guangzhou lies in one of the largest contiguous urban landscapes in the world. Around 60 million people live in the Pearl River Delta.

Surface: 4,342 km²

Population density: 4,815 / km²

Language: Chinese

Currency: yuan

Worth seeing: Canton Tower, Chimelong Paradise, Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street, Pagoda of the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, Guangzhou Zoo


Germany's largest cities

This list shows current cities in Germany with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

In recent years, steady growth can be seen, especially in metropolises with more than 500,000 inhabitants.

Over 37% of the largest cities in Germany are in North Rhine-Westphalia.

rank city population Area in km² Ew./ km² federal state
1 Berlin 3.669.491 891,68 4.088 BE
2 Hamburg 1.847.253 755,22 2.438 HH
3 Munich 1.484.226 310,70 4.736 BY
4 Cologne 1.087.863 405,02 2.681 NW
5 Frankfurt am Main 763.380 248,31 3.033 HE
6 Stuttgart 635.911 207,35 3.062 BW
7 Dusseldorf 621.877 217,41 2.849 NW
8 Leipzig 593.145 297,80 1.974 SN
9 Dortmund 588.250 280,71 2.091 NW
10 eat 582.760 210,34 2.772 NW
11 Bremen 567.559 325,56 1.749 HB
12 Dresden 556.780 328,48 1.689 SN
13 Hanover 536.925 204,14 2.636 NI
14 Nuremberg 518.370 186,38 2.781 BY
15 Duisburg 498.686 232,8 2.142 NW
16 Bochum 365.587 145,66 2.503 NW
17 Wuppertal 355.100 168,39 2.105 NW
18 Bielefeld 334.195 258,82 1.290 NW
19 Bonn 329.673 141,06 2.320 NW
20 Muenster 315.293 303,28 1.036 NW
Source: Wikipedia (as of December 31, 2019)


Europe's largest cities

The largest cities in Europe are cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants.

These numbers relate solely to the administrative boundaries of the cities.

Politically independent suburbs are therefore not included.

rank city Residents was standing Country
1 Moscow 12.432.531 01.01.2019 Russia
2 Istanbul 9.699.995
(European part)
31.12.2018 Turkey
3 London 8.908.081 30.06.2018 United Kingdom
4 St. Petersburg 5.383.890 01.01.2019 Russia
5 Berlin 3.669.491 31.12.2019 Germany
6 Madrid 3.266.126 01.01.2019 Spain
7 Kiev 2.950.819 01.01.2019 Ukraine
8 Rome 2.837.332 31.12.2019 Italy
9 Paris 2.140.526 01.01.2019 France
10 Minsk 1.992.685 01.01.2019 Belarus
11 Vienna 1.915.047 01.04.2020 Austria
12 Hamburg 1.847.253 31.12.2019 Germany
13 Bucharest 1.828.018 01.01.2019 Romania
14 Warsaw 1.777.972 31.12.2018 Poland
15 Budapest 1.752.286 01.01.2019 Hungary
16 Barcelona 1.636.762 01.01.2019 Spain
17 Munich 1.484.226 31.12.2019 Germany
18 Kharkiv 1.446.107 01.01.2019 Ukraine
19 Milan 1.396.059 31.12.2019 Italy
20 Prague 1.324.277 01.01.2020 Czech Republic
Source: Wikipedia (as of September 2019)


The largest cities in the USA

This is about so-called built-in cities.

That means cities with their suburbs and municipalities with a population of more than 100,000 are included in the list.

rank city US State Population 2020 Ew./ km²
1 new York new York 8.323.340 10.699
2 los Angeles California 4.015.940 3.306
3 Chicago Illinois 2.694.240 4.575
4 Houston Texas 2.340.890 1.412
5 Phoenix Arizona 1,703,080 1.270
6 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1.591.800 4.577
7 San Antonio Texas 1.578.030 1.256
8 San Diego California 1,447,100 1.715
9 Dallas Texas 1.382.270 1.571