World's largest cities

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This is a list of the world's largest cities in population, ordered by several ranking methods. Determining the world's largest cities depends on which definitions of "city" and "size" are used, and how those definitions are applied. The "size" of a city can refer to its land area, but it is more typically the population. How one defines the land area of a city, however, is key to determining its population.

Common methods for defining the boundaries of a city[edit]

Urban area[edit]

A city can be defined as a conditionally contiguous urban area, without regard to territorial or other boundaries inside an urban area. UNICEF[1] 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).

Metropolitan area[edit]

A city can be defined by the habits of its demographic population, as by metropolitan area, labour market area, or similar in a metropolitan area. UNICEF[1] 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).

City proper (administrative)[edit]

A city can be defined by its administrative boundaries (city proper). UNICEF[1] defines city proper as follows:
The population living within the administrative boundaries of a city, e.g., Washington, D.C.

Cities making the top 20 in a list[edit]

The numbers after each cell give the ranking of that city in that list. This table is designed to be a way to compare the different lists and discover which cities are well-recognised by all of them, without favouring one list over the others. Rankings in bold are the rankings of the cities in the top 20 of that source's list. The first four columns are the four different lists used by Wikipedia; after them, external sources are given.

City Image Country Urban area Urban area (UN) Metropolitan area City proper WorldAtlas City Population
Bangkok Bangkok - City skyline at mid day.JPG  Thailand 19 36 58 44 21
Beijing View of Beijing.jpg  China 11 8 19 9 12 14
Bogotá Skyline downtown Bogota.jpg  Colombia 36 13 17 26 32 37
Buenos Aires Buenos-aires-skyline.jpg  Argentina 21 12 17 59 20 20
Cairo Flickr - Daveness 98 - Cityscape panorama of Cairo.jpg  Egypt 16 18 16 25 11 17
Delhi Delsky.jpg  India 4 2 8 4 4 6
Dhaka Dhaka Skyline.jpg  Bangladesh 20 9 24 19 17
Guangzhou Guangzhou dusk panorama.jpg  China 12 28 9 15 2
Istanbul Istanbul2010.jpg  Turkey 23 19 2 21 23
Jakarta Jakarta Skyline Part 2.jpg  Indonesia 2 24 6 12 2 3
Karachi Karachi sky line.jpg  Pakistan 7 10 20 3 7 8
Kolkata Kolkata Skyline.jpg  India 18 10 14 44 18 19
Lagos Lagos Island.jpg  Nigeria 25 20 15 24 25
London London Skyline.jpg  United Kingdom 29 30 18 19 34 24
Los Angeles Los Angeles Skyline at Night.jpg  United States 17 13 13 47 17 13
Manila Makatiskyline.jpg  Philippines 6 15 11 6 9
Mexico City Ciudad.de.Mexico.City.Distrito.Federal.DF.Paseo.Reforma.Skyline.jpg  Mexico 10 3 3 10 10 7
Moscow Moscow-City skyline.jpg  Russia 15 16 15 7 16 16
Mumbai Mumbai Skyline at Night.jpg  India 13 7 5 2 14 12
New York City New York City Skyline-02.jpg  United States 8 4 4 13 8 10
Osaka Osaka city view 02.jpg  Japan 14 17 9 13 15
Rio de Janeiro Leblon and Ipanema.jpg  Brazil 26 14 27 22 26
São Paulo Cidade de São Paulo.jpg  Brazil 9 5 7 6 9 11
Seoul Seoul Cityscape From the Sky Park (6907573433).jpg  South Korea 3 22 2 8 3 5
Shanghai 2012 Pudong.jpg  China 5 6 10 1 5 3
Tianjin Tianjin Skyline 2009 Sep 11 by Nangua 1.jpg  China 32 32 8 30 28
Tokyo Tokyo odaiba.jpg  Japan 1 1 1 14 1 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "SOWC-2012-DEFINITIONS". UNICEF. Retrieved January 29, 2014.