World's largest cities
of world cities
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
- 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)."
- Metropolitan Area
- 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  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)
- A city can be defined by its administrative boundaries (city proper). UNICEF  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
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|
|Los Angeles||United States||17||13||13||47||17||13|
|New York City||United States||8||4||4||13||8||10|
|Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||26||14||27||22||26|
- Historical urban community sizes
- List of cities by continent
- List of cities in Africa
- Largest cities in the Americas
- List of cities in Asia
- List of cities in Europe
- List of cities in Oceania
- List of largest cities throughout history
- List of countries whose capital is not their largest city
- List of towns and cities with 100,000 or more inhabitants
- List of countries and territories by continent
- List of cities with the most high-rise buildings
- List of cities with most skyscrapers
- List of largest cities in Central America
- Large Cities Climate Leadership Group
- List of highest cities in the world
- Cities of present-day nations and states