List of urban areas in the European Union

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This is a list of urban areas in the European Union with over 500,000 inhabitants as of 2022. The data comes from Demographia and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.[1][2] Demographia provides figures for urban areas (including conurbations),[1] while the UN DESA figures are for agglomerations only.[2] For comparison, Function Urban Area (FUA) population figures by Eurostat are also provided,[3] however, these measure the wider metropolitan areas.

Important notes[edit]

  • This is a list of urban areas, not a list of metropolitan areas. Urban areas are contiguous built-up areas where houses are typically not more than 200 m apart, not including rivers, parks, roads, industrial fields, etc. A metropolitan area is an urban area plus any satellite cities around it and any agricultural land in between. For instance Paris is sometimes listed with 12 million inhabitants, Stuttgart is frequently listed with 2.2 million inhabitants, Munich with 2 million or more, etc., indicating the wider metropolitan area of those places. Metropolitan areas, which imply much more complicated definitions (such as the proportion of people in satellite cities working in the core of the metropolitan area), can be accurately computed only by statistical offices, after they have chosen a definition for metropolitan areas, whereas urban areas can be computed by any institution or person with the study of maps, satellite imagery and other geographical data in order to determine the outer limits of a continuous built-up area with one or more neighbouring cities. Furthermore, the list does not make a difference between cities that have multiple satellites and cities that do not. Therefore, two cities with the same demographics for their urban area will have an equal ranking on this list, even if one of the two cities may be much larger as it is the core of a number of satellites.
  • This is a list of urban areas, not a list of administrative cities. For example, the list of conurbations contains the urban area of Lille-Kortrijk. Lille and Kortrijk remain two very distinct cities, each belonging to a different country, culture and language area. For a list of the largest cities of the European Union by population, see List of cities in the European Union by population within city limits.
  • The study of urban areas is useful to analyse how cities develop, which in turn can be used to define transportation, planning and environmental policies, to adjust administrative boundaries etc. At the same time its limitations have to be acknowledged. It is a purely geographic study and disregards all other factors that contribute to the analysis of the functional city. For instance, several cities in the European Union, such as Brussels, have reserved green belts in the outskirts which impacts the size of urban areas but not the "perceived city" as these green belts have now become integrated in what people consider to be the functional city.

Urban areas over 500,000 inhabitants (2015–2022)[edit]

Rank Urban area Image State Population (2022) (urban areas; Demographia)[1] ESPON Population (Functional Urban Area)[4] Population (agglomerations; UN WUP)[2] FUA population (metropolitan areas; Eurostat)[3] Density
(per km2;
Demographia)
Annual growth
rate (%;

Demographia)
1 Paris Paris - Eiffelturm und Marsfeld2.jpg  France 11,060,000 12,998,583 13,855,362 13,114,718 (2019) 3,877 1.83[5]
2 Ruhr
(multiple anchor cities)
Essen-Südviertel Luft.jpg  Germany 6,237,000 5,376,000 N/A N/A 2,325
3 Madrid Madrid-Azca-Castellana-170913.jpg  Spain 6,211,000 5,263,000 6,729,254 7,005,286 (2020) 4,551
4 Milan Skyline Milano - 05.JPG  Italy 5,488,000 7,636,000 3,098,974 4,961,743 (2021) 2,467
5 Barcelona Barcelona desde el mar - panoramio (1a).jpg  Spain 4,800,000 4,082,000 5,658,319 5,111,749 (2020) 4,477
6 Berlin Cityscape Berlin.jpg  Germany 4,012,000 4,016,000 3,863,194 5,342,877 (2020) 2,934
7 Naples Napoli.jpg  Italy 3,636,000 3,714,000 2,201,789 3,298,730 (2021) 3,527
8 Athens Attica 06-13 Athens 36 View from Lycabettus.jpg  Greece 3,450,000 3,761,000 3,051,899 n/a 5,290
9 Rome Colosseo 2020.jpg  Italy 3,214,000 5,190,000 3,717,956 4,303,821 (2021) 2,808
10 RotterdamThe Hague RotterdamMaasNederland.jpg
Cityscape of The Hague, viewed from Het Plein (The Square).jpg
 Netherlands 2,881,000 1,904,000 N/A n/a 2,838
11 Lisbon Aerial view of Augusta Street, Lisbon (50644280948).jpg  Portugal 2,727,000 2,591,000 2,884,297 3,015,099 (2021) 2,869
12 Budapest Parlement van Boedapest gelegen aan de Donau.jpg  Hungary 2,443,000 2,523,000 1,713,903 3,014,944 (2020) 2,450
13 Brussels Brussels skyline gp.jpg  Belgium 2,203,000 2,639,000 2,044,993 2,708,766 (2020) 2,532 0.02[6]
14 Cologne–Bonn Cologne (231726439).jpeg
Bonn mit Stadthaus Ansicht von Beuel.jpg
 Germany 2,161,000 3,070,000 N/A n/a 2,772
15 Stockholm Gamla Stan swe.jpg  Sweden 2,121,000 2,171,000 1,485,680 2,308,143 (2018) 2,504 0.58[6]
16 Munich Frauenkirche and Neues Rathaus Munich March 2013.JPG  Germany 2,038,000 2,665,000 1,437,900 2,927,716 (2020) 4,231 0.72[6]
17 Hamburg Hamburg, Speicherstadt, Wasserschloss -- 2016 -- 3230-6.jpg  Germany 2,019,000 2,983,000 1,830,673 3,341,649 (2020) 2,539
18 Frankfurt Skyline Frankfurt am Main.jpg  Germany 2,002,000 2,764,000 n/a 2,729,562 (2020) 3,031
19 Warsaw Panorama siekierkowski.jpg  Poland 1,963,000 2,785,000 1,722,310 n/a 3,592
20 Katowice Katowice Rynek.jpg  Poland 1,894,000 3,029,000 N/A n/a 2,602
21 Vienna  Austria 1,890,000 2,584,000 1,752,845 n/a 5,614 1.04[6]
22 Bucharest Palatul Parlamentului 1.jpg  Romania 1,862,000 2,064,000 1,867,724 2,412,530 (2015) 4,522 0.10[6]
23 Amsterdam ZuidasAmsterdamtheNetherlands.jpg  Netherlands 1,654,000 2,497,000 1,090,772 2,891,907 (2021) 3,397
24 Copenhagen Nyhavn MichaD.jpg  Denmark 1,649,000 2,350,000 1,268,052 n/a 2,921
25 Turin Turin monte cappuccini.jpg  Italy 1,494,000 1,601,000 1,764,868 1,722,250 (2021) 3,924 −0.16[6]
26 Lyon Lyon - La Part-Dieu de nuit - 07-12-2009.jpg  France 1,471,000 1,669,000 1,608,712 2,280,845 (2019) 3,191 0.50[6]
27 Valencia Valencia west night.jpg  Spain 1,448,000 1,398,000 1,768,205 (2020) 3,678 0.29[6]
28 Dublin View of Dublin, looking east from Sean O’Casey Bridge 20150807 1.jpg  Ireland 1,387,000 1,477,000 1,169,371 n/a 3,009 1.14[6]
29 Marseille Coucher de soleil sur Notre-Dame de la Garde.JPG  France 1,380,000 1,530,000 1,605,046 1,873,270 (2019) 2,003 0.46[6]
30 Stuttgart Stuttgart AltesSchloss03.JPG  Germany 1,374,000 2,289,000 2,794,558 (2020) 2,883
31 Porto Cais da Ribeira, Oporto, Portugal, 2012-05-09, DD 17.JPG  Portugal 1,355,000 1,245,000 1,299,437 1,280,323 (2021) 1,704
32 Lille Lille vue gd place.JPG  France,  Belgium 1,304,000 1,379,000 1,027,178 1,510,079 (2019) 2,468 0.50[6]
33 Helsinki Helsinki July 2013-27a.jpg  Finland 1,223,000 1,285,000 1,179,916 1,526,778 (2020) 2,373 0.81[6]
34 Prague Prague-IMG 1307-Pano-web-X3.jpg  Czech Republic 1,183,000 1,669,000 2,156,809 2,203,315 (2017) 3,838 −0.07[6]
35 Seville 19060879124 a5eac59dea o feria abril sevilla 2013.jpg  Spain 1,100,000 1,180,000 1,555,663 (2020) 4,045
36 Antwerp MAS Antwerpen 2016-05 --1.jpg  Belgium 1,061,000 1,406,000 1,125,878 (2020) 1,579 0.05[6]
37 Toulouse Toulouse by night with Basilique Saint-Sernin.jpg  France 981,000 832,000 1,454,158 (2019) 1,933 0.72[6]
38 SofiaPernik AlexanderNevskyCathedral-Sofia-6.jpg  Bulgaria 947,000 3,174,000 N/A 1,547,779 (2020) 4,571 0.78[6]
39 Nice Nice Port 1.jpg  France 933,000 1,082,000 615,126 (2019) 2,001 0.52[6]
40 Thessaloniki Salonica-view-aerial2.jpg  Greece 881,000 1,052,000 n/a 3,910 0.39[6]
41 Bordeaux Bordeaux place de la bourse with tram.JPG  France 860,000 918,000 1,363,711 (2019) 1,876 0.60[6]
42 GdańskGdynia (Tricity) Calle Dlugie Pobrzeze, Gdansk, Polonia, 2013-05-20, DD 06.jpg  Poland 845,000 993,000 n/a 2,813
43 Łódź Lodz Manufaktura dron (2).jpg  Poland 799,000 1,165,000 n/a 2,755
44 Dresden Dresden Überblick 12.jpg  Germany 781,000 882,000 1,343,831 (2020) 2,872
45 Palermo Palermo panorama.JPG  Italy 776,000 861,000 985,924 (2021) 4,406 0.12[6]
46 Bilbao Ayuntamiento-bilbao1.jpg  Spain 775,000 947,000 1,048,966 (2020) 5,250
47 Florence Florence Cathedral.jpg  Italy 768,000 645,000 794,219 (2021) 3,370
48 Utrecht Stadhuis Utrecht.JPG  Netherlands 732,000 692,000 890,330 (2021) 2,336
49 Catania Catania anfiteatro romano2423.jpg  Italy 713,000 707,000 640,088 (2021) 2,647
50 Hanover Hannover Altstadt 128-h.jpg  Germany 689,000 997,000 1,314,935 (2020) 2,375
51 Málaga Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga.jpg  Spain 686,000 944,000 877,868 (2020) 5,094
52 Bergamo Italia Bergamo 03.JPG  Italy 681,000 662,000 n/a 2,087
53 Kraków Rynek Glowny w Krakowie.jpg  Poland 678,000 1,236,000 1,725,894 n/a 3,193
54 Poznań 6 Poznan 015.jpg  Poland 660,000 919,000 n/a 1,945
55 Nuremberg Nuremberg panorama morning 3.jpg  Germany 657,000 1,443,000 1,353,032 (2020) 2,788
56 Zaragoza 0849 pilar ebro 2004.png  Spain 637,000 639,000 776,669 (2020) 4,315
57 Las Palmas Las Palmas panorama.jpg  Spain 635,000 640,000 635,919 (2020) 2,954
58 Zagreb Zageb Croatian National Theater.jpg  Croatia 630,000 1,153,255 1,216,497 (2020) 3,379
59 Gothenburg Älvsborgsbron.jpg  Sweden 629,000 759,000 1,021,831 (2018) 2,926
60 Wrocław Wroclaw 1.jpg  Poland 624,000 861,000 n/a 2,691
61 Mannheim Mannheim Friedrichsplatz 2005 Richtung Augustaanlage.jpg  Germany 616,000 683,000 n/a 2,734
62 Riga Riga - House of Blackheads.jpg  Latvia 615,000 1,195,000 931,365 (2020) 2,262
63 Nantes Quai de la Fosse (de la butte Saint-Anne)- Nantes.jpg  France 590,000 708,000 1,011,020 (2019) 2,325
64 Leipzig Leipzig Burgplatz Panorama.jpg  Germany 576,000 842,000 1,049,025 (2020) 2,269
65 Bremen Bremen Altstadt (5438245111).jpg  Germany 562,000 1,077,000 1,277,050 (2020) 2,028
66 Vilnius Vilnius view.jpg  Lithuania 545,000 680,000 649,000 708,203 (2021) 1,948
67 Genoa Genova-Panorama dalla collina di Camandoli.jpg  Italy 540,000 694,000 1,500,000 687,196 (2021) 6,950
68 Aachen Aachen Rathaus pano.jpg  Germany 513,000 672,000 557,026 (2020) 1,869
69 Santa Cruz Panorama Santa Cruz.jpg  Spain 506,000 520,655 (2020) 4,652
70 Palma Bellver Castle 2008 Palma Mallorca 130.JPG  Spain 502,000 433,000 709,028 (2020) 3,230

Other notable urban areas[edit]

Urban area Image State ESPON Population (Functional Urban Area)[4] FUA population (metropolitan areas; Eurostat)[3]
Aarhus Havne udsigt fra dokken.jpg  Denmark 845,971
OviedoGijónAvilés Santa María del Naranco. Oviedo.jpg  Spain 844,000
AlicanteElcheElda Alicante, Spain.jpg  Spain 793,000
Ostrava Masarykova namesti Ostrava 2009.JPG  Czech Republic 709,768 713,812 (2017)
Bologna Bologna Panorama.jpg  Italy 690,000 785,941 (2021)
Malmö Central Malmö.JPG  Sweden 658,050 669,741 (2018)
Grenoble Seilbahn-Grenoble.JPG  France 555,000 717,469 (2019)
Douai-Lens Douai - office de tourisme (3).jpgJean Jaurès square, Lens.jpg  France 550,000
Toulon Toulon Faron3 P1440701-P1440708.jpg  France 518,000 573,230 (2019)
Charleroi Charleroi vu depuis Couillet cropped.jpg  Belgium 489,264
Odense Odense - Sankt Knuds kirke 2005-07-16.jpeg  Denmark 485,672
Granada Granada-Day1-10 (47996234956).jpg  Spain 440,000 571,447 (2020)
Vigo Vigo panoramico.jpg  Spain 413,000 547,151 (2020)
Montpellier Montpellier Place de la Comédie.jpg  France 801,595 (2019)
Eindhoven Hoogbouw Eindhoven overzicht.jpg  Netherlands 771,263 (2021)
Rennes Rennes de hermitage 2.JPG  France 755,668 (2019)
Brno Justiční palác v Brně.jpg  Czech Republic 727,759 (2017)
Bari Bari BW 2016-10-19 12-32-30.jpg  Italy 727,549 (2021)
Heidelberg Heidelberg corr.jpg  Germany 709,840 (2020)
Rouen Cathédrale de Rouen vue de l'Opéra.JPG  France 705,627 (2019)
Augsburg Augsburg - Markt.jpg  Germany 684,705 (2020)
Bratislava  Slovakia 669,592 (2020)
Kiel KielerStadtzentrumLuftaufnahme.jpg  Germany 649,578 (2020)
Murcia  Spain 646,099 (2020)
Catania Catania-Etna-Sicilia-Italy-Castielli CC0 HQ1.JPG  Italy 640,088 (2021)
Tallinn  Estonia 609,515 (2021)
Ghent Gent.graslei.jpg  Belgium 605,956 (2018)
Venice  Italy 552,414 (2021)
Groningen  Netherlands 543,707 (2021)
Plovdiv  Bulgaria 542,407 (2020)
Padua  Italy 535,922 (2021)
Münster  Germany 535,879 (2020)
Erfurt  Germany 524,565 (2020)
Tours  France 519,778 (2019)
Verona  Italy 517,271 (2021)
Nancy  France 510,306 (2019)
Clermont-Ferrand  France 507,479 (2019)

Top 20 and top 30 urban areas by population[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Demographia: World Urban Areas. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Annual Population of Urban Agglomerations with 300,000 Inhabitants or More in 2014, by Country, 1950-2030 (thousands), World Urbanization Prospects, the 2014 revision Archived 18 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved 6 September 2015. Note: List based on estimates for 2015, from 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Population on 1 January by age groups and sex - functional urban areas. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  4. ^ a b "ESPON Project 1.4.3 Study on Urban Functions" (PDF). 24 September 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  5. ^ Aire urbaine de Paris (001), INSEE
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t United Nations: World Urbanization Prospects Archived 10 March 2007 at archive.today

http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf

External links[edit]