Twin cities

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High-rise buildings in Minneapolis's Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, with the Downtown Saint Paul skyline visible in the background. Minneapolis' city limits border those of Saint Paul, the capital of Minnesota. From Downtown Minneapolis to Downtown Saint Paul is only 10 miles in length. This gave birth to the nickname of the region, the "Twin Cities" metropolitan area.
A view of the town of Tornio (Finland), which forms a twin city with Haparanda (Sweden).

Twin cities are a special case of two cities or urban centres that are founded in close geographic proximity and then grow into each other over time, losing most of their mutual buffer zone.

There are no precise criteria for twin-cityhood, but to be considered twin cities, the cities involved have to have a similar administrative status and somewhat comparable sizes; a suburb of a much larger population center is usually not considered to form a twin city with it. For example, South San Francisco (population about 65,000) is not considered a twin city with San Francisco (population about 850,000). However, cities considered twinned by proximity do not necessarily match demographically, economically, or politically.

In many historical cases, cities that grew into each other's space lost their individual identities, and the border or barrier originally separating them became almost irrelevant. An 1873 case of twin cities merging to become a united city is Budapest in Hungary, which began as two settlements (Buda and Pest) facing each other across the Danube at a strategic fording place along a trade route. In China, the three ancient cities of Hankou, Hanyang, and Wuchang, separated by the junction of the Yangtze and Hanjiang rivers, were joined in 1927 into the single entity of Wuhan.

Twin cities may share an airport into whose airport codes are integrated the component initials, e.g., DFW (Dallas–Fort Worth), LBA (LeedsBradford), MSP (Minneapolis-Saint Paul), RDU (Raleigh and Durham, NC), and CAK (AkronCanton, Ohio).

In some cases, such as Albury/Wodonga in Australia, the two cities are permanently divided by a state border, often one that strictly adheres to a geographical landmark, such as the Murray River that divides New South Wales from Victoria, and thus Albury from Wodonga. In other cases twin cities can be divided by an international border, but retain a cultural and historical similarity, for example Haparanda (Sweden) and Tornio (Finland), Leticia (Colombia) and Tabatinga (Brazil) or Valga (Estonia) and Valka (Latvia).


Cross-border example of twin cities: Plaza Internacional of the Frontera de la Paz. On the left, Santana do Livramento (Brazil); on the right, Rivera (Uruguay).



Zambia / Zimbabwe[edit]

North America[edit]


United States[edit]

Mexico—United States border[edit]

Canada–United States border[edit]

Guatemala-Mexico border[edit]


Examples, sharing names or similar names, across an international border include:

Pairs with unrelated names

South America[edit]
















Quad cities[edit]

More than four cities[edit]

Examples of cities formed by amalgamation[edit]


  • Delhi, India: What used to be Old Delhi, New Delhi, and a collection of smaller villages has now grown into the current megalopolis that we see today, also known as the National Capital Region (NCR)
  • In Telangana, India, the cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are merged to form Greater Hyderabad.
  • Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, has, as of 2013, grown out so much that small towns by this giant city, such as Shahdara, have been absorbed in its city limits.
  • Wuhan in China consists of the towns of Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang in Hubei Province.
  • Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, has been expanded to include smaller towns including Rawat in its territory.
  • Bangkok, the capital and largest city of Thailand, was created in 1971, when the previous Bangkok province (Phra Nakhon) was merged with Thonburi province.
  • The former cities of Taoyuan and Zhongli, Taiwan, which merged along with the entire county in 2014 to form a single municipality city of Taoyuan, the two cities sit directly next to each other and shares almost the same population.
  • Fukuoka in Japan, a city of 1.4 million people, formerly the twin cities of Hakata and Fukuoka until the late 19th century.
  • Saitama in Japan, a city of 1.2 million people, created in 2001 by the merger of the cities of Urawa, Omiya, Yono, and later Iwatsuki. Urawa and Omiya could formerly have been considered twin cities.
  • Kitakyushu in Japan, a city of 900,000 people, created in 1963 by the merger of Yahata, Kokura, Moji, Wakamatsu, and Tobata. Yahata and Kokura had formerly been major cities in their own right.
  • The cities of Saigon and Cholon merged in 1931 to form a single city named Saigon-Cholon; in 1956, the name Cholon was dropped and the city became known as Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).


North America[edit]

Fictional twin cities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Separated by the Nile, each city is the respective capital of its governorate (Cairo and Giza). The two communities are the main cities of Greater Cairo. They are respectively the most populous city and third most populous city in Egypt.
  2. ^ Separated by the Zambezi River at the location of Victoria Falls, each city benefits from tourism created by Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world as measured by combined height and width (see Victoria Falls Size). The primary airport of the region, Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport, is located in Livingstone and brings tourists from all over the world. The two cities share an international border that is located halfway across the Victoria Falls Bridge, which was completed in 1905.
  3. ^ Separated by the North Saskatchewan River. While the communities are commonly referred to by the collective "The Battlefords," they retain distinctive identities.
  4. ^ Main cities of Metropolitan Halifax, they are geographically separated by Halifax Harbour
  5. ^ Prior to their consolidation
  6. ^ Champaign was originally known as West Urbana but has since outgrown its neighbor. See Champaign–Urbana metropolitan area.
  7. ^ Twin cores of the Metroplex of northern Texas.
  8. ^ Nicknamed the Twin Ports, these form the world's largest freshwater port.
  9. ^ See Fargo–Moorhead.
  10. ^ The two largest cities of Upstate South Carolina. Their shared international airport is named after both cities (Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport).
  11. ^ Nicknamed the Petroplex in a nod to the DFW region's nickname, as well as its strong reliance on the oil industry.
  12. ^ Also known as the Twin Cities
  13. ^ The core cities of the Wyoming Valley in northeastern Pennsylvania.
  14. ^ Main cities of the Tampa Bay Area.
  15. ^ The cities meet at the border between Texas and Arkansas, and their name is a portmanteau of those states' names as well as that of Louisiana, whose border lies approximately 25 miles to the south. See Texarkana metropolitan area and Ark-La-Tex.
  16. ^ The cities are connected by two twin cantilever bridges which merge the two cities together as sister cities. The cities meet on the Mississippi and Louisiana state border and along the Mississippi River adjacent to each other. They both share long history together. Natchez, Mississippi is also a historical part of Concordia Parish, Louisiana, to which Vidalia is the seat of Concordia Parish. See Natchez–Vidalia Bridge, Concordia Parish and Adams County, Mississippi.
  17. ^ Until incorporation as a single city in 1898 - as noted in the poem "The New Colossus", which is inscribed on a plaque at the Statue of Liberty.
  18. ^ Until 1930, the community, divided by the Alberta-Saskatchewan border, was two separate, adjacent towns. However, with the Town of Lloydminster Acts in administration the large town became integrated while still bi-provincial.
  19. ^ Formed by the amalgamation of Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario in 1970.
  20. ^ East Saginaw annexed by Saginaw in 1889.
  21. ^ Formed historic Al-Mada'in.
  22. ^ Kurashiki is somewhat more of a suburb
  23. ^ Co-centers of a shared major metropolitan area.
  24. ^ Co-centers of a shared micropolitan area.
  25. ^ Co-centers of a shared micropolitan area.
  26. ^ the principal cities of the San Francisco Bay area.


  1. ^ "10 Twin Towns and Sister Cities of Indian States". Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "10 Twin Towns and Sister Cities of Indian States". Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  3. ^ Weather story from 2006 The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 2006-12-31
  4. ^ [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
  5. ^ "It's a wise man who knows where Chatham ends and Rochester begins." Charles Dickens
  6. ^ "Tricity residents to get Emaar MGF's Central Plaza soon". The Financial Express. Jan 6, 2014.
  7. ^ "Quad Cities too generic a name for ID, WA cities". The Seattle Times. 28 April 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Juan Manuel Grijalvo - Madrid - Barrios desaparecidos y actuales - Antiguos municipios independientes".
  9. ^ Action Comics #451, DC Comics, September 1975
  10. ^ New Adventures of Superboy #22, DC Comics, October 1981
  11. ^ World's Finest Comics #259, DC Comics, October–November 1979
  12. ^ The Flash (volume 1) #123, DC Comics, September 1961
  13. ^ See e.g. the introduction of The Hogfather q:Terry Pratchett's Hogfather
  14. ^ Starr, Joe (2015-08-05). "Nerd Rabbit Hole: A Guide To Disney's Duck Universe". Pajiba. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  15. ^ "San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge". Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  16. ^ Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1917). A Princess of Mars. A. C. McClurg & Co. pp. 279–80, 305, 313–14.