City Mayors ranks the largest cities and urban areas in the world. It also ranks the largest cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries

About us

Capital cities
Urban population growth from 1950 to 2030
World's largest cities
and their mayors 2010

World's largest cities 2007
Fastest growing cities 2007
Largest cities in the world
Largest urban areas
Richest cities in the world
Largest European cities
Largest US cities
Largest Canadian cities
Largest Brazilian cities
Largest German cities
Largest French cities
Largest French urban areas
Largest UK cities
Largest Italian cities
Largest Spanish cities
Largest Indian cities
Largest Japanese cities
Top US eCities
Top European eCities
Urbanisation 2008 to 2030
Global cities

City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |

Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More

City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More

City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More

City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More

City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More

City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More

City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More

City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More

City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More

City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More

City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More

City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More

City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More

City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More

City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More

City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More

City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More

City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More

City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More

City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More

City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More

The largest cities in the world by
land area, population and density

6 January 2007: With the merger of core cities, suburbs and satellite towns into large metropolitan areas, the very largest cities in the world have in fact become megacities, i.e. cities with more than 10 million people. The area comprising Tokyo and Yokohama is, with a population of between 33 and 35 million, the world’s largest megacity. Other cities among the world’s top five megacities are Mexico City, New York Metro, Sao Paulo and Mumbai.

The list of the world’s largest cities, by land area, is headed by New York Metro, with a total area of 8,700 square kilometres. Tokyo/Yokohama is in second place with almost 7,000 square kilometres, followed by ten cities from the US. Mumbai, with a population density of almost 30,000 people per square kilometre, is the world’s most crowded city. Kolkata (Calcutta), Karachi and Lagos follow behind. The tables 'Largest cities by land area, population and density' rank cities with the largest land areas by population, density and, of course, land area. The largest cities and urban areas, irrespective of land area, are ranked in the section 'Urban'.

Cities by size: 1 to 150 | 151 to 300 | 301 to 450 | 451 to 600 |
Cities in alphabetical order: A to D | E to L | M to R | S to Z |
Cities by countries: A to D | E to L | M to R | S to Z |

Introduction & methodology
Land area:
Cities ranked 1 to 125 | Cities ranked 126 to 250 |
Cities ranked 1 to 125 | Cities ranked 126 to 250 |
Population density:
Cities ranked 1 to 125 | Cities ranked 126 to 250 |

Largest urban and metropolitan areas:
In 2006 | In 2020 | Fastest growing | Alphabetical index |

Core cities:
Largest core cities | Capital cities |

Introduction | 150 richest cities in 2005 | 150 richest cities in 2020 | Europe's richest cities |

70 richest cities

City Mayors’ statistical pages present population figures for cities, metropolitan areas and urban areas. The section ‘The world’s largest cities’ provides population figures for cities with legally defined boundaries, with recognised urban status and with its own local government. The figures do not take into account suburban settlements or other heavily populated areas outside city boundaries.

The tables ‘The world’s largest urban areas in 2006 and 2020’ provide population figures for cities and their surrounding urban areas. Most such agglomerations are economically, socially and culturally dominated by one city at their centre. Occasionally however, several cities of similar status and their suburbs make up an urban area. The 2006 population figures are based on censuses carried out between 2000 and 2005 and adjusted to take account of average annual population changes.

City Mayors’ ‘Land area, Population and Density’ tables rank the 250 largest, by land area, cities and metropolitan as well as urban areas. The data was mostly collected between 2000 and 2005, however, in some cases figures from the late 1990s were used. The data was provided by Demographia who sourced much of the material from the United Nation and national statistical offices.

Supplied by Demographia
An urban area (urbanized area agglomeration or urban centre) is a continuously built up landmass of urban development. National census authorities in Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States designate urban areas. Except in Australia, the authorities use a minimum urban density definition of 400 persons per square kilometer (or the nearly identical 1,000 per square mile in the United States).

International urban areas
Urban areas are confined to a single nation, unless there is freedom of movement (including labor) between the adjacent nations. Currently, this condition is met only between some continental nations of the European Union. For example, the Lille urban area is in both France and Belgium yet is considered a single urban area because there is freedom of labor movement without trade, immigration or customs barriers. Alternatively, Geneva (Switzerland)/Annemasse (France), Detroit/Windsor and San Diego/Tijuana are not considered single urban areas because there is not freedom of movement.

Metropolitan Area
An urban area is different from a metropolitan area. A metropolitan area is a labor market and includes substantial rural (non-urban) territory or area of discontinuous urban development (beyond the developed urban fringe). Urban areas draw employees from a much larger area than the area of continuous development.

Municipality (City or Commune)
An urban area is different from a municipality (also often called a city). Municipalities have political boundaries that usually include only a part of the urban area. For example, the city of Seoul represents barely one-half of the population of the Seoul urban area, which extends well beyond the municipality. On the other hand, a municipality may be considerably larger than an urban area and therefore contain considerable non-urban (or rural) territory. Zaragoza, Spain is an example. A large part of the municipality of Mumbai is rural, composed of the Rajiv Ghandi National Park. The large cities of China extend far beyond the area of continuous urbanization (Beijing, Chongquing, Tianjin and Shanghai). Chongquing has a land area similar to that of Austria.

Students of population statistics please note that City Mayors collects raw data from numerous sources. While these sources are the most reliable available, they do not always apply the same definitions to cities, metropolitan and urban areas. Our population figures for 2006 and 2020 assume annual growth/decline rates based on past growth/decline and forecasts by international and national statistics organisations. The tables 'Largest cities by land area, population and density' rank cities with the largest land areas by population, density and, of course, land area. The largest cities and urban areas, irrespective of land area, are ranked in the section 'Urban'.

Mayors with exceptional courage, compassion and competence sought for the 2016 World Mayor Prize
The 2016 World Mayor Prize and Commendations will be awarded to mayors who have accepted and successfully managed the challenges posed by migration but are also convinced of its longterm benefits. They will be leading a city where past and/or more recent immigrants have contributed to the city’s society, economy and culture. The City Mayors Foundation will also consider mayors for the honours whose communities has shown exceptional resilience during the recent arrivals from disaster-torn regions of the world.

If you are convinced, like us, that the world’s cities have greatly benefited from immigrants, whose perseverance in the face of hardship and often prejudice has created the civic societies that we value and enjoy today, we invite you to nominate a mayor for the 2016 World Mayor Prize.

At a time when there are some 60 million refugees worldwide, mayors to be considered for the World Mayor honours will need to have shown exceptional compassion, courage and competence. Compassion for people who have travelled great distances to find safety. Courage to fight prejudice even in the face of unpopularity. Competence to leverage the value and potential each person offers society.

By taking part in this year’s World Mayor Project you are also voicing your support for all those cities that have had to bear the brunt of the recent influx of migrants and refugees.

Previous winners and runners-up include the mayors of Calgary, Ghent, Bilbao, Perth, Mexico City, Oklahoma City, Cape Town, Zurich, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Athens, Mississauga and Tirana. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally.