Urban area

Greater Tokyo Area, Japan, the world's most populated urban area, with about 38 million inhabitants
Greater Melbourne, Australia at night, seen from the International Space Station

An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities, towns, conurbations or suburbs. In urbanism, the term contrasts to rural areas such as villages and hamlets; in urban sociology or urban anthropology it contrasts with natural environment. The creation of early predecessors of urban areas during the urban revolution led to the creation of human civilization with modern urban planning, which along with other human activities such as exploitation of natural resources led to a human impact on the environment. "Agglomeration effects" are in the list of the main consequences of increased rates of firm creation since. This is due to conditions created by a greater level of industrial activity in a given region. However, a favorable environment for human capital development would also be generated simultaneously.[1]

The world's urban population in 1950 of just 746 million has increased to 3.9 billion in the decades since.[2] In 2009, the number of people living in urban areas (3.42 billion) surpassed the number living in rural areas (3.41 billion), and since then the world has become more urban than rural.[3] This was the first time that the majority of the world's population lived in a city.[4] In 2014 there were 7.3 billion people living on the planet,[5] of which the global urban population comprised 3.9 billion. The Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs at that time predicted the urban population would occupy 68% of the world population by 2050, with 90% of that growth coming from Africa and Asia.[6] Geographer Antonio Rangel is amongst the best researchers in this area.

The UN publishes data on cities, urban areas and rural areas, but relies almost entirely on national definitions of these areas. The UN principles and recommendations state that due to different characteristics of urban and rural areas across the globe, a global definition is not possible.[7]

Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization. Urban areas are measured for various purposes, including analyzing population density and urban sprawl.

Unlike an urban area, a metropolitan area includes not only the urban area, but also satellite cities plus intervening rural land that is socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties through commuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market.

The concept of an "urban area" as used in economic statistics should not be confused with the concept of the "urban area" used in road safety statistics. This term was first created by Geographer Brian Manning The last concept is also known as "built-up area in road safety". According to the definition by the Office for National Statistics, "Built-up areas are defined as land which is 'irreversibly urban in character', meaning that they are characteristic of a town or city. They include areas of built-up land with a minimum of 20 hectares (200,000 m2; 49 acres). Any areas [separated by] less than 200 metres [of non-urban space] are linked to become a single built-up area.[8]

Urban land area (km2), 2010[9]
Urban areas with at least one million inhabitants in 2006

Largest urban areas in the world[10]

  1. Japan Tokyo (Japan) - 37,274,000
  2. India New Delhi (India) - 32,066,000
  3. China Shanghai (China) - 28,517,000
  4. Bangladesh Dhaka (Bangladesh) - 22,478,000
  5. Brazil Sao Paulo (Brazil) - 22,430,000
  6. Mexico Mexico City (Mexico) - 22,085,000
  7. Egypt Cairo (Egypt) - 21,750,000
  8. India Mumbai (India) - 20,961,000
  9. China Beijing (China) - 20,133,000
  10. Japan Osaka (Japan) - 19,060,000

Largest urban areas, by continent[10]

Africa

  1. Egypt Cairo (Egypt) - 20,485,000
  2. Nigeria Lagos (Nigeria) - 13,904,000
  3. Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa (DR Congo) - 13,743,000
  4. Angola Luanda (Angola) - 8,045,000
  5. Tanzania Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) - 6,368,000
  6. Sudan Khartoum (Sudan) - 5,678,000
  7. South Africa Johannesburg (South Africa) - 5,635,000
  8. Egypt Alexandria (Egypt) - 5,182,000
  9. Ivory Coast Abidjan (Ivory Coast) - 5,059,000
  10. Ethiopia Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - 4,592,000

Asia

  1. Japan Tokyo (Japan) - 37,435,000
  2. India New Delhi (India) - 29,399,000
  3. China Shanghai (China) - 26,317,000
  4. Bangladesh Dhaka (Bangladesh) - 20,284,000
  5. India Mumbai (India) - 20,185,000
  6. China Beijing (China) - 20,035,000
  7. Japan Osaka (Japan) - 19,223,000
  8. Pakistan Karachi (Pakistan) - 15,741,000
  9. China Chongqing (China) - 15,354,000
  10. Turkey Istanbul (Turkey) - 14,968,000

Europe

  1. Russia Moscow (Russia) - 12,476,000
  2. France Paris (France) - 10,958,000
  3. United Kingdom London (United Kingdom) - 9,177,000
  4. Spain Madrid (Spain) - 6,559,000
  5. Spain Barcelona (Spain) - 5,541,000
  6. Russia Saint Petersburg (Russia) - 5,427,000
  7. Italy Rome (Italy) - 4,234,000
  8. Germany Berlin (Germany) - 3,557,000
  9. Greece Athens (Greece) - 3,154,000
  10. Italy Milan (Italy) - 3,136,000

North America

  1. Mexico Mexico City (Mexico) - 21,672,000
  2. United States New York - Newark (United States) - 18,805,000
  3. United States Los Angeles - Long Beach - Santa Ana (United States) - 12,448,000
  4. United States Chicago (United States) - 8,862,000
  5. United States Washington, D.C. - Baltimore (United States) - 6,385,000
  6. United States Houston (United States) - 6,245,000
  7. United States Dallas - Fort Worth (United States) - 6,201,000
  8. Canada Toronto (Canada) - 6,139,000
  9. United States Miami (United States) - 6,079,000
  10. United States Philadelphia (United States) - 5,705,000

Oceania

  1. Australia Melbourne (Australia) - 4,870,000
  2. Australia Sydney (Australia) - 4,859,000
  3. Australia Brisbane (Australia) - 2,372,000
  4. Australia Perth (Australia) - 2,016,000
  5. New Zealand Auckland (New Zealand) - 1,582,000
  6. Australia Adelaide (Australia) - 1,328,000
  7. Australia Gold Coast (Australia) - 687,000
  8. Australia Canberra (Australia) - 452,000
  9. Australia Newcastle (Australia) - 447,000
  10. New Zealand Wellington (New Zealand) - 413,000

South America

  1. Brazil São Paulo (Brazil) - 21,847,000
  2. Argentina Buenos Aires (Argentina) - 15,057,000
  3. Brazil Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - 13,374,000
  4. Colombia Bogotá (Colombia) - 10,779,000
  5. Peru Lima (Peru) - 10,555,000
  6. Chile Santiago (Chile) - 6,724,000
  7. Brazil Belo Horizonte (Brazil) - 6,028,000
  8. Brazil Brasília (Brazil) - 4,559,000
  9. Brazil Porto Alegre (Brazil) - 4,115,000
  10. Brazil Recife (Brazil) - 4,078,000

Largest urban areas, by country[10]

Afghanistan

4.458 million KABUL (capital) (2022)

Albania

512,000 TIRANA (capital) (2022)

Algeria

2.854 million ALGIERS (capital), 922,000 Oran (2022)

American Samoa

49,000 PAGO PAGO (capital) (2018)

Andorra

23,000 ANDORRA LA VELLA (capital) (2018)

Angola

8.952 million LUANDA (capital), 914,000 Lubango, 862,000 Cabinda, Benguela 777,000 (2022)

Anguilla

1,000 THE VALLEY (capital) (2018)

Antigua and Barbuda

21,000 SAINT JOHN'S (capital) (2018)

Argentina

15.370 million BUENOS AIRES (capital), 1.598 million Cordoba, 1.574 million Rosario, 1.209 million Mendoza, 1.014 million San Miguel de Tucuman, 904,000 La Plata (2022)

Armenia

1.092 million YEREVAN (capital) (2022)

Aruba

30,000 ORANJESTAD (capital) (2018)

Australia

5,151 million Melbourne, 5.057 million Sydney, 2.472 million Brisbane, 2.093 million Perth, 1.356 million Adelaide, 467,000 CANBERRA (capital) (2022)

Austria

1.960 million VIENNA (capital) (2022)

Azerbaijan

2.401 million BAKU (capital) (2022)

Bahamas, The

280,000 NASSAU (capital) (2018)

Bahrain

689,000 MANAMA (capital) (2022)

Bangladesh

22.478 million DHAKA (capital), 5.253 million Chittagong, 950,000 Khulna, 942,000 Rajshahi, 928,000 Sylhet, Bogra 864,000 (2022)

Barbados

89,000 BRIDGETOWN (capital) (2018)

Belarus

2.049 million MINSK (capital) (2022)

Belgium

2.110 million BRUSSELS (capital), 1.053 million Antwerp (2022)

Belize

23,000 BELMOPAN (capital) (2018)

Benin

285,000 PORTO-NOVO (capital) (2018); 1.189 million Abomey-Calavi, 709,000 COTONOU (seat of government) (2022)

Bermuda

10,000 HAMILTON (capital) (2018)

Bhutan

203,000 THIMPHU (capital) (2018)

Bolivia

278,000 Sucre (constitutional capital) (2018); 1.908 million LA PAZ (capital), 1.784 million Santa Cruz, 1.369 million Cochabamba (2022)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

344,000 SARAJEVO (capital) (2022)

Botswana

269,000 GABORONE (capital) (2018)

Brazil

22.430 million Sao Paulo, 13.634 million Rio de Janeiro, 6.194 million Belo Horizonte, 4.804 million BRASILIA (capital), 4.220 million Recife, 4.185 million Porto Alegre (2022)

British Virgin Islands

15,000 ROAD TOWN (capital) (2018)

Brunei

241,000 BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (capital) (2011)

Bulgaria

1.287 million SOFIA (capital) (2022)

Burkina Faso

3.056 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital), 1.074 million Bobo-Dioulasso (2022)

Burma

5.514 million RANGOON (Yangon) (capital), 1.501 million Mandalay (2022)

Burundi

1.139 million BUJUMBURA (capital) (2022)

Cabo Verde

168,000 PRAIA (capital) (2018)

Cambodia

2.211 million PHNOM PENH (capital) (2022)

Cameroon

4.164 million YAOUNDE (capital), 3.927 million Douala (2022)

Canada

6.313 million Toronto, 4.277 million Montreal, 2.632 million Vancouver, 1.611 million Calgary, 1.519 million Edmonton, 1.423 million OTTAWA (capital) (2022)

Cayman Islands

35,000 GEORGE TOWN (capital) (2018)

Central African Republic

933,000 BANGUI (capital) (2022)

Chad

1.533 million N'DJAMENA (capital) (2022)

Chile

6.857 million SANTIAGO (capital), 1.000 million Valparaiso, 902,000 Concepcion (2022)

China

28.517 million Shanghai, 20.133 million BEIJING (capital), 16.875 million Chongqing, 14.012 million Tianjin, 13.965 million Guangzhou, 12.831 million Shenzhen (2022)

Colombia

11.344 million BOGOTA (capital), 4.068 million Medellin, 2.837 million Cali, 2.325 million Barranquilla, 1.366 million Bucaramanga, 1.079 million Cartagena (2022)

Comoros

62,000 MORONI (capital) (2018)

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

15.628 million KINSHASA (capital), 2.765 million Mbuji-Mayi, 2.695 million Lubumbashi, 1.593 million Kananga, 1.366 million Kisangani, 1.190 million Bukavu (2022)

Congo, Republic of the

2.553 million BRAZZAVILLE (capital), 1.295 million Pointe-Noire (2022)

Costa Rica

1.441 million SAN JOSE (capital) (2022)

Cote d'Ivoire

231,000 YAMOUSSOUKRO (capital) (2018), 5.516 million ABIDJAN (seat of government) (2022)

Croatia

684,000 ZAGREB (capital) (2022)

Cuba

2.146 million HAVANA (capital) (2022)

Curacao

144,000 WILLEMSTAD (capital) (2018)

Cyprus

269,000 NICOSIA (capital) (2018)

Czech Republic

1.318 million PRAGUE (capital) (2022)

Denmark

1.370 million COPENHAGEN (capital) (2022)

Djibouti

591,000 DJIBOUTI (capital) (2022)

Dominica

15,000 ROSEAU (capital) (2018)

Dominican Republic

3.458 million SANTO DOMINGO (capital) (2022)

Ecuador

3.092 million Guayaquil, 1.928 million QUITO (capital) (2022)

Egypt

21.750 million CAIRO (capital), 5.484 million Alexandria, 764,000 Bur Sa'id (2022)

El Salvador

1.111 million SAN SALVADOR (capital) (2022)

Equatorial Guinea

297,000 MALABO (capital) (2018)

Eritrea

1.035 million ASMARA (capital) (2022)

Estonia

452,000 TALLINN (capital) (2022)

Eswatini

68,000 MBABANE (capital) (2018)

Ethiopia

5.228 million ADDIS ABABA (capital) (2022)

Falkland Islands

2,000 STANLEY (capital) (2018)

Faroe Islands

21,000 TÓRSHAVN (capital) (2018)

Fiji

178,000 SUVA (capital) (2018)

Finland

1.328 million HELSINKI (capital) (2022)

France

11.142 million PARIS (capital), 1.748 million Lyon, 1.620 million Marseille-Aix-en-Provence, 1.073 million Lille, 1.049 million Toulouse, 991,000 Bordeaux (2022)

French Polynesia

136,000 PAPEETE (capital) (2018)

Gabon

857,000 LIBREVILLE (capital) (2022)

Gambia, The

470,000 BANJUL (capital) (2022)

Gaza Strip

756,000 Gaza (2022)

Georgia

1.080 million TBILISI (capital) (2022)

Germany

3.571 million BERLIN (capital), 1.788 million Hamburg, 1.566 million Munich, 1.137 million Cologne, 791,000 Frankfurt (2022)

Ghana

3.630 million Kumasi, 2.605 million ACCRA (capital), 1.035 million Sekondi Takoradi (2022)

Gibraltar

35,000 GIBRALTAR (capital) (2018)

Greece

3.154 million ATHENS (capital), 814,000 Thessaloniki (2022)

Greenland

18,000 NUUK (capital) (2018)

Grenada

39,000 SAINT GEORGE'S (capital) (2018)

Guam

147,000 HAGATNA (capital) (2018)

Guatemala

3.036 million GUATEMALA CITY (capital) (2022)

Guernsey

16,000 SAINT PETER PORT (capital) (2018)

Guinea

2.049 million CONAKRY (capital) (2022)

Guinea-Bissau

643,000 BISSAU (capital) (2022)

Guyana

110,000 GEORGETOWN (capital) (2018)

Haiti

2.915 million PORT-AU-PRINCE (capital) (2022)

Holy See

1,000 VATICAN CITY (capital) (2018)

Honduras

1.527 million TEGUCIGALPA (capital), 956,000 San Pedro Sula (2022)

Hong Kong

7.643 million Hong Kong (2022)

Hungary

1.775 million BUDAPEST (capital) (2022)

Iceland

216,000 REYKJAVÍK (capital) (2018)

India

32.066 million NEW DELHI (capital), 20.961 million Mumbai, 15.134 million Kolkata, 13.193 million Bangalore, 11.503 million Chennai, 10.534 million Hyderabad (2022)

Indonesia

11.075 million JAKARTA (capital), 3.622 million Bekasi, 3.005 million Surabaya, 2.942 million Depok, 2.638 million Bandung, 2.456 million Tangerang (2022)

Iran

9.382 million TEHRAN (capital), 3.318 million Mashhad, 2.219 million Esfahan, 1.699 million Shiraz, 1.644 million Tabriz, 1.587 million Karaj (2022)

Iraq

7.512 million BAGHDAD (capital), 1.737 million Mosul, 1.414 million Basra, 1.052 million Kirkuk, 930,000 Najaf, 878,000 Erbil (2022)

Ireland

1.256 million DUBLIN (capital) (2022)

Isle of Man

27,000 DOUGLAS (capital) (2018)

Israel

4.344 million Tel Aviv-Yafo, 1.164 million Haifa, 957,000 JERUSALEM (capital) (2022)

Italy

4.298 million ROME (capital), 3.149 million Milan, 2.180 million Naples, 1.798 million Turin, 907,000 Bergamo, 850,000 Palermo (2022)

Jamaica

595,000 KINGSTON (capital) (2022)

Japan

37.274 million TOKYO (capital), 19.060 million Osaka, 9.572 million Nagoya, 5.503 million Kitakyushu-Fukuoka, 2.935 million Shizuoka-Hamamatsu, 2.669 million Sapporo (2022)

Jersey

34,000 SAINT HELIER (capital) (2018)

Jordan

2.210 million AMMAN (capital) (2022)

Kazakhstan

1.958 million Almaty, 1.254 million NUR-SULTAN (capital), 1.126 million Shimkent (2022)

Kenya

5.119 million NAIROBI (capital), 1.389 million Mombassa (2022)

Kiribati

64,000 TARAWA (capital) (2018)

Korea, North

3.133 million PYONGYANG (capital) (2022)

Korea, South

9.976 million SEOUL (capital), 3.468 million Busan, 2.834 million Incheon, 2.185 million Daegu (Taegu), 1.573 million Daejon (Taejon), 1.526 million Gwangju (Kwangju) (2022)

Kosovo

216,870 PRISTINA (capital) (2019)

Kuwait

3.239 million KUWAIT (capital) (2022)

Kyrgyzstan

1.082 million BISHKEK (capital) (2022)

Laos

706,000 VIENTIANE (capital) (2022)

Latvia

625,000 RIGA (capital) (2022)

Lebanon

2.433 million BEIRUT (capital) (2022)

Lesotho

202,000 MASERU (capital) (2018)

Liberia

1.623 million MONROVIA (capital) (2022)

Libya

1.176 million TRIPOLI (capital), 953,000 Misratah, 848,000 Benghazi (2022)

Liechtenstein

5,000 VADUZ (capital) (2018)

Lithuania

541,000 VILNIUS (capital) (2022)

Luxembourg

120,000 LUXEMBOURG (capital) (2018)

Madagascar

3.700 million ANTANANARIVO (capital) (2022)

Malawi

1.222 million LILONGWE (capital), 995,000 Blantyre-Limbe (2022)

Malaysia

8.420 million KUALA LUMPUR (capital), 1.065 million Johor Bahru, 842,000 Ipoh (2022)

Maldives

177,000 MALE (capital) (2018)

Mali

2.817 million BAMAKO (capital) (2022)

Malta

213,000 VALLETTA (capital) (2018)

Marshall Islands

31,000 MAJURO (capital) (2018)

Mauritania

1.432 million NOUAKCHOTT (capital) (2022)

Mauritius

149,000 PORT LOUIS (capital) (2018)

Mexico

22.085 million MEXICO CITY (capital), 5.340 million Guadalajara, 5.037 million Monterrey, 3.295 million Puebla, 2.576 million Toluca de Lerdo, 2.221 million Tijuana (2022)

Micronesia, Federated States of

7,000 PALIKIR (capital) (2018)

Moldova

491,000 CHISINAU (capital) (2022)

Monaco

39,000 MONACO (capital) (2018)

Mongolia

1.645 million ULAANBAATAR (capital) (2022)

Montenegro

177,000 PODGORICA (capital) (2018)

Morocco

3.840 million Casablanca, 1.932 million RABAT (capital), 1.267 million Fes, 1.238 million Tangier, 1.277 million Marrakech, 960,000 Agadir (2022)

Mozambique

1.797 million Matola, 1.139 million MAPUTO (capital), 927,000 Nampula (2022)

Namibia

461,000 WINDHOEK (capital) (2022)

Nepal

1.521 million KATHMANDU (capital) (2022)

Netherlands

1.166 million AMSTERDAM (capital), 1.015 million Rotterdam (2022)

New Caledonia

198,000 NOUMEA (capital) (2018)

New Zealand

1.652 million Auckland, 419,000 WELLINGTON (capital) (2022)

Nicaragua

1.083 million MANAGUA (capital) (2022)

Niger

1.384 million NIAMEY (capital) (2022)

Nigeria

15.388 million Lagos, 4.219 million Kano, 3.756 million Ibadan, 3.652 million ABUJA (capital), 3.325 million Port Harcourt, 1.841 million Benin City (2022)

Niue

1,000 ALOFI (capital) (2018)

North Macedonia

606,000 SKOPJE (capital) (2022)

Northern Mariana Islands

51,000 SAIPAN (capital) (2018)

Norway

1.071 million OSLO (capital) (2022)

Oman

1.623 million MUSCAT (capital) (2022)

Pakistan

16.840 million Karachi, 13.542 million Lahore, 3.625 million Faisalabad, 2.353 million Gujranwala, 2.343 million Peshawar, 1.198 million ISLAMABAD (capital) (2022)

Palau

277 NGERULMUD (capital) (2018)

Panama

1.938 million PANAMA CITY (capital) (2022)

Papua New Guinea

400,000 PORT MORESBY (capital) (2022)

Paraguay

3.452 million ASUNCION (capital) (2022)

Peru

11.045 million LIMA (capital), 947,000 Arequipa, 891,000 Trujillo (2022)

Philippines

14.406 million MANILA (capital), 1.908 million Davao, 1.009 million Cebu City, 931,000 Zamboanga, 925,000 Antipolo, 786,000 Cagayan de Oro City (2022)

Poland

1.795 million WARSAW (capital), 770,000 Krakow (2022)

Portugal

3.035 million LISBON (capital), 1.737 million Porto (2022)

Puerto Rico

2.443 million SAN JUAN (capital) (2022)

Qatar

779,000 Ar-Rayyan, 652,000 DOHA (capital) (2022)

Romania

1.785 million BUCHAREST (capital) (2022)

Russia

12.641 million MOSCOW (capital), 5.536 million Saint Petersburg, 1.686 million Novosibirsk, 1.521 million Yekaterinburg, 1.286 million Kazan, 1.253 million Nizhniy Novgorod (2022)

Rwanda

1.208 million KIGALI (capital) (2022)

Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

1,000 JAMESTOWN (capital) (2018)

Saint Kitts and Nevis

14,000 BASSETERRE (capital) (2018)

Saint Lucia

22,000 CASTRIES (capital) (2018)

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

6,000 SAINT - PIERRE (capital) (2018)

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

27,000 KINGSTOWN (capital) (2018)

Samoa

36,000 APIA (capital) (2018)

San Marino

4,000 SAN MARINO (2018)

São Tomé and Príncipe

80,000 SÃO TOMÉ (capital) (2018)

Saudi Arabia

7.538 million RIYADH (capital), 4.781 million Jeddah, 2.115 million Mecca, 1.545 million Medina, 1.305 million Ad Dammam, 860,000 million Hufuf-Mubarraz (2022)

Senegal

3.326 million DAKAR (capital) (2022)

Serbia

1.405 million BELGRADE (capital) (2022)

Seychelles

28,000 VICTORIA (capital) (2018)

Sierra Leone

1.272 million FREETOWN (capital) (2022)

Singapore

3.040 million SINGAPORE (capital) (2022)

Sint Maarten

1,327 PHILIPSBURG (capital) (2011)

Slovakia

439,000 BRATISLAVA (capital) (2022)

Slovenia

286,000 LJUBLJANA (capital) (2018)

Solomon Islands

82,000 HONIARA (capital) (2018)

Somalia

2.497 million MOGADISHU (capital), 1.079 million Hargeysa (2022)

South Africa

10.110 million Johannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni), 4.801 million Cape Town (legislative capital), 3.199 million Durban, 2.74 million PRETORIA (administrative capital), 1.281 million Port Elizabeth, 909,000 West Rand (2022)

South Sudan

440,000 JUBA (capital) (2022)

Spain

6.714 million MADRID (capital), 5.658 million Barcelona, 837,000 Valencia (2022)

Sri Lanka

103,000 Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (legislative capital) (2018), 626,000 COLOMBO (capital) (2022)

Sudan

6.160 million KHARTOUM (capital), 1.012 million Nyala (2022)

Suriname

239,000 PARAMARIBO (capital) (2018)

Sweden

1.659 million STOCKHOLM (capital) (2022)

Switzerland

1.420 million Zurich, 437,000 BERN (capital) (2022)

Syria

2.503 million DAMASCUS (capital), 2.098 million Aleppo, 1.398 million Hims (Homs), 964,000 Hamah (2022)

Taiwan

4.471 million New Taipei City, 2.821 million Taichung, 2.770 million Kaohsiung, 2.742 million TAIPEI (capital), 2.296 million Taoyuan, 863,000 Tainan (2022)

Tajikistan

962,000 DUSHANBE (capital) (2022)

Tanzania

262,000 Dodoma (legislative capital) (2018), 7.405 million DAR ES SALAAM (administrative capital), 1.245 million Mwanza, 766,000 Zanzibar (2022)

Thailand

10.700 million BANGKOK (capital), 1.198 million Chiang Mai, 500,000 Nakhon Ratchasima, 420,000 Khon Kaen, 410,000 Udon Thani (2022)

Timor-Leste

281,000 DILI (capital) (2018)

Togo

1.926 million LOME (capital) (2022)

Tonga

23,000 NUKU'ALOFA (2018)

Trinidad and Tobago

545,000 PORT OF SPAIN (capital) (2022)

Tunisia

2.439 million TUNIS (capital) (2022)

Turkey

15.636 million Istanbul, 5.310 million ANKARA (capital), 3.056 million Izmir, 2.055 million Bursa, 1.814 million Adana, 1.773 million Gaziantep (2022)

Turkmenistan

883,000 ASHGABAT (capital) (2022)

Turks and Caicos Islands

5,000 GRAND TURK (capital) (2018)

Tuvalu

7,000 FUNAFUTI (capital) (2018)

Uganda

3.652 million KAMPALA (capital) (2022)

Ukraine

3.010 million KYIV (capital), 1.423 million Kharkiv, 1.008 million Odesa, 952,000 Dnipropetrovsk, 893,000 Donetsk (2022)

United Arab Emirates

2.964 million Dubai, 1.786 million Sharjah, 1.540 million ABU DHABI (capital) (2022)

United Kingdom

9.426 million LONDON (capital), 2.750 million Manchester, 2.626 million Birmingham, 1.902 million West Yorkshire, 1.681 million Glasgow, 944,000 Southampton/Portsmouth (2022)

United States

18.867 million New York - Newark, 12.488 million Los Angeles - Long Beach - Santa Ana, 8.901 million Chicago, 6.603 million Houston, 6.488 million Dallas - Fort Worth, 5.434 million WASHINGTON, D.C. (capital) (2022)

Uruguay

1.767 million MONTEVIDEO (capital) (2022)

Uzbekistan

2.574 million TASHKENT (capital) (2022)

Vanuatu

53,000 PORT - VILA (capital) (2018)

Venezuela

2.957 million CARACAS (capital), 2.333 million Maracaibo, 1.959 million Valencia, 1.241 million Barquisimeto, 1.230 million Maracay, 950,000 Ciudad Guayana (2022)

Vietnam

9.077 million Ho Chi Minh City, 5.067 million HANOI (capital), 1.786 million Can Tho, 1.382 million Hai Phong, 1.188 million Da Nang, 1.078 million Bien Hoa (2022)

Virgin Islands

52,000 CHARLOTTE AMALIE (capital) (2018)

Wallis and Futuna

1,000 MATA - UTU (capital) (2018)

Yemen

3.182 million SANAA (capital), 1.045 million Aden (2022)

Zambia

3.042 million LUSAKA (capital) (2022)

Zimbabwe

1.558 million HARARE (capital) (2022)

Definitions

European countries define urbanized areas on the basis of urban-type land use, not allowing any gaps of typically more than 200 metres (220 yd), and use satellite imagery instead of census blocks to determine the boundaries of the urban area. In less-developed countries, in addition to land use and density requirements, a requirement that a large majority of the population, typically 75%, is not engaged in agriculture and/or fishing is sometimes used.

East Asia

China

Since 2000, China's cities have expanded at an average rate of 10% annually. It is estimated that China's urban population will increase by 292 million people by 2050,[2] when its cities will house a combined population of over one billion.[11] The country's urbanization rate increased from 17.4% to 46.6% between 1978 and 2009.[12] Between 150 and 200 million migrant workers work part-time in the major cities, returning home to the countryside periodically with their earnings.[13][14]

Today, China has more cities with one million or more long-term residents than any other country, including the three global cities of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai; by 2025, the country will be home to 221 cities with over a million inhabitants.[11] The figures in the table below are from the 2008 census, and are only estimates of the urban populations within administrative city limits; a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which includes suburban and rural populations). The large "floating populations" of migrant workers make conducting censuses in urban areas difficult;[15] the figures below include only long-term residents.

Panoramic view of Pudong's Skyline from the Bund in Shanghai.

Japan

In Japan urbanized areas are defined as contiguous areas of densely inhabited districts (DIDs) using census enumeration districts as units with a density requirement of 4,000 inhabitants per square kilometre (10,000/sq mi).

South Asia

India

For the Census of India 2011, the definition of urban area is a place having a minimum population of 5,000 of density 400 persons per square kilometre (1,000/sq mi) or higher, and 75% plus of the male working population employed in non-agricultural activities. Places administered by a municipal corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee are automatically considered urban areas.[16]

The Census of India 2011 also defined the term "urban agglomeration" as an integrated urban area consisting of a core town together with its "outgrowths" (contiguous suburbs).[17]

India gate panorama.
(2011 census)[18][19]

Mumbai
Mumbai


Delhi
Kolkata
Kolkata
Chennai
Chennai
Bangalore
Bangalore
Hyderabad
Hyderabad
RankCity NameState/TerritoryPopulationRankCity NameState/TerritoryPopulation

Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Pune
Pune


Surat
Jaipur
Jaipur
Kanpur
Kanpur
Lucknow
Lucknow
1MumbaiMaharashtra18,394,91228LudhianaPunjab1,618,879
2DelhiDelhi16,349,83129NashikMaharashtra1,562,769
3KolkataWest Bengal14,112,53630VijayawadaAndhra Pradesh1,491,202
4ChennaiTamil Nadu8,696,01031MaduraiTamil Nadu1,465,625
5BengaluruKarnataka8,520,43532VaranasiUttar Pradesh1,435,113
6HyderabadTelangana7,749,33433MeerutUttar Pradesh1,424,908
7AhmedabadGujarat6,361,08434FaridabadHaryana1,414,050
8PuneMaharashtra5,057,70935RajkotGujarat1,390,933
9SuratGujarat4,591,24636JamshedpurJharkhand1,339,438
10JaipurRajasthan3,073,35037SrinagarJammu and Kashmir1,273,312
11KanpurUttar Pradesh2,920,49638JabalpurMadhya Pradesh1,268,848
12LucknowUttar Pradesh2,902,92039AsansolWest Bengal1,243,414
13NagpurMaharashtra2,497,87040Vasai-VirarMaharashtra1,222,390
14GhaziabadUttar Pradesh2,375,82041AllahabadUttar Pradesh1,216,719
15IndoreMadhya Pradesh2,170,29542DhanbadJharkhand1,196,214
16CoimbatoreTamil Nadu2,151,46643AurangabadMaharashtra1,193,167
17KochiKerala2,119,72444AmritsarPunjab1,183,705
18PatnaBihar2,049,15645JodhpurRajasthan1,138,300
19KozhikodeKerala2,030,51946RanchiJharkhand1,126,741
20BhopalMadhya Pradesh1,886,10047RaipurChhattisgarh1,123,558
21ThrissurKerala1,861,26948KollamKerala1,110,668
22VadodaraGujarat1,822,22149GwaliorMadhya Pradesh1,102,884
23AgraUttar Pradesh1,760,28550BhilaiChhattisgarh1,064,222
24VisakhapatnamAndhra Pradesh1,730,32051ChandigarhChandigarh1,026,459
25MalappuramKerala1,699,06052TiruchirappalliTamil Nadu1,022,518
26ThiruvananthapuramKerala1,687,40653KotaRajasthan1,001,694
27KannurKerala1,642,89254MysoreKarnataka990,900


Pakistan

In Pakistan, an area is a major city and municipality if it has more than 100,000 inhabitants according to census results. Cities include adjacent cantonments. Urbanisation in Pakistan has increased since the time of independence and has several different causes. The majority of southern Pakistan's population lives along the Indus River. Karachi is its most populous city.[20] In the northern half of the country, most of the population lives in an arc formed by the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Mardan and Peshawar. During 1990–2008, city dwellers made up 36% of Pakistan's population, making it the most urbanised nation in South Asia. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis live in towns of 5,000 people or more.[21] Karachi is the most populated city in Pakistan closely followed by Lahore according to the 2017 Census.

Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, there are total 532 urban areas, which are divided into three categories. Those are City Corporation, Municipal Corporation (Pourasova) and Upazila town. Among those urban areas, Dhaka is the largest city by population and area, with a population of 19.10 million.[22] In Bangladesh, there are total 11 City Corporations and 329 Municipal Corporations and 203 Small towns, which serves as the center for Upazilas. According to 2011 population census, Bangladesh has an urban population of 28%, with a growth rate of 2.8%.[23] At this growth rate, it is estimated that the urban population of Bangladesh will reach 79 million or 42% of total population by 2035.

Southeast Asia

Philippines

With an estimated population of 16.3 million, Metro Manila is the most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines and the 11th in the world. However, the greater urban area is the 5th largest in the world with a population of 20,654,307 people (2010 estimate).[24]

Singapore

As an island city-state, about 5.6 million people live and work within 700 square kilometres (270 sq mi). With 64 islands and islets, Singapore Island makes up the largest urban area in the country. According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the country has the highest urbanised population in Southeast Asia, with 100 percent of its population living in an urban area.[25] The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is responsible for the urban land-use planning, which designates land use and urban density of the country.[26] The country is divided into 5 regions for planning purposes by the URA, even though as a city state Singapore is defined as a single continuous urban area. It is further subdivided into 55 urban planning areas, which acts as the boundaries of planned towns within the country.[27]

Vietnam

In Vietnam, there are 6 types of urban areas:

Europe

Finland

(c) Santeri Viinamäki, CC BY-SA 4.0
A street sign indicating the beginning of an urban area in Finland. The picture was taken in Vimpeli.

As in other Nordic countries, an urban area (taajama in Finnish) in Finland must have a building at least every 200 m (660 ft) and at least 200 people. To be considered a town or a city (kaupunki) for statistical purposes, an urban area must have at least 15,000 people. This is not to be confused with the city / town designation used by municipalities.[28][29]

France

In France, an urban area (Fr: aire urbaine) is a zone encompassing an area of built-up growth (called an "urban unit" (unité urbaine)[30] – close in definition to the North American urban area) and its commuter belt (couronne). Americans would find the INSEE definition of the urban area[31] to be similar to their metropolitan area, and the INSEE sometimes uses the term aire métropolitaine[32] to refer to the country's largest aires urbaines.

The largest cities in France, in terms of urban area population (2017), are Paris (12,628,266), Lyon (2,323,221), Marseille (1,760,653), Toulouse (1,360,829), Bordeaux (1,247,977), Lille (1,191,117), Nice (1,006,201), Nantes (972,828), Strasbourg (790,087) and Rennes (733,320).[33]

Panorama of Paris as seen from the Eiffel Tower as full 360-degree view (river flowing from north-east to south-west, right to left)

Germany

Germany has a number of large cities. The largest conurbation is the Rhine-Ruhr region (11 million in 2008), including Düsseldorf (the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia), Cologne, Bonn, Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg, and Bochum.[34]

 
Largest urban agglomerations in Germany
RankNameState Pop.RankNameState Pop.

Rhine-Ruhr
Berlin
Berlin
1Rhine-RuhrNorth Rhine-Westphalia11,108,11711ChemnitzSaxony873,745
Rhine-Main

Stuttgart
2BerlinBerlin4,544,52512HanoverLower Saxony796,298
3Rhine-MainHesse3,146,34313DresdenSaxony790,534
4StuttgartBaden-Württemberg3,016,20814SaarSaarland758,249
5MunichBavaria2,374,27215BremenBremen664,603
6HamburgHamburg2,342,35616AachenNorth Rhine-Westphalia655,276
7Rhine-NeckarBaden-Württemberg1,410,71117KarlsruheBaden-Württemberg611,319
8NurembergBavaria1,228,59718AugsburgBavaria543,503
9LeipzigSaxony1,038,99619Freiburg im BreisgauBaden-Württemberg332,013
10BielefeldNorth Rhine-Westphalia929,00520KasselHesse330,654

Netherlands

The Netherlands is the 30th most densely populated country in the world, with 404.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,048/sq mi)—or 497 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,287/sq mi) if only the land area is counted. The Randstad is the country's largest conurbation located in the west of the country and contains the four largest cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht. The Randstad has a population of 7 million inhabitants and is the 6th largest metropolitan area in Europe.

Sweden

Urban areas in Sweden (tätorter) are statistically defined localities, totally independent of the administrative subdivision of the country. There are 1,956 such localities in Sweden, with a population ranging from 200 to 1,372,000 inhabitants.[35]

United Kingdom

In 2013 the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics (ONS) published 2011 Built-up Areas - Methodology and Guidance which sets out its definition of a built-up area as an area of built-up land of at least 20 hectares (0.077 sq mi), separated from other settlements by at least 200 metres (660 ft). For 2011 census data there are 5,493 built-up areas, of which 501 are divided into sub-divisions for which data is also available. Each built-up area is named algorithmically, using Ordnance Survey place-name data.[36]

The ONS has produced census results from urban areas since 1951, since 1981 based upon the extent of irreversible urban development indicated on Ordnance Survey maps. The definition is an extent of at least 20 ha and at least 1,500 census residents. Separate areas are linked if less than 200 m (220 yd) apart. Included are transportation features.[37] The UK has five Urban Areas with a population over a million and a further sixty nine with a population over one hundred thousand.

 
Largest urban areas of the United Kingdom
(England and Wales: 2011 census built-up area;[38] Scotland: 2016 estimates settlement;[39] Northern Ireland: 2001 census urban area)[40]
RankUrban area Pop.Principal settlementRankUrban area Pop.Principal settlement
London from a hot air balloon.jpg
Greater London Urban Area

Manchester from the Sky, 2008.jpg
Greater Manchester Urban Area

1Greater London Urban Area9,787,426London11Bristol Urban Area617,280BristolCentral Birmingham Skyline (6305750228).jpg
West Midlands Urban Area

Leeds-2-cropped.jpg
West Yorkshire Urban Area

2Greater Manchester Urban Area2,553,379Manchester12Edinburgh Urban Area512,150Edinburgh
3West Midlands Urban Area2,440,986Birmingham13Leicester Urban Area508,916Leicester
4West Yorkshire Urban Area1,777,934Leeds14Belfast Urban Area483,418Belfast
5Greater Glasgow985,290Glasgow15Brighton and Hove built-up area474,485Brighton
6Liverpool Urban Area864,122Liverpool16South East Dorset conurbation466,266Bournemouth
7South Hampshire855,569Southampton17Cardiff Urban Area390,214Cardiff
8Tyneside774,891Newcastle18Teesside376,633Middlesbrough
9Nottingham Urban Area729,977Nottingham19The Potteries Urban Area372,775Stoke-on-Trent
10Sheffield Urban Area685,368Sheffield20Coventry and Bedworth Urban Area359,262Coventry

Norway

Statistics Norway defines urban areas ("tettsteder") similarly to the other Nordic countries. Unlike in Denmark and Sweden, the distance between each building has to be of less than 50 m, although exceptions are made due to parks, industrial areas, rivers, and similar. Groups of houses less than 400 m from the main body of an urban area are included in the urban area.[41]

Poland

In Poland, official "urban" population figures simply refer to those localities which have the status of towns (miasta). The "rural" population is that of all areas outside the boundaries of these towns. This distinction may give a misleading impression in some cases, since some localities with only village status may have acquired larger and denser populations than many many smaller towns[42] with most excessive example of Poznań, most spread urban area of the country with population of the city app. 534 thousand and urban area above 1,100 thousand inhabitants. On the other hand, the Upper Silesian Industrial Region conurbation with numerous large and medium cities covers 3,200 km and has approximately 3 million people.

Russia

Moscow, the capital and largest city of Russia, has a population estimated at 12.4 million residents within the city limits,[43] while over 17 million residents in the urban area,[44] and over 20 million residents in the Moscow Metropolitan Area.[45] It is among the world's largest cities, being the most populous city entirely within Europe, the most populous urban area in Europe,[44] the most populous metropolitan area in Europe,[45] and also the largest city by land area on the European continent.[46] Saint Petersburg, the cultural capital, is the second-largest city, with a population of roughly 5.4 million inhabitants.[47] Other major urban areas are Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Chelyabinsk.

Oceania

Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics refers to urban areas as Urban Centres, which it generally defines as population clusters of 1,000 or more people.[48] Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world, with more than 50% of the population residing in Australia's three biggest urban centres.[48]

Sydney is Australia's largest city, home to 5.3 million inhabitants.[49]

New Zealand

Statistics New Zealand defines urban areas in New Zealand, which are independent of any administrative subdivisions and have no legal basis.[50] There are four classes of urban area: major urban areas (population 100,000+), large urban areas (population 30,000-99,999), medium urban areas (population 10,000-29,999) and small urban areas (population 1000-9,999). As of 2021, there are 7 major urban areas, 13 large urban areas, 22 medium urban areas and 136 small urban areas. Urban areas are reclassified after each New Zealand census, so population changes between censuses does not change an urban area's classification.

North America

Canada

According to Statistics Canada, an urban area in Canada is an area with a population of at least 1,000 people where the density is no fewer than 400 persons per square kilometre (1,000/sq mi).[51] If two or more urban areas are within 2 km (1.2 mi) of each other by road, they are merged into a single urban area, provided they do not cross census metropolitan area or census agglomeration boundaries.[52]

In the Canada 2011 Census, Statistics Canada redesignated urban areas with the new term "population centre";[53] the new term was chosen in order to better reflect the fact that urban vs. rural is not a strict division, but rather a continuum within which several distinct settlement patterns may exist. For example, a community may fit a strictly statistical definition of an urban area, but may not be commonly thought of as "urban" because it has a smaller population, or functions socially and economically as a suburb of another urban area rather than as a self-contained urban entity, or is geographically remote from other urban communities. Accordingly, the new definition set out three distinct types of population centres: small (population 1,000 to 29,999), medium (population 30,000 to 99,999) and large (population 100,000 or greater).[53] Despite the change in terminology, however, the demographic definition of a population centre remains unchanged from that of an urban area: a population of at least 1,000 people where the density is no fewer than 400 persons per km2.

United States

In the United States, there are two categories of urban area. The term urbanized area denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas under 50,000 people are called urban clusters. Urbanized areas were first delineated in the United States in the 1950 census, while urban clusters were added in the 2000 census. There are 1,371 urban areas and urban clusters with more than 10,000 people.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines an urban area as "core census block groups or blocks that have a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile (386 per square kilometer) and surrounding census blocks that have an overall density of at least 500 people per square mile (193 per square kilometer)".[54]

The largest urban area in the United States is the New York metropolitan area. The population of New York City, the core of the metropolitan area, exceeds 8.8 million people, its metropolitan statistical area has a population that is over 20 million, and its combined statistical area population is over 23 million. The next seven largest urban areas in the U.S. are Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, and Atlanta.[55] About 82 percent of the population of the United States lives within the boundaries of an urbanized area as of December, 2010.[56] Combined, these areas occupy about 2 percent of the land area of the United States. Many Americans live in agglomerations of cities, suburbs, and towns that are adjacent to a metropolitan area's largest city.

The skyscrapers of New York City, the most populous city in the United States and the most populous U.S. metropolitan area, are almost all situated in Manhattan, the world's largest central business district, seen here in this panorama in February 2018, as viewed from Weehawken, New Jersey.
  1. Riverside Church
  2. Time Warner Center
  3. 220 Central Park South
  4. Central Park Tower
  5. One57
  6. 432 Park Avenue
  7. 53W53
  8. Chrysler Building
  9. Bank of America Tower
  10. Conde Nast Building
  11. The New York Times Building
  12. Empire State Building
  13. Manhattan West
  14. a: 55 Hudson Yards, b: 35 Hudson Yards, c: 10 Hudson Yards, d: 15 Hudson Yards
  15. 56 Leonard Street
  16. 8 Spruce Street
  17. Woolworth Building
  18. 70 Pine Street
  19. 30 Park Place
  20. 40 Wall Street
  21. Three World Trade Center
  22. Four World Trade Center
  23. One World Trade Center

The concept of Urbanized Areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau is often used as a more accurate gauge of the size of a city, since in different cities and states the lines between city borders and the urbanized area of that city are often not the same. For example, the city of Greenville, South Carolina has a city population just over 68,000 and an urbanized area population of around 400,000, while Greensboro, North Carolina has a city population just over 285,000 and an urbanized area population of around 300,000 — meaning that Greenville is actually "larger" for some intents and purposes, but not for others, such as taxation, local elections, etc.

In the U.S. Department of Agriculture's natural resources inventory, urban areas are officially known as developed areas or urban and built-up areas. Such areas include cities, ethnic villages, other built-up areas of more than 10 ac (4 ha), industrial sites, railroad yards, cemeteries, airports, golf courses, shooting ranges, institutional and public administration sites, and similar areas. The 1997 national resources inventory placed over 98,000,000 ac (40,000,000 ha) in this category, an increase of 25,000,000 ac (10,000,000 ha) since 1982.[57]

South America

Argentina

Argentina is highly urbanized.[58] The ten largest metropolitan areas account for half of the population, and fewer than one in ten live in rural areas. About 3 million people live in Buenos Aires City and the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area totals around 15 million, making it one of the largest urban areas in the world, with a population of 18 million all up.[59]

Córdoba has around 1.5 million people living in the urban area, while Rosario, Mendoza and Tucumán have around 1.2 million inhabitants each[59] and La Plata, Mar del Plata, Salta and Santa Fe[59][60] have at least 500,000 people each.

Brazil

According to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) urban areas already concentrate 84.35% of the population, while the Southeast region remains the most populated one, with over 80 million inhabitants.[61] The largest metropolitan areas in Brazil are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte — all in the Southeastern Region — with 21, 12, and 5 million inhabitants respectively.[62] In general, state capitals are the largest cities in their states, except for Vitória, the capital of Espírito Santo, and Florianópolis, the capital of Santa Catarina. There are also non-capital metropolitan areas in the states of São Paulo (Campinas, Santos and the Paraíba Valley), Minas Gerais (Steel Valley), Rio Grande do Sul (Sinos Valley) and Santa Catarina (Itajaí Valley).[63]

São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, the largest city proper in the Southern Hemisphere, in the Americas, and the world's ninth-largest urban area by population.[64]
 
Largest urban agglomerations in Brazil
RankNameStatePop.RankNameStatePop.
São Paulo
São Paulo
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
1São PauloSão Paulo21,314,71611BelémPará2,157,180Belo Horizonte
Belo Horizonte
Recife
Recife
2Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro12,389,77512ManausAmazonas2,130,264
3Belo HorizonteMinas Gerais5,142,26013CampinasSão Paulo2,105,600
4RecifePernambuco4,021,64114VitóriaEspírito Santo1,837,047
5BrasíliaFederal District3,986,42515Baixada SantistaSão Paulo1,702,343
6Porto AlegreRio Grande do Sul3,894,23216São José dos CamposSão Paulo1,572,943
7SalvadorBahia3,863,15417São LuísMaranhão1,421,569
8FortalezaCeará3,594,92418NatalRio Grande do Norte1,349,743
9CuritibaParaná3,387,98519MaceióAlagoas1,231,965
10GoiâniaGoiás2,347,55720João PessoaParaíba1,168,941

See also

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