Munich (Bavaria) is Germany's third-largest city

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The largest cities in the
world and their mayors


26 December 2010: City Mayors invites readers and scholars to comment on the data and information included in the tables The largest Cities in the World and their Mayors. We are also grateful for the reporting of any discrepancies and the provision of facts and figures missing from the tables. The data is updated monthly. Please insert ‘Largest cities 2011’ in the subject line of any email. Below are some of the comments received to date.


By size of cities: 1 to 150 | 151 to 300 | 301 to 450 | 451 to 600 |
City by city: A to D | E to L | M to R | S to Z |
Country by country: A to D | E to L | M to R | S to Z |

From Liaquat Ali, Karachi: I recently saw your determination of Karachi to be the largest city in the world: I have performed a study at the end of 2008 to make the same
determination. I am trying to compare my methodology with yours.
Posted 14 April 2010

Australian cities
From Sonja Lyneham, Sydney: Cities and metropolitan regions in Australia are planned and managed by state governments rather than mayors who are responsible for local government authorities which vary in size. In the case of Sydney, the city of Sydney is the CBD and the population, size of the city as published in your table does not co-incide with the area that falls within the responsibility of the Mayor of the City of Sydney. The size of LGA's in Australia vary significantly. In the case of Brisbane, the local government area (LGA) extends over a far larger area, although the city and metropolitan area now extends beyond the boundaries of the Brisbane City Council LGA.  The agencies responsible for infrastructure within the cities and metropolitan area are State Government entities with funding allocation from State Government treasuries. Posted 14 April 2010
Editor's reply: Publishing urban population figures for Australian cities has often been fraught with difficulties. In the past we have taken a narrow view and only measured a city’s core resident populations, which in the case of Melbourne, is tiny compared to the population of Greater Melbourne – 90,000 versus 3.6 million. We have now been persuaded that the latter figure is a truer reflection of the size of Melbourne.

Metro areas
From Rita Gildea-Bryant, EMC Corporation, Hopkinton, USA: I have a question about the data contained in the " Largest cities 2010" on your website.   I have data attributed to your site as well as PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS, and World data from IMF. This data is for 2008 and Tokyo is listed as the largest urban area; in the article from the 15 February 2010 Tokyo is listed as 15th largest urban area.  If I were to chart the top 22 largest urban areas for 2010 it would like much different than the 2008.  Would you help me understand why the data changed so dramatically?  Is it a function of better data collection that makes Karachi the largest urban area in 2010 with 15,500,000 million people? Posted 12 March 2010
Editor's reply: Our 2010 table lists Tokyo as the 15th largest city but with a metro population of more than 31 million it is probably the world’s largest urban area. However, defining metro/urban areas is fraught with difficulties. While in the US some common standards have been agreed, they are missing in most other parts of the world. Even in Europe there is no common definition of what constitutes a metro/urban area.

From Shawnn, China: Taiyuan city is one of 20 largest cities of China. Its population is 3,500,000 and there is a middle city which named 'yuci' also have 600,000 residents self-contained with Taiyuan. So Taiyuan has four million residents at least. Posted 12 March 2010

From Marija Pavlicic, Belgrade: Yugoslavia is no longer. Belgrade is now the capital of Serbia. Posted 10 March 2010
Editor's reply: Sorry, we should have spotted our mistake earlier. Corrections have now been made. Thank you.

Paris / London metro areas
From Rory Clarke, OECD, Paris: I am interested in knowing the definition used for London city and metro zone, and Paris metro zone. It seems to change from year to year. My understanding was that Paris built environment has over 10 million (inner suburbs etc), and that to get over 10 million for London you need to bring in green belts and outlying towns. So not a comparable figure, or am I mistaken?
As for Dublin, its tiny administrative centre kicks it off the list, but it’s actual city size (city reality) is close to 1.5 million.
Cheers and thanks for interesting info.
Posted 22 February 2010
Editor's reply: You are right, there is no common definition and/or list of European metro areas, although we do understand that within Eurostat and even your own organistions efforts are being made to arrive at a definition that could be applied to Europe’s principal conurbations. We believe it may be best to use commuting statistics, i.e. a community belongs to a city’s metro area if, for example, more than 25 per cent of its workforce travel to work to the core city. Other economic activities, such as shopping, could also be taken into consideration.
As far as Paris is concerned our figure for the city’s metro area corresponds to INSEE’s ‘aire urbaine’. Our figure for London’ s metro area includes residents from home county communities adjacent to Greater London. The home counties are Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex. Communities, which are part of  London’s metro area, include for example Reigate to the south, Dartford to the south-east, Brentwood to the east and Wycombe to the north. As you rightly say home county communities have no administrative links with London and many are located within the city’s green belt.

From Marc Sanderson , Malaga, Spain: What about Malaga, Spain? Mayor Francisoc de la Torre. Population 568,305  per the Spanish National Statistics Institute. I would be happy to provide more information.
Posted 16 February 2010
Editor's reply: Malaga has now been included in the lists of largest Cities and their Mayors.

From Juan José Herrera, Venezuela: Thank you for your information. Please keep me posted since I`m a "forum writer and a Democracy advocate". Your information can be useful to my other members of the forums.
Posted 16 February 2010

From John Christman, Milwaukee: Milwaukee was left off of your list. Milwaukee has long been an overlooked city in part due to its location of only 90 miles from Chicago, and its old smoke-stack rust belt image.  It has been a vital US city for over one hundred years and is in fact bigger than its ranking.  It counts only 96 square miles for its population compared to consolidated cities like Indianapolis (362 sq mi), Jacksonville (758 sq mi) and Nashville (473 sq mi).  If Milwaukee counted even its tiny county area poulation (221 sq mi) it would have been over a million in 1960.  So by the standards of such cities as Indianapolis that would have meant Milwaukee's 1960 population was 1,036,041 (counting an area slightly more than half of Indianapolis) ranking it 6th behind Detroit.  So please don't leave Milwaukee off your list. Posted 12 February 2010
Editor's reply: Milwaukee has now been included in the lists of largest Cities and their Mayors. It is ranked 569th in the world.

Vilnius and Tallinn
From Ikars Kublins, Vilnius: I noticed there are missing many notable cities in your largest world cities list: I can't find there such a cities like Lithuania's capital Vilnius, which has a population of about 550 000, Estonia's capital Tallinn (400 000), Lithuania's second largest city Kaunas (355 000), and many other smaller cities... How can it be that such a cities aren't included?
Posted 9 February 2010
Editor's reply: Vilnius has now been included in the list of largest cities and their mayors. It is ranked 593rd in the world. Tallinn is included but nor ranked,

Accurate information
From Thomas Werner, Munich: I find City Mayors a quite useful source of information for my daily work, so I read it with quite some attention to the detail. And I appreciate it that you try your best to have accurate information on City Mayors.
Posted 8 February 2010

Brazilian mayors
From Rodrigo, Rio de Janeiro: I attach a list with the names of Brazilian mayors. Posted 5 February 2010
Editor's reply: Thank you. The data for Brazil was updated 7 February 2010.

Munich and other German cities
From Thomas Werner, Munich: The official total population of Munich for 2008 was 1,367,314 (counted are only citizens whose main homes are in Munich) instead of 1,161,000 according to your statistics. The last time the number of residents in Munich was below 1.2 million was in the 1960ies. In the metro area of Munich has a population of 2.6 million and not 2.3 million. Also the population for Hamburg is currently rather 1,775,000 instead of the 1,688,000 in your statistics, by the way. Also I miss the German cities of Karlsruhe (pop. 290,736 in 2008) and Münster (pop 273.875 in 2008) Posted 2 February 2010.
Editor's reply: The data for Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Brazil was updated 7 February 2010.

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