World Mayor 2023

Largest cities in the world
Introduction, research & methodology

IN THIS SECTION: Largest cities: Introduction & research methodology ||| Largest cities 1 to 150 ||| Largest cities 151 to 300 ||| A to Z to largest cities ||| Countries with largest cities |||

About us

• Largest cities in the world (1 to 150)
• Largest cities in the world (151 to 300)
• A to Z to largest cities in the world
• Countries with the largest cities in the world
• Introduction to largest cities in the world

Largest cities in the world and their mayors (2017)
Largest cities with women mayors (2017)
Capital cities and their mayors (2017)

Mayors in Europe and their powers (2018)

Shanghai - the largest city in the worldMore than one billion people live
in the world's 300 largest cities
Research by City Mayors
March 2018:
 Each of the 25 largest cities in the world is home to more people than many countries. For example, London, ranked 23rd in the world, has more residents than nations like Paraguay, Denmark, New Zealand or Ireland, and if Shanghai, globally the largest city was a country, it would rank just below Australia but above Chile, the Netherland or Greece. The combined population of the world’s 19 megacities - cities with more than 10 million inhabitants – is greater than that of Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country. In total the world’s 300 largest cities are home to just over one billion people or 13 per cent of the world population. The total population of the world’s 300 largest metro areas amounts to 1.6 billion people or 21 per cent of the global population.

These are some of the findings of the City Mayors 2018 survey The world’s largest Cities and their Mayors.

According to the survey, there are 19 megacities in 2018. In addition to the world’s three largest cities, Shanghai, Beijing and Karachi, Istanbul, Dhaka, Tokyo and Moscow all have populations of more than 13 million. There are three cities, Jakarta, Cairo and Mexico City, with populations of between 9 and 10 million. Only 21 cities of the largest 300 cities of the world have populations of less than one million.

Metro areas
The survey’s ranking of the largest cities is based on the population of actual cities and, although providing the data, does not include people living in adjoining metropolitan areas. If greater metropolitan areas were taken into account, some additional 20 cities could claim megacity status. For example, Lagos with a population of 8 million is part of a metro region of some 16 million people. Cities with a populous hinterland also include, Jakarta, Cairo, Mexico City, Teheran, London and New York City.

China and India have the largest number of cities in the top 300 - 44 and 28 respectively. Other countries with strong representation include Brazil (14), Russia (13) and the USA (9).

The research was carried out during 2017 and early 2018. For the population data, the researchers consulted numerous national and international sources and in cases of large statistical inconsistencies elected to publish cautious averages. The figures for city populations comprise the number of residents within the unified administrative areas of cities, while the data for metro populations include residents of urban areas that are socially, culturally and economically dependent on the core city. (Please note, there is no internationally agreed definition of metro areas.) Readers and scholars are invited to inform of any discrepancies and/or provide missing facts and figures.

IN THIS SECTION: Largest cities research methodology ||| Largest cities 1 to 150 ||| Largest cities 151 to 300 ||| A to Z to largest cities ||| Countries with largest cities |||

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