List of metropolitan areas by population

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One concept which measures the world's largest cities is that of the metropolitan area, which is based on the concept of a labor market area and is typically defined as an employment core (an area with a high density of available jobs) and the surrounding areas that have strong commuting ties to the core. There is currently no generally accepted, globally consistent definition of exactly what constitutes a metropolitan area, thus making comparisons between cities in different countries especially difficult.[1]

One attempt at arriving at a consistently defined metropolitan area concept is the study by Richard Forstall, Richard Greene, and James Pick. The basic principles of their definition involve delineating the urban area as the core, then adding surrounding communities that meet two criteria: (1) Less than 35% of the resident workforce must be engaged in agriculture or fishing; and (2) At least 20% of the working residents commute to the urban core.[1]

Based on their consistently defined metropolitan area criteria, they tabulate a list of the twenty largest metropolitan areas in 2003.[1][2] As population figures are interpreted and presented differently according to different methods of data collection, definitions and sources, these numbers should be viewed as approximate. Data from other sources may be equally valid but differ due to being measured according to different criteria or taken from different census years.


Metropolitan areaCountryRankForstall
2003 est.[2]
Official populationYear
Ahmedabad India6,352,254[3]2011
Atlanta United States5,457,831[4]2012
Bangalore India8,728,906[3]2011
Barcelona Spain5,357,422[5]2012
Belo Horizonte Brazil5,504,635[6]2012
Beijing China1912,500,000
Berlin Germany5,097,712[5]2012
Bogotá Colombia9,023,644[7][8]2014
Buenos Aires Argentina1713,170,00012,801,364[9]2010
Cairo Egypt1614,450,000
Chennai India8,917,749[3]2011
Chicago United States9,175,0009,522,434[4]2012
Dallas–Fort Worth United States6,700,991[4]2012
Delhi India818,600,00021,753,486[3]2011
Dhaka Bangladesh12,797,394[10]2008
Houston United States6,177,035[4]2012
Hyderabad India7,749,334[3]2011
İstanbul Turkey14,160,467[11]2014
Jakarta Indonesia618,900,00028,019,545[12]2010
Karachi Pakistan2011,800,000
Kolkata India1415,100,00014,617,882[3]2011
Lima Peru9,735,587[13]2014
London United Kingdom1812,875,00013,614,409[5]2012
Los Angeles United States1315,250,00013,052,921[4]2012
Madrid Spain6,387,824[5]2012
Manila Philippines1116,300,00011,855,975[14]2010
Mexico City Mexico320,450,00020,116,842[15]2010
Miami United States5,762,717[4]2012
Moscow Russia1515,000,00017,000,000[16][17]
Mumbai India519,200,00020,748,395[3]2011
Nagoya Japan9,107,000[18]2010
New York United States419,750,00019,831,858[4]2012
Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto (Keihanshin) Japan917,375,00019,342,000[18]2010
Paris France12,223,100[19]2010
Philadelphia United States6,018,800[4]2012
Pune India5,049,968[3]2011
Ruhr Germany5,135,136[5]2012
Rio de Janeiro Brazil11,846,530[6]2012
São Paulo Brazil718,850,00019,956,590[6]2012
Santiago Chile6,683,852[20]2012
Shanghai China1016,650,000
Seoul South Korea220,550,00025,721,000[21]2012
Singapore Singapore5,312,000[22]2012
Tokyo Japan132,450,00036,923,000[18]2010
Toronto Canada5,583,064[23]2011
Washington, D.C. United States5,860,342[4]2012

See also[edit]

Lists of metropolitan areas by region[edit]

Lists of metropolitan areas by country or region[edit]


  1. ^ a b c R.L. Forstall, R.P. Greene, and J.B. Pick, Which are the largest? Why lists of major urban areas vary so greatly, Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie 100, 277 (2009), Table 4
  2. ^ a b R.L. Forstall, R.P. Greene, and J.B. Pick, "Which are the largest? Why published populations for major world urban areas vary so greatly", City Futures Conference, (University of Illinois at Chicago, July 2004) – Table 5 (p.34)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "INDIA STATS : Million plus cities in India as per Census 2011". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i ""Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012"". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Eurostat: Metropolitan regions". Eurostat. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "IBGE releases the population estimates of the municipalities in 2012". IBGE. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Censo DANE 2005
  8. ^ Estimaciones de población de los municipios colombianos 2005 -2009 según DANE.
  9. ^ "Censo 2010. Resultados provisionales: cuadros y gráficos" (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INDEC). Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "Population of Statistical Metropolitan Areas (SMA): Dhaka". Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). p. 13. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Results of Address Based Population Registration System, 2013". Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Central Bureau of Statistics provincial data" (in Indonesian). Badan Pusat Statistik Republik Indonesia. 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "PERÚ: ESTIMACIONES Y PROYECCIONES DE POBLACIÓN TOTAL POR SEXO DE LAS PRINCIPALES CIUDADES". Instituto Nacional de Estadistica e Informatica (INEI) (in Spanish). Scribd. March 2012. p. 32. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "National Capital Region. Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". National Statistics Office of the Philippines. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Cuadro 5.13. Zona metropolitana del Valle de México: Población, tasa de crecimiento y densidad media urbana, 1990-2010" (in Spanish). INEGI. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Moscow - Moscow International Portal :: Transport and road infrastructure. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  18. ^ a b c "Table 2.10 Population of Three Major Metropolitan Areas". Statistics Bureau of Japan. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Aire urbaine 2010 : Paris (001)". Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE). Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Región Metropolitana de Santiago" (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "통계표명 : 수도권 권역" (in Korean). Statistics Korea. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Population (Mid-Year Estimates)". Statistics Singapore. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  23. ^ "Toronto (Census metropolitan area)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 

External links[edit]