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___ Megacities of the World
Visit the Most Populated Cities on Earth

This is a virtual travel to the world's most populous cities like New York, Shanghai, London, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Bangkok, Seoul, Mexico City.

Which is the largest city on the planet, this issue is sometimes the subject of small talk and you may impress, or may not, your audience when you state that this is the city of Chongqing, because most certainly nobody ever had heard of that city.
Chongqing in southwest China is one of the emerging Megacities with a population of more than 32 million people, sprawled over an area of 82 300 km² (this is larger than the Czech Republic, with 78 867 km²). Chongqing is de facto a Chinese province with the status of a provincial-level municipality like Shanghai, Beijing and Tanjin.
And this should be the largest?

In the chart below there are listed the largest cities of the world, ranked by urban area (City proper) population (*).
Sources: If possible the source is linked, mostly national or municipal statistic bureaus; other sources used: the United Nations Statistics Division - Citydata, abbr.: (UN); and Wikipedia, abbr.: (WP)

To learn more about the cities, the page provides links to the official city or municipality government website or to the official travel and tourism information site or other tourism guides related to a city.
The city's websites usually publish also information for visitors and tourists about cultural events, festivals, sightseeing and much more.

page keywords: largest city in the world, megacities of the world, world cities, world city population, most populated city in the world, city travel, city guides

Note: Figures are for latest available years.
The ranking is relative because of the different latest available data of a city population.

External links will open in a new browser window.


Biggest Cities on Earth

# City
  Shanghai's Pudong district
Skyscrapers in Shanghai's Pudong district.
Image: Baycrest

Shanghai (Chinese: 上海) - also named "Hu" or "Shen" in short. It is People's Republic of China's largest city and one of the largest cities in the world. It covers an area of 6 340 square kilometers. It is one of the world's largest seaports and a major industrial center of China.

Google Earth Google Earth Shanghai
Searchable map/satellite view of Shanghai.

Official Website
Official website of Shanghai Municipality.

Shanghai Tours
Website of Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration with visitors information.
14 348 535 (UN)
Metro: 17 000 000 (WP)

Shanghai Municipal Government
in 2007:
17 780 000
  Marathi Mumbai
Mumbai © Maharashtra Tourism

Marathi Mumbai (the former Bombay), capital of Maharashtra state, in India, port to the Arabian Sea and one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

Google Earth Google Earth Mumbai
Searchable map/satellite view of Mumbai.

Official Website
11 914 398 (UN)
13 922 125 (WP)

MidYear Estimated Population 2006:
13 072 464
Population 2001 Census: 11 978 450
source: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai
Beijing's Central Business District
Beijing - Chinese: 北京 Běijīng, (also formerly known in English as Peking),
Pei-Ching the "Northern Capital", capital and cultural center of the People's Republic of China.

Google Earth Google Map Beijing
Searchable map/satellite view of Beijing.

Official Website
11 509 595 (UN)
13 200 000 (WP)

15.38 million (source: Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics)
  Sao Paulo
São Paulo (Saint Paul) seen from Ibirapuera Park. © Turismo Cidade de São Paulo
São Paulo

the largest city in Brazil and the capital of the captaincy (state) São Paulo, founded as São Paulo de Piratininga (Saint Paul of the Fields of Piratininga) in 1554.

Google Earth Google Earth São Paulo
Searchable map/satellite view of São Paulo.
Official Website
São Paulo
Prefeitura da Cidade de São Paulo (in Portuguese)
São Paulo Turismo
Official tourism website of São Paulo.
11 016 703 (UN)
11 450 249 (WP)
  Seou l - DongA Marathon
Seoul - DongA Marathon - Photo: Mok, Gil-Soon
Seoul - in Korean 서울 (Soul-t'ukpyolsi)

Seoul, the city on the Han river is the national capital of South Korea,
Seoul was, until 1945, the capital of all of Korea, in ancient times Seoul was the capital of Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. ~ 660 A.D.)

Google Earth Google Earth Seoul
Searchable map/satellite view of Seoul.

Official Website
9 895 217 (UN)
10 421 782 (WP)

Seoul Metropolitan Government:
end of 2007
10 421 782
St Basil Cathedral and Kremlin, Moscow
Moscow, (Moskva) - the political center and the capital of the Russian Federation, first written mention of Moscow dates back to 1147.

Google Earth Google Earth Map of Moscow
Searchable map/satellite view of Moscow.

Official Website
10 433 869 (UN)
10 514 400 (WP)

Moscow City Government
10 509 000
. Lotus Temple
Bahá'í Lotus Temple, Delhi
Delhi - popularly known as Old Delhi, city and union territory, New Delhi to the south
is the capital of India.

Google Earth Google Earth Delhi
Searchable map/satellite view of Delhi.

Official Website
Delhi government website.
9 817 439 (UN)
13 782 976 (WP)

Census of India
13 782 976
(Urban Agglomeration, 2001 census)
. Chongqing
The city of Chongqing
Chongqing (in Chinese: 重慶; 重庆)
the metropolitan region of Chongqing is one of four provincial-level municipalities of China, the highest level classification for cities with a status equal to that of provinces. The city is the economic center of the upper Yangtze River with a population of more than 30 million people..

Google Earth Google Earth Map Chongqing
Searchable map/satellite view of Chongqing.

Official Website
Chongqing Municipal Government website.
9 691 901 (UN)
5 087 197 (WP)

more than 32 million people live in Chongqing's Administrative Area
. Istanbul
Istanbul at Night

Istanbul - a city with a great history, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople (official renamed to Istanbul in 1930). The former capital is the largest city and principal seaport and the cultural and financial center of Turkey. It is the only city in the world situated on two continents.

Google Earth Google Earth Map Istanbul
Searchable map/satellite view of Istanbul.

Official Website
Official website of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
9 555 719 (UN)
12 697 164 (WP)

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

12 573 000
. eheran,
The mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, Karachi.
Karachi - largest city and business capital of Pakistan. Karachis is Pakistan's principal seaport and the capital of Sindh province, located in southern Pakistan at the coast of the Arabian Sea (Indian Ocean).

Google Earth Google Earth Map Karachi
Searchable map/satellite view of Karachi.

Official Website
Karachi municipality government website.
9 339 023 (UN)
18 000 000 (WP)

City District Government Karachi
Population approx. in 2007
18 000 000
Mexico City, Nezahualcoyotl
Megalopolis - Mexico City, Nezahualcoyotl
Image: Oscar Ruiz (helipilot)
Mexico (City)
was in ancient times the pre-Columbian city of Tenochtitlán, today Mexico is the economic, industrial, and cultural center and the capital city of the United States of Mexico.

Google Earth Google Earth Mexico City
Searchable map/satellite view of Mexico City.

Official Website

Mexico City
El Portal Ciudadano del Gobierno del Distrito Federal.
Mexico City government website (in Spanish).

Mexico City
Mexico City tourism website.
8 836 045 (WP)
18 204 964 (UN)*

* Urban agglomeration
Jakarta at night
Jakarta - until 1949 the city was named Batavia, from 1949-72 its was named Djakarta.
Jakarta is primary port city, the largest city and the capital of Indonesia.

Google Earth Google Map of Jakarta
Searchable map/satellite view of Jakarta.

Official Website
City government website.
8 640 184 (UN)
8 500 000 (WP)
. Guangzhou
City of Guangzhou
Guangzhou - is the capital of Guangdong province located at Pearl River about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Hong Kong in the southern part of P.R. China. In its metropolitan area there live more than 8.5 million people.

Google Earth Google Earth Map Guangzhou
Searchable map/satellite view of Guangzhou.

Official Website
The official website (in Chinese)
Guangzhou International
The official website of Guangzhou Municipality
8 524 826 (UN)
6 253 300 (WP)
. Shinjuku Street Tokyo
Shinjuku Street Tokyo
Image: Zaida Montañana

Tokyo - the "Eastern Capital", formerly Edo (until 1868), the capital and largest city of Japan.

Google Earth Google Earth Map Tokyo
Searchable map/satellite view of Tokyo.

Official Website
8 489 653 (UN)
8 653 000 (WP)

Tokyo Metropolitan Government
12 790 000
NYC - The Big Apple - Manhattan Island
New York City

The city of the five 'boroughs': Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island (formerly Richmond), largest city of the United States.

Google Earth Google Earth Map of New York City
Searchable map/satellite view of New York City.

Official Website
New York City
The official New York City Web site.

The official tourism website of New York City.
8 143 197 (UN)
8 363 710 (WP)

U.S. Census Bureau
8 363 710

. tb
London Tower Bridge ©
Largest city and the capital of the United Kingdom, a confederal metropolis and a polycentric city, with many core districts and no clear hierarchy among them. The London administrative area comprises the City of London, and the thirty-two boroughs, of which 13 are in Inner London and 19 are in Outer London.

Google Earth Google Map London
Searchable map/satellite view of London.

Official Websites
Website of Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority.

Visit London
The London visitors guide.
8 278 251 (UN)
7 556 900 (WP)

Office for National Statistics - 2001 Census
8 278 251
. Tianjin
Tianjin City at Hai He River
Tianjin, T'ien-Ching, Tientsin Chinas fifth largest city.

Google Earth Google Map of Tianjin
Searchable map/satellite view of Tianjin.

Official Website
7 499 181 (UN)
8 200 000 (WP)**

City of Tanjin
Tanjin admin. region:
9 393 100

** Metropolitan Area
. Azadi Monument
Azadi Monument, Teheran
Tehran, since 1788 capital city of Persia (Iran) and since 1980 capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Google Earth Google Earth Tehran
Searchable map/satellite view of Tehran.

Official Website
Official website of Tehran municipality.
7 188 936 (UN)
13 413 348 (WP)

Statistical Centre of Iran
(in 2006/ 1385)
7 088 287

. HH
Hong Kong (SAR)
Hong Kong - 香港 Xianggang (Hsiang Kang, the fragrant harbour), the formerly British Dependent Territory of Hong Kong comprises of Victoria (commonly known as Hong Kong Island), the Kowloon Peninsula, the "New Territories", and 235 outlying islands.
Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People Republic of China on 1 July 1997.

Google Earth Google Earth Hong Kong
Searchable map/satellite view of Hong Kong.

Official Websites:
Hong Kong (official government website)
Hong Kong (website of Hong Kong Tourism Board)
6 857 100 (UN)
7 008 900 (WP)

Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department

Population End - 2008:
7 008 900
. Rifai and Sultan Hassan Mosques
Rifai and Sultan Hassan Mosques in Cairo
Cairo - Al-Qahirah, capital of Egypt and a cultural centre of the Arab world. Cairo is the largest city of the Middle East and in Africa.

Google Earth Google Earth Cairo
Searchable map/satellite view of Cairo.

Official Website
Official website of Cairo Governorate.
6 800 992 (UN)
6 758 581 (WP)
. Bogota, Capital of Colombia
Bogotá, Colombia's Capital City
Bogotá D.C. , formerly called Santa Fe de Bogotá, located on a mountain rimmed plateau in the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes Mountains, founded in 1538. Capital City of Colombia.

Google Earth Google Earth Bogotá
Searchable map/satellite view of Bogotá.

Official Website
Bogotá D.C.
6 945 216 (UN) *
6 776 009 (WP)  

DANE - Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadistica
Censo General 2005:
6 776 009

* Urban agglomeration
Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) a world known symbol for Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro, is the second largest city in Brazil, world famous for its carnival and the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

Google Earth Google Map of Rio de Janeiro
Searchable map/satellite view of Rio de Janeiro.

Official Websites
Rio de Janeiro
Website of the city prefecture.
Official website of Rio de Janeiro's Secretary of Tourism, Sports, and Leisure.
6 136 652 (UN)
6 161 047 (WP)

Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatstica
Population Estimate 2007:
6 093 000
  Santiago Skyline
Santiago's Growing Skyline
Image: Juan Marchant

Santiago de Chile - largest city and the capital of Chile.

Google Earth Google Earth Santiago
Searchable map/satellite view of Santiago.

Official Website
Municipality of Santiago website (in Spanish).
5 890 745 (UN)
5 651 008 (WP)
. Bangkok
Misty Bangkok

Bangkok - the Thai name is Krung Thep, the "City of Angels", formerly divided into two municipalities, Krung Thep and Thon Buri - the capital city, cultural and commercial center of Thailand.

Google Earth Google Earth Bangkok
Searchable map/satellite view of Bangkok.

Official Website
Bangkok's government official website.
6 858 000 (UN)*
8 160 522 (WP)

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

in 2005
5 658 953

* Urban agglomeration
. San Isidro district, Lima
Lima's San Isidro district
Lima - El Pulpo (The Octopus), commercial and industrial center and the capital city of Peru

Google Earth Google Earth Lima
Searchable map/satellite view of Lima.

Official Website
Municipalidad de Lima (in Spanish)
5 681 941 (UN)
7 605 742 (WP)
  Lagos Street Scene
Lagos Street Scene
Image: Sanni-Azeez

Lagos, formerly the capital and still the main commercial and industrial center and principal seaport of Nigeria

Google Earth Google Earth Lagos
Searchable map/satellite view of Lagos.

Official Website
Lagos State
Official website of the Lagos state government.
5 195 247 (UN)
7 937 932 (WP)

Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics
Metropolitan Lagos, Lagos State
9 013 534

. Badshahi Mosque, Lahore
Badshahi Mosque (Emperor's Mosque), Lahore's most famous landmark built in 1671-73, an example of the Mughal era architecture..
Image: Ali Imran
Lahore, is the capital of Punjab and second largest city in Pakistan, located in the upper Indus plain on the Ravi River, west of the border to India's province Himachal Pradesh.

Google Earth Google Earth Lahore
Searchable map/satellite view of Lahore.

Official Website
Lahore (offline)

Punjab Gateway
Portal of Government of the Punjab.

5 143 495 (UN)
6,936,563 (WP)

Federal Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan
1998 Census
5 143 495

Lets make it bigger.
For those who are interested why the population figures for major world urban areas vary so greatly by various sources and publications can read about the difficulty to get almost realistic population figures for metropolitan areas and cities.

For example New York City is listed in various World-Rankings of the Most Populous Cities, Urban Areas, Agglomerations, Conurbations etc. as follows:

No. 2 (pop. 30 400 000) in World Gazetteer in 2004, according to Richard L. Forstall (see below)
No. 6 (pop. 21 900 000) in City Population (The Principal Agglomerations of the World)
No. 3 (pop. 21 295 ,000) in Wendell Cox Consultancy's Demographia (Largest Urban Areas in the World: 2009)
No. 4 (pop. 19 750 000) in Wikipedia (List of metropolitan areas by population)
No. 5 (pop. 19 500 000) in Richard L. Forstall (Which are the largest?)
No. 2 (pop. 19 000 000) in United Nations Population Division (Urban Agglomerations 2007)
No. 5 (pop. 16 626 000) in (Largest Cities of the World - by population)

the figures for other cities vary accordingly by each publication.

The official population figure for New York City, according to U.S. Census Bureau is 8 363 710 (July 1, 2008)

Some publication just don't mention, that this figures are not for the City of New York, instead of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) including beside New York, the cities of Jersey City (NJ), Newark (NJ), Paterson (NJ), and Yonkers (NY), spread out over three states, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.
According to U.S. Census Bureau the population of 'New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA is 19 006 798.

See also the study of Richard L. Forstall and others: WHICH ARE THE LARGEST? WHY PUBLISHED POPULATIONS


* City proper or City limit is a locality with legally fixed boundaries and an administratively recognized urban status that is usually characterized by some form of local government, in other words, a city or town within its city limit without adjacent communities.

Urban area is the area that a city or town occupies, it is created and further developed by the process of urbanization.

** Urban agglomeration is an extended city or town area comprising the built-up area of a central place (usually a municipality) and any suburbs linked by continuous urban area, similar to Metropolitan Area.

Metropolitan area (Metro) is a large population center consisting of a large urban area (core city) together with adjacent communities and satellite cities plus its adjacent zone of influence including rural areas.

Images: some images are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License or the
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
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Actually, there are more than five colors,

Baron de Coubertin would have loved to use them all.

Why is it, that Gay and Lesbian people still are victims of persecution, harassment, and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm or worse?
Our world would be much poorer and colder without the creativity and ingenuity of the colorful LGBT* culture.
So, get up, stand up, and don't let it happen again and again and again.

Nature made sure, that all men are able to love each other without distinction of gender. This ability empowers humans to care for and to help each other. Natures gift simply secures the survival of the species.
But in some societies this natural law has been neglected by religions, governments and other interest groups in favour for better controllable straight-laced communities.

But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth
(lyrics from the song Get Up, Stand Up)
Bob Marley

* LGBT - acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Declaration of Human Rights

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.