Largest City in the World: Exploring its Wonders and Challenges

The definition of a city greatly influences its ranking as the largest; including urban areas may better reflect its true size and population.

Understanding the Largest City

Defining a ‘City’

When talking about the largest city, it’s important to understand that the definition of a city can greatly affect the rankings.

A city can be defined by its city proper, or the urban area within its administrative boundaries.

However, considering urban areas may provide a more accurate representation of a city’s size and its population, since it takes into account commuting flows, social interactions, and economic activities.

Measuring City Size: Population vs. Area

There are two common ways to measure city size: by population and by area.

When discussing the largest city in the world, population is commonly used as the metric.

However, comparing cities strictly by population could ignore important factors like population density and land area.

On the other hand, focusing on the largest cities by area may lead to overlooking densely populated urban centers.

Some common sources of data on city sizes are the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects and national statistical agencies.

These sources usually provide data on both population and area, allowing for comparisons between cities and a better understanding of urbanization trends.

Data Sources and Reliability

It is important to acknowledge that data sources may have varying definitions of cities, affecting the reliability and comparability of city statistics.

For example, the United Nations defines a metropolitan area as a formal local government area that includes the urban area as a whole and its primary commuter areas.

This can lead to differences in population and area estimations, depending on the area considered.

Despite these challenges, data sources such as the World Urbanization Prospects and various national statistical bureaus provide valuable insights into the largest cities in the world, their population trends, and the factors that drive urban growth and development.

By combining multiple sources and understanding the nuances of the data, we can gain a more accurate and comprehensive perspective on the largest cities and their characteristics.

Profiles of the Largest Cities Globally

Skyscrapers and cityscape of the largest cities globally

Tokyo: Japan’s Megacity

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is the largest city in the world with a population of around 37.1 million residents.

The city is known for its modern architecture, bustling streets, and expansive public transportation system.

Tokyo houses about 10% of Japan’s population, and when considering its greater metropolitan area, the population surpasses 37 million.

Delhi and Mumbai: India’s Dual Giants

India’s capital, Delhi, and its financial hub, Mumbai, are two of the largest cities in the world.

Delhi has a population of over 30 million, while Mumbai boasts around 20 million residents.

Both cities are experiencing rapid growth due to increased urbanization and migration from rural areas, making them central to India’s economic growth and development.

Chinese Metropolises: Shanghai and Beijing

Shanghai and Beijing, two of China’s most populous cities, hold significant global influence.

Shanghai, with a population of around 27 million, is the country’s economic powerhouse and a major international financial hub.

Beijing, on the other hand, is China’s political and cultural center with a population of approximately 21 million people.

China’s rapid urbanization and economic growth have propelled these cities onto the global stage.

New York City and The American Urban Landscape

New York City (NYC) is the largest city in the United States, with a population of over 8 million residents.

Often referred to as “The City That Never Sleeps,” NYC is an international center of culture, finance, and entertainment.

The city is famous for landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and Times Square.

The broader New York metropolitan area contains over 20 million residents, making it a significant part of the American urban landscape.

Emerging Powerhouses in Developing Countries

Lagos in Nigeria, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Karachi in Pakistan are among the largest cities in developing countries.

Rapid urbanization, industrialization, and increasing population growth contribute to their rise as emerging powerhouses.

Lagos, for example, has a population of over 20 million people, while Dhaka and Karachi both hold more than 15 million residents.

These cities are expected to play a significant role in shaping the future of their respective regions and beyond.