Population in the largest city (% of urban population) - Country Ranking

Definition: Population in largest city is the percentage of a country's urban population living in that country's largest metropolitan area.

Source: United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Singapore 100.00 2016
1 Hong Kong SAR, China 100.00 2016
3 Macao SAR, China 96.90 2016
4 Puerto Rico 77.08 2016
5 Eritrea 74.07 2011
6 Djibouti 73.39 2016
7 Kuwait 72.10 2016
8 Mongolia 64.44 2016
9 Panama 63.30 2016
10 Burundi 61.29 2016
11 Paraguay 59.69 2016
12 Congo 57.80 2016
13 Georgia 57.22 2016
14 Armenia 56.85 2016
15 Liberia 56.48 2016
16 Guinea-Bissau 56.24 2016
17 Cambodia 53.88 2016
18 Senegal 53.79 2016
19 Uruguay 52.20 2016
20 Afghanistan 51.49 2016
21 Burkina Faso 51.09 2016
22 Israel 46.46 2016
23 Latvia 46.38 2016
24 Egypt 46.25 2016
25 Moldova 45.58 2016
26 Azerbaijan 45.33 2016
27 Angola 44.43 2016
28 Estonia 43.97 2016
29 Portugal 43.90 2016
30 Central African Republic 43.59 2016
31 Lebanon 42.85 2016
32 Guinea 42.61 2016
33 Macedonia 42.34 2016
34 The Gambia 42.25 2016
35 Gabon 41.63 2016
36 Chile 40.74 2016
37 Peru 40.17 2016
38 Chad 40.08 2016
39 Kyrgyz Republic 40.07 2016
40 Somalia 39.52 2016
41 Lao PDR 39.17 2016
42 Sudan 39.12 2016
43 Ireland 39.07 2016
44 Haiti 38.66 2016
45 Côte d'Ivoire 38.61 2016
46 Mauritania 38.09 2016
47 Argentina 38.06 2016
48 Jamaica 37.16 2016
49 Rwanda 36.45 2016
50 Mali 36.21 2016
51 Greece 36.19 2016
52 Tajikistan 35.97 2016
53 Dem. Rep. Congo 35.64 2016
54 Dominican Republic 35.52 2016
55 Guatemala 34.71 2016
56 Sierra Leone 34.51 2016
57 Syrian Arab Republic 34.03 2016
58 New Zealand 33.58 2016
59 Bahrain 33.57 2016
60 Papua New Guinea 33.45 2016
61 Zambia 33.29 2016
62 Kenya 32.23 2016
63 Namibia 32.20 2016
64 Togo 32.00 2016
65 Japan 31.97 2016
66 Bangladesh 31.94 2016
67 Yemen 31.88 2016
68 Malawi 31.75 2016
69 United Arab Emirates 31.48 2016
70 Costa Rica 31.35 2016
71 Madagascar 30.78 2016
72 Austria 30.52 2016
73 Tanzania 30.12 2016
74 Serbia 30.10 2016
75 Malaysia 29.98 2016
76 Uganda 29.49 2016
77 Bolivia 29.07 2016
78 Zimbabwe 28.99 2016
79 Qatar 28.77 2016
80 Philippines 28.70 2016
81 Niger 28.63 2016
82 Croatia 27.80 2016
83 Albania 27.57 2016
84 Lithuania 26.96 2016
85 Myanmar 26.76 2016
86 Colombia 26.71 2016
87 Thailand 26.61 2016
88 Turkmenistan 26.52 2016
89 Nicaragua 26.50 2016
90 South Africa 26.34 2016
91 Iraq 26.31 2016
92 Ecuador 26.29 2016
93 Tunisia 26.29 2016
94 Belarus 26.28 2016
95 El Salvador 25.84 2016
96 Finland 25.67 2016
97 Denmark 25.45 2016
98 Oman 25.05 2016
99 Cameroon 24.88 2016
100 Turkey 24.45 2016
101 Hungary 24.33 2016
102 Saudi Arabia 24.32 2016
103 Cuba 24.04 2016
104 Norway 23.73 2016
105 Vietnam 23.63 2016
106 Bulgaria 23.24 2016
107 Korea 23.10 2016
108 Libya 22.76 2016
109 Honduras 22.73 2016
110 Pakistan 22.59 2016
111 Bosnia and Herzegovina 22.48 2016
112 Nepal 22.23 2016
113 Australia 21.01 2016
114 Mexico 20.86 2016
115 France 20.48 2016
116 Canada 20.44 2016
117 Switzerland 20.33 2016
118 Uzbekistan 19.49 2016
119 United Kingdom 19.19 2016
120 Belgium 18.55 2016
121 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 18.54 2016
122 Sri Lanka 18.18 2016
123 Sweden 17.71 2016
124 Ghana 17.62 2016
125 Romania 17.29 2016
126 Czech Republic 17.18 2016
127 Spain 16.90 2016
128 Benin 16.69 2016
129 Morocco 16.56 2016
130 Ethiopia 16.26 2016
131 Kazakhstan 16.20 2016
132 Nigeria 15.11 2016
133 Jordan 14.61 2016
134 Iran 14.36 2016
135 Slovak Republic 13.72 2016
136 Mozambique 12.84 2016
137 Brazil 11.93 2016
138 Russia 11.46 2016
139 Venezuela 10.40 2016
140 Ukraine 9.43 2016
141 Algeria 9.09 2016
142 Italy 8.92 2016
143 Poland 7.52 2016
144 Indonesia 7.37 2016
145 Netherlands 7.09 2016
146 United States 7.04 2016
147 India 6.03 2016
148 Germany 5.73 2016
149 China 3.13 2016

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Development Relevance: A metropolitan area includes the urban area, and its satellite cities plus intervening rural land that is socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties through commuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market. According to the United Nations' definition, a metropolitan area includes both the contiguous territory inhabited at urban levels of residential density and additional surrounding areas of lower settlement density that are also under the direct influence of the city (e.g., through frequent transport, road linkages, commuting facilities etc.). Explosive growth of cities globally signifies the demographic transition from rural to urban, and is associated with shifts from an agriculture-based economy to mass industry, technology, and service. For the first time ever, the majority of the world's population lives in a city, and this proportion continues to grow. One hundred years ago, 2 out of every 10 people lived in an urban area. By 1990, less than 40 percent of the global population lived in a city, but as of early 2010s, more than half of all people live in an urban area. By 2030, 6 out of every 10 people will live in a city, and by 2050, this proportion will increase to 7 out of 10 people. About half of all urban dwellers live in cities with between 100,000-500,000 people, and fewer than 10% of urban dwellers live in megacities (a city with a population of more than 10 million, as defined by UN HABITAT). Currently, the number of urban residents is growing by nearly 60 million every year. By the middle of the 21st century, the urban population will almost double, reaching 6.4 billion in 2050. Almost all urban population growth in the next 30 years will occur in cities of developing countries. By the middle of the 21st century, it is estimated that the urban population of developing counties will more than double, reaching almost 5.2 billion in 2050. In high-income countries, the urban population is expected to remain largely unchanged over the next two decades, reaching to just over 1 billion by 2025. In these countries, immigration (legal and illegal) will account for more than two-thirds of urban growth. Without immigration, the urban population in these countries would most likely decline or remain static. In principle, cities offer a more favorable setting for the resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas. Cities generate jobs and income, and deliver education, health care and other services. Cities also present opportunities for social mobilization and women's empowerment. Poverty is growing faster in urban than in rural areas. According to UN one billion people live in urban slums, which are typically overcrowded, polluted and dangerous, and lack basic services such as clean water and sanitation.

Limitations and Exceptions: Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverage. There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. Some define urban areas based on the presence of certain infrastructure and services. And other countries designate urban areas based on administrative arrangements. Because of national differences in the characteristics that distinguish urban from rural areas, the distinction between urban and rural population is not amenable to a single definition that would be applicable to all countries. For example, in Botswana, agglomeration of 5,000 or more inhabitants where 75 per cent of the economic activity is non-agricultural is considered "urban" while in Iceland localities of 200 or more inhabitants, and in Peru population centers with 100 or more dwellings, are considered "urban." In the United States places of 2,500 or more inhabitants, generally having population densities of 1,000 persons per square mile or more are considered "urban". Estimates of the world's urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. According to China's State Statistical Bureau, by the end of 1996 urban residents accounted for about 43 percent of China's population, more than double the 20 percent considered urban in 1994. In addition to the continuous migration of people from rural to urban areas, one of the main reasons for this shift was the rapid growth in the hundreds of towns reclassified as cities in recent years. Because the estimates of city and metropolitan area are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. The indicator is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. The United Nations Population Division and other agencies provide current population estimates for developing countries that lack recent census data and pre- and post-census estimates for countries with census data. The cohort component method - a standard method for estimating and projecting population - requires fertility, mortality, and net migration data, often collected from sample surveys, which can be small or limited in coverage. Population estimates are from demographic modeling and so are susceptible to biases and errors from shortcomings in the model and in the data. Because the five-year age group is the cohort unit and five-year period data are used, interpolations to obtain annual data or single age structure may not reflect actual events or age composition. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." Typically, a community or settlement with a population of 2,000 or more is considered urban, but national definitions are most commonly based on size of locality. Eurostat defines urban areas as clusters of contiguous grid cells of 1 km2 with a density of at least 300 inhabitants per km2 and a minimum population of 5,000. Further it defines high-density cluster as contiguous grid cells of 1 km2 with a density of at least 1,500 inhabitants per km2 and a minimum population of 50,000. The population of a city or metropolitan area depends on the boundaries chosen. For example, in 1990 Beijing, China, contained 2.3 million people in 87 square kilometers of "inner city" and 5.4 million in 158 square kilometers of "core city." The population of "inner city and inner suburban districts" was 6.3 million and that of "inner city, inner and outer suburban districts, and inner and outer counties" was 10.8 million. (Most countries use the last definition.)

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual