Population in largest city - Country Ranking

Definition: Population in largest city is the urban population living in the 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 Japan 38,139,620.00 2016
2 India 26,453,830.00 2016
3 China 24,483,790.00 2016
4 Brazil 21,296,830.00 2016
5 Mexico 21,157,170.00 2016
6 Egypt 19,127,890.00 2016
7 United States 18,603,960.00 2016
8 Bangladesh 18,237,100.00 2016
9 Pakistan 17,121,430.00 2016
10 Argentina 15,333,630.00 2016
11 Turkey 14,365,330.00 2016
12 Nigeria 13,661,430.00 2016
13 Philippines 13,131,480.00 2016
14 Russia 12,259,630.00 2016
15 Dem. Rep. Congo 12,070,740.00 2016
16 France 10,925,230.00 2016
17 Indonesia 10,483,110.00 2016
18 United Kingdom 10,434,040.00 2016
19 Peru 10,072,360.00 2016
20 Colombia 9,968,232.00 2016
21 Korea 9,778,699.00 2016
22 South Africa 9,615,976.00 2016
23 Thailand 9,444,184.00 2016
24 Iran 8,515,571.00 2016
25 Vietnam 7,498,237.00 2016
26 Hong Kong SAR, China 7,364,933.00 2016
27 Malaysia 7,046,886.00 2016
28 Iraq 6,810,608.00 2016
29 Chile 6,543,879.00 2016
30 Saudi Arabia 6,539,712.00 2016
31 Spain 6,263,907.00 2016
32 Canada 6,082,916.00 2016
33 Angola 5,737,475.00 2016
34 Singapore 5,717,082.00 2016
35 Tanzania 5,408,669.00 2016
36 Sudan 5,264,922.00 2016
37 Côte d'Ivoire 5,019,689.00 2016
38 Myanmar 4,903,507.00 2016
39 Afghanistan 4,841,535.00 2016
40 Australia 4,539,598.00 2016
41 Kenya 4,070,051.00 2016
42 Italy 3,737,750.00 2016
43 Israel 3,661,189.00 2016
44 Senegal 3,653,028.00 2016
45 Syrian Arab Republic 3,641,048.00 2016
46 Germany 3,578,459.00 2016
47 Morocco 3,544,498.00 2016
48 Ethiopia 3,316,220.00 2016
49 Cameroon 3,203,778.00 2016
50 Yemen 3,094,124.00 2016
51 Greece 3,046,479.00 2016
52 Dominican Republic 3,019,989.00 2016
53 Guatemala 2,994,428.00 2016
54 Ukraine 2,965,625.00 2016
55 Burkina Faso 2,923,474.00 2016
56 Venezuela 2,923,130.00 2016
57 Portugal 2,901,521.00 2016
58 Kuwait 2,873,896.00 2016
59 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 2,872,063.00 2016
60 Ecuador 2,756,100.00 2016
61 Madagascar 2,738,588.00 2016
62 Ghana 2,717,586.00 2016
63 Mali 2,651,066.00 2016
64 Algeria 2,632,469.00 2016
65 Haiti 2,507,309.00 2016
66 United Arab Emirates 2,503,700.00 2016
67 Puerto Rico 2,460,271.00 2016
68 Azerbaijan 2,429,434.00 2016
69 Paraguay 2,405,588.00 2016
70 Zambia 2,285,349.00 2016
71 Somalia 2,264,850.00 2016
72 Uzbekistan 2,263,764.00 2016
73 Lebanon 2,262,936.00 2016
74 Bolivia 2,181,105.00 2016
75 Cuba 2,128,932.00 2016
76 Belgium 2,060,976.00 2016
77 Uganda 2,011,948.00 2016
78 Tunisia 2,010,125.00 2016
79 Guinea 1,988,702.00 2016
80 Congo 1,949,265.00 2016
81 Belarus 1,925,067.00 2016
82 Romania 1,865,107.00 2016
83 Cambodia 1,778,782.00 2016
84 Austria 1,762,604.00 2016
85 Poland 1,726,836.00 2016
86 Uruguay 1,716,162.00 2016
87 Hungary 1,712,054.00 2016
88 Panama 1,708,239.00 2016
89 Kazakhstan 1,534,894.00 2016
90 Zimbabwe 1,511,181.00 2016
91 Sweden 1,507,407.00 2016
92 Mongolia 1,420,605.00 2016
93 New Zealand 1,360,422.00 2016
94 Czech Republic 1,324,403.00 2016
95 Chad 1,310,206.00 2016
96 Liberia 1,305,451.00 2016
97 Rwanda 1,293,312.00 2016
98 Denmark 1,281,289.00 2016
99 Switzerland 1,259,403.00 2016
100 Bulgaria 1,230,102.00 2016
101 Nepal 1,224,098.00 2016
102 Mozambique 1,203,089.00 2016
103 Finland 1,189,821.00 2016
104 Ireland 1,184,771.00 2016
105 Costa Rica 1,182,767.00 2016
106 Serbia 1,182,686.00 2016
107 Jordan 1,159,493.00 2016
108 Honduras 1,145,547.00 2016
109 Georgia 1,145,475.00 2016
110 Libya 1,128,104.00 2016
111 Niger 1,124,974.00 2016
112 El Salvador 1,101,502.00 2016
113 Netherlands 1,098,684.00 2016
114 Lao PDR 1,049,737.00 2016
115 Armenia 1,040,261.00 2016
116 Sierra Leone 1,029,157.00 2016
117 Norway 1,002,450.00 2016
118 Mauritania 990,342.00 2016
119 Togo 984,904.00 2016
120 Nicaragua 963,195.00 2016
121 Malawi 945,072.00 2016
122 Kyrgyz Republic 873,856.00 2016
123 Oman 865,547.00 2016
124 Tajikistan 844,859.00 2016
125 Central African Republic 807,825.00 2016
126 Benin 805,822.00 2016
127 Burundi 797,121.00 2016
128 Turkmenistan 756,719.00 2016
129 Qatar 734,407.00 2016
130 Moldova 729,999.00 2016
131 Gabon 720,091.00 2016
132 Sri Lanka 709,451.00 2016
133 Eritrea 694,486.00 2011
134 Croatia 687,299.00 2016
135 Latvia 612,440.00 2016
136 Macao SAR, China 593,203.00 2016
137 Jamaica 589,287.00 2016
138 Djibouti 535,469.00 2016
139 The Gambia 518,736.00 2016
140 Lithuania 515,018.00 2016
141 Guinea-Bissau 511,524.00 2016
142 Macedonia 504,031.00 2016
143 Albania 462,846.00 2016
144 Bahrain 425,062.00 2016
145 Slovak Republic 398,143.00 2016
146 Estonia 390,509.00 2016
147 Namibia 380,289.00 2016
148 Papua New Guinea 352,625.00 2016
149 Bosnia and Herzegovina 315,759.00 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.)

Periodicity: Annual