Urban population - Country Ranking - Asia

Definition: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverages.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 China 782,778,400.00 2016
2 India 438,777,400.00 2016
3 Indonesia 142,219,100.00 2016
4 Japan 119,283,400.00 2016
5 Russia 106,959,200.00 2016
6 Pakistan 75,782,130.00 2016
7 Iran 59,308,160.00 2016
8 Turkey 58,749,340.00 2016
9 Bangladesh 57,090,080.00 2016
10 Philippines 45,759,490.00 2016
11 Korea 42,324,860.00 2016
12 Thailand 35,492,260.00 2016
13 Vietnam 31,737,150.00 2016
14 Saudi Arabia 26,895,650.00 2016
15 Iraq 25,890,010.00 2016
16 Malaysia 23,505,840.00 2016
17 Myanmar 18,324,730.00 2016
18 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 15,487,040.00 2016
19 Uzbekistan 11,617,910.00 2016
20 Syrian Arab Republic 10,700,910.00 2016
21 Yemen 9,706,057.00 2016
22 Kazakhstan 9,473,182.00 2016
23 Afghanistan 9,402,875.00 2016
24 United Arab Emirates 7,953,698.00 2016
25 Jordan 7,933,891.00 2016
26 Israel 7,880,854.00 2016
27 Hong Kong SAR, China 7,346,700.00 2016
28 Singapore 5,607,283.00 2016
29 Nepal 5,505,277.00 2016
30 Azerbaijan 5,359,000.00 2016
31 Lebanon 5,280,702.00 2016
32 Kuwait 3,986,041.00 2016
33 Sri Lanka 3,902,836.00 2016
34 Oman 3,455,208.00 2016
35 Cambodia 3,301,428.00 2016
36 Turkmenistan 2,853,696.00 2016
37 Lao PDR 2,679,957.00 2016
38 Qatar 2,552,252.00 2016
39 Tajikistan 2,348,916.00 2016
40 Mongolia 2,204,642.00 2016
41 Kyrgyz Republic 2,180,648.00 2016
42 Georgia 2,001,950.00 2016
43 Armenia 1,829,706.00 2016
44 Bahrain 1,266,051.00 2016
45 Macao SAR, China 612,167.00 2016
46 Timor-Leste 423,749.00 2016
47 Brunei 327,998.00 2016
48 Bhutan 314,136.00 2016

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Development Relevance: 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. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." The population of a city or metropolitan area depends on the boundaries chosen.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual