A comparison of the top 10 most populated cities in the world can be a bit confusing, since the definition given to a city for the purposes of a census will vary between nations.
For instance, in the United States, the population of a city will only include the residents that are within its official boundaries. In other nations, the entire metropolitan area, including the suburbs are included in the census numbers.
We will provide you with data on the world’s top 10 most populated cities by straight city population, but will include data on the entire metropolitan areas, which will include a city and its suburbs.
10. New York City, New York U.S.A.
New York City has 8.4 million residents that reside within the city limits that includes the boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island, making New York the largest U.S. City.
The New York Metropolitan area includes parts of New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Over the years it has expanded to become the ninth largest metropolitan area on earth, with over 20 million residents.
Throngs of travelers from around the globe flock to NY for its entertainment, nightlife, cuisine, museums, and architecture.
9. Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City has a population of about 8.85 million people, making it the most populous city in North America. As a metropolitan area, it ranks second behind Tokyo with an incredible 21 million residents living in Mexico City and its environs.
The Aztecs founded Mexico City in 1325 and made it the capital of their empire. In 1521 the Spaniards conquered the region and it was the capital of the Spanish American colonies. Mexico City has been Mexico’s capital since 1821 when it became independent from Spain.
8. Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. Jakarta has more than 9.608 million residents and the metropolitan area has over 30.2 million people.
The city was originally settled in about 430 A.D. English and Dutch trading companies fought for control of the region in the 1600s, with the Dutch emerging victorious. Indonesia became independent from the Dutch in 1949, and the name of the city was changed to Djakarta at that time. In 1972, the “d” was eliminated and the name of the city became Jakarta.
7. Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is the capital of South Korea and has 10.01 million inhabitants. The literal meaning of Seoul is “capital” in the Korean language.
The Seoul metropolitan region has about 25.5 million residents. Seoul has the largest water park in the world, called Caribbean Bay that first opened in 1996. It is the most attended water park in the world.
6. Moscow, Russia
Moscow is Russia’s capital and one of the largest European cities. The population of Moscow is roughly 11.92 million and adding in the suburbs brings the population over 16 million.
Moscow became Russia’s most prominent city near the latter part of the 15th century. It was the capital of the Russian empire until 1712, when the capital was changed to St. Petersburg. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Moscow became Russia’s capital again in 1918.
Gorky Park is one of the primary attractions of the city and it is a center of amusement and entertainment.
5. Mumbai, India
Mumbai has been called Bombay until recently and it is the biggest city in India. The population of Mumbai is 11.98 million people. Mumbai was originally founded by the Portuguese in the 1530’s. The population of the city grew quickly after the Suez Canal opened in 1869.
Bombay was renamed Mumbai in 1996 and its metropolitan region is home to 21 million residents.
4. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo has a population of 12.04 million people and it was founded in 1554 by Jesuit missionaries from Portugal. Over time Sao Paulo has grown into the largest city in South America.
Sao Paulo was a small enclave until the mid 1800’s when it became the primary commercial center in the coffee industry in Brazil.
Today, Sao Paulo and its environs are home to more than 25 million residents. There is a very diverse population in the area consisting of Japanese, Italian, African, and other ethnic groups. Modern Sao Paulo is a very dynamic city and it is well known for its nightlife.
3. Tokyo, Japan
The largest city in Japan is an extremely busy metropolis with 13.62 million residents. The Tokyo metropolitan area is the world’s largest urban center with over 37 million residents that are packed into an area that is less than 1,000 square miles.
Wars and natural disaster have destroyed most of the older buildings and architecture of Tokyo. Modern day Tokyo is a very modern metropolis with almost non-existent personal space available.
2. Istanbul, Turkey
The city of Istanbul has about 14.03 million residents and the Istanbul metropolitan area has almost 15 million residents. Istanbul straddles the border between Europe and Asia. Istanbul is a seaport city and 75% of its population resides in the European portion of the city.
Instanbul is an ancient city and was named Constantinople when it was governed by the Romans. It was originally founded by Greeks in 600 B.C. The Ottomans conquered the city in 1453 and renamed it Istanbul.
Istanbul visitors can enjoy the ancient history and architecture of the city along with all the amenities of modern living.
1. Shanghai, China
Shanghai is the largest city in the nation with the largest population in the world. Shanghai has a population of over 14.35 million people. Shanghai is also one of the busy port cities in the world.
Beginning in 1842 Westerners settled in Shanghai when the British opened the Shanghai port to trade with foreigners. The Shanghai metropolitan area has more than 34 million residents and includes the original southern part of the city, the section previously settled by foreigners in the north and the surrounding suburbs.
Top 10 Most Populated Cities In The World