25 Biggest Cities in the World (by Population and Area)

You would think a city with a large population would need to have a lot of area, but that just isn’t the case. Cities come in all shapes and sizes. Explore some of the largest cities in the world based on area and population. 

city view of Tokyocity view of Tokyo

What’s the Biggest City in the World? 

When it comes to the biggest city in the world, it’s going to depend on who you ask. Their size is dependent on two different things: size and population. Depending on which statistic is being used, you might hear two names when it comes to the largest city in the world. 

New York - Newark

Based on the area that it encompasses, New York - Newark is the most populated place in the United States, but it is also the largest city in the world based on area. NYC is broken up into five different boroughs, and New York-Newark spans 4,660 square miles according to Demographia World Urban Areas 2020 report

Tokyo

However, when it comes to the largest city by population, Japan is where it is at. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Dynamics, Tokyo is the front runner with a population of more than 37 million people in 2020. Famous for its anime and video games, Tokyo is a sensory overload with bright colors and billboards lighting up the night. Harajuku is a top fashion scene where you can experience anime fashion in real life. 

25 Largest Cities in the World By Population

Cities around the world are huge. And each one has a different atmosphere for tourists and residents to enjoy. Dive into the top 25 largest cities by population according to UN Statistics and PopulationStat

Name 

Country 

2020 Population

Tokyo

Japan

37,397,065

Delhi

India

30,204,676

Shanghai 

China

26,986,291

Sao Paulo

Brazil

22,024,035

Mexico City

Mexico

27,771,356

Dhaka

Bangladesh

20,936,139

Cairo

Egypt

20,860,748

Beijing

China

20,421,587

Mumbai (Bombay)

India

20,389,133

Osaka

Japan

19,170,612

New York - Newark

United States

18,804,097

Karachi

Pakistan

16,059,845

Chongqing

China

15,821,880

Istanbul

Turkey

15,168,520

Buenos Aires

Argentina

15,144,615

Kolkata (Calcutta)

India

14,840,808

Lagos

Nigeria

14,323,108

Kinshasa

Democratic Republic of Congo

14,284,047

Manila

Philippines

13,901,328

Tianjin

China

13,570,328

Rio de Janeiro

Brazil

13,449,873

Guangzhou, Guangdong

China

13,269,687

Lahore

Pakistan

12,598,078

Moscow

Russia

12,532,002

Los Angeles - Long Beach - Santa Ana

United States

12,447,097

Biggest Cities in the World By Area

Some cities are full of lots of people, and some are just large. Now that you’ve seen how population fairs for the largest cities, it’s time to check out the cities with the largest area. Notice that the United States takes the cake when it comes to large cities by area. Examine the 25 largest cities based on land area demographics from Demographia. 

Name 

Country 

2020 Sq. Miles

New York - Newark

United States

4,669

Boston - Providence

United States

3,683

Tokyo

Japan

3,178

Atlanta

United States

2,857

Chicago

United States

2,705

Los Angeles

United States

2,452

Moscow

Russia

2,274

Washington - Baltimore

United States

2,124

Dallas - Fort Worth

United States

2,038

Houston

United States

2,038

Guangzhou-Foshan

China

1,676

Detroit

United States

1,648

Beijing

China

1,611

Shanghai

China

1,571

Nagoya

Japan

1,430

Cleveland

United States

1,379

Jakarta

Indonesia

1,367

Miami

United States

1,279

Seattle

United States

1,260

Phoenix

United States

1,250

Buenos Aires

Argentina

1,244

Bangkok

Thailand

1,235

Sao Paulo

Brazil

1,203

Charlotte

United States

1,193

Osaka - Kobe - Kyoto

Japan

1,166

Minneapolis - St. Paul

United States

1,111

Finding the Largest City in the World

When it comes to the largest city in the world, it depends on what you are looking for. As you can see, depending on population and area, the top 25 largest cities changes. Now that you know a little about the largest cities, check out different types of government around the world. 

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