Largest Cities in the World

The World's Largest Megacities

Shanghai, China
The city of Shanghai. Scott E Barbour/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The 9th edition of the National Geographic Atlas of the World, published in 2011, estimated the urban area population of the world's largest cities, those with a population above 10 million people, which they termed "megacities." The population estimates for the world's largest cities below are based on population estimates from 2007.

Population numbers for the world's largest cities are rounded since they are incredibly difficult to determine precisely; millions within most megacities live in poverty in shantytowns or other areas where accurate census taking is near impossible.

The following eighteen largest cities in the world are all those with a population of 11 million or more, based on the National Geographic atlas data.

1. Tokyo, Japan - 35.7 million

2. Mexico City, Mexico - 19 million (tie)

2. Mumbai, India - 19 million (tie)

2. New York City, United States - 19 million (tie)

5. Sao Paulo, Brazil - 18.8 million

6. Delhi, India - 15.9 million

7. Shanghai, China - 15 million

8. Kolkata, India - 14.8 million

9. Dhaka, Bangladesh - 13.5 million

10. Jakarta, Indonesia - 13.2 million

11. Los Angeles, United States - 12.5 million

12. Buenos Aires, Argentina - 12.3 million

13. Karachi, Pakistan - 12.1 million

14. Cairo, Egypt - 11.9 million

15. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11.7 million

16. Osaka-Kobe, Japan - 11.3 million

17. Manila, Philippines - 11.1 million (tie)

17. Beijing, China - 11.1 million (tie)

Additional lists of population estimates for the largest cities in the world can be found in my Largest Cities of the World collection of lists.

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Your Citation
Rosenberg, Matt. "Largest Cities in the World." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Rosenberg, Matt. (2020, August 27). Largest Cities in the World. Retrieved from Rosenberg, Matt. "Largest Cities in the World." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).