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Most Populous Cities in the World

It is perhaps unsurprising that the majority of the most populous cities in the world are in the two most populated countries in the world, China and India. Among these are Shanghai and Beijing, with populations of 25 and 22 million respectively, Delhi (27 million), and Mumbai (over 21.5 million).

However, Tokyo is the largest city in the world if the entire Tokyo metro area is included, with a total of more than 38 million residents. Another Japanese city, Osaka, also has a very large population of almost 20.5 million.

There are also a number of non-Asian cities with high populations, including Mexico City (over 21 million), Cairo (almost 19.5 million), and Buenos Aires (almost 15.5 million).

Of the European cities, Istanbul is the most populous, with more than 14.5 million residents. This is followed by Moscow (over 12 million) and Paris (11 million including the Paris metro area). These cities are of course also culturally significant and between them welcome millions of tourists each year.

There are quite a number of popular and culturally rich cities that have smaller populations, often making for higher living standards for their residents. Barcelona, Sydney, Berlin and Vancouver all have fewer than five million residents, but are very popular choices for city living. There are also some comparatively very small cities with big cultural, historical or political reputations, such as Sarajevo (314,000), Edinburgh (502,000), and Venice (631,000), demonstrating that small cities can be highly significant regardless of the size of their population.

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Source: United Nations - World Urbanization Prospects
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