The 10 Biggest Metropolitan Areas In The World

Published by Stickboy on February 22nd, 2010


1. Tokyo, Japan
Metropolitan area: 34 million people
City: 12.5 million people

Tokyo is by far the largest urban region in the world. Despite its size and complexity, Tokyo has a very efficient public transportation, which accounts for almost 80 percent of all daily journeys in Tokyo.


2. Seoul, South Korea
Metropolitan area: 23.9 million people
City: 10.3 million people

Seoul has grown rapidly since the Korean War (1950-53). Today, nearly half of the country’s population lives in Seoul and its surrounding area. In recent years, Seoul modernized the city’s transportation system and created more public green spaces.

Mexico City

3. Mexico City, Mexico
Metropolitan area: 22 million people
City: 8.7 million people

Mexico City is ten times the size it was in 1940. Now with about 22 million people in the metro area, the Mexican capital generates almost a quarter of the country’s wealth. However, with a low population growth of 0.99 percent, the number of people in retirement is expected to rise rapidly in the next decades.

New York

4. New York, United States
Metropolitan area: 21.9 million people
City: 8.2 million people

New York City, especially Manhattan, is a role model for balancing dense development with good public transport and access to open spaces. Different in many regards, New York City is the only U.S. city where most households do not own a car.


5. Mumbai, India
Metropolitan area: 21 million people
City: 13 million people

Mumbai – known as Bombay until the name was officially changed in 1995 – is the most densely populated city in the world. Through high birth rates and a perpetual influx of migrants, Mumbai’s population is expected to grow by one fifth in the next ten years.

Sao Paulo

6. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Metropolitan area: 19.6 million people
City: 11 million people

Sao Paulo, the sixth-largest metropolis in the world. It is Brazil’s richest city and the most important financial center in Latin America. Poverty and crime, however, remain a problem. An average of 6,000 people are murdered annually.

Los Angeles

7. Los Angeles, United States
Metropolitan area: 17.9 million people
City: 3.9 million people

Los Angeles is the second biggest city in the United States by land size. An extensive grid of freeways, boulevards, and smaller neighborhood roads spans the city.


8. Shanghai, China
Metropolitan area: 17.8 million people
City: 9.8 million people

With China’s growing gross domestic product and economic strength, Shanghai has become the financial and commercial center of the country with one of the world’s busiest ports and the world’s most extensive bus systems with nearly one thousand lines.


9. Jakarta, Indonesia
Metropolitan area: 15 million people
City: 9.3 Million people

Jakarta had to suffer major setbacks in the past decade due to the economy crisis in 1998 and natural disasters like floods and earthquakes. Since 2005, Jakarta has made an economic recovery, boosting Indonesia’s economy to a robust growth rate of 6 percent.


10. Moscow, Russia
Metropolitan area: 13.4 million people
City: 11.3 million people

For the second time in a row, Moscow was named the most expensive city for expatriates in 2007. With more passengers than New York City and London combined, Moscow has the world’s busiest metro system serving more than nine million people a day.


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