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World's largest cities: Wikis

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The question of determining the world's largest cities does not allow a single, simple answer. It depends on which definitions of "city" and "size" are used, and how those definitions are applied. Complex political/cultural/social situations, sometimes controversial or disputed, further confuse the discussion. Debate on this field is highly vulnerable to bias or manipulation, as people tend to prefer whichever definition most flatters their own city.

The "size" of a city can refer to either its land area or, more typically, its population.

The borders of a city can also be defined in any of several ways:

Morphological
"City" defined as a physically contiguous urban area, without regard to territorial or other boundaries. The delineation is usually done using some type of urban density, such as population density or density of buildings (for example, "gaps between structures may not exceed 200 metres"). Satellite and/or aerial maps may be used. For statistical convenience, such areas are sometimes adjusted to appropriate administrative boundaries, yielding an agglomeration.
Functional
"City" as defined by the habits of its demographic population, as by metropolitan area, labor market area, or similar. Such definitions are usually based on commuting between home and work. Commuter flow thresholds into the core urban area are established by the national census authority, determining which areas are included.
Administrative
"City" as strictly defined by a given government (city proper). Typically based on a municipality or equivalent entity, or sometimes a group of municipalities under a regional government.

Cities making the top 20 in a list

The numbers after each cell give the ranking of that city in that list. This table is designed to be a way to compare the different lists and discover which cities are well-treated by all of them, without favouring one list over the others. Rankings in bold are the rankings of the cities in the top 20 of each sources' list. The first four columns are the four different lists used by Wikipedia; after them, external sources are given.

City Country Morph. Morph. (UN) Funct. Proper WorldAtlas World Gazetteer City Population
Beijing  People's Republic of China 18 16 19 9 12 23 19
Bogotá  Colombia 35 30 20 30 36 32
Buenos Aires  Argentina 16 10 17 59 10 16 17
Cairo  Egypt 11 13 16 25 17 13 16
Delhi  India 6 6 8 4 14 9 4
Dhaka  Bangladesh 24 9 24 15 18 20
Guangzhou  People's Republic of China 19 25 26 44 61 14
Istanbul  Turkey 21 19 5 23 17 21
Jakarta  Indonesia 2 23 6 12 21 8 15
Karachi  Pakistan 25 12 20 3 13 22 13
Kinshasa  Democratic Republic of the Congo 30 29 17 46 28 32
Kolkata  India 12 8 14 32 9 14 12
Lagos  Nigeria 28 22 15 7 19 25
Lima  Peru 34 27 18 26 40 30
London  United Kingdom 29 26 18 19 25 20 24
Los Angeles  United States 13 11 13 47 8 11 9
Manila  Philippines 5 17 11 16 7 8
Mexico City  Mexico 9 3 3 10 2 2 3
Moscow  Russia 16 18 15 7 24 15 18
Mumbai  India 4 4 5 2 3 5 5
New York City  United States 3 2 4 13 5 3 6
Osaka  Japan 10 15 9 18 12 11
Paris  France 22 20 22 25 26
Rio de Janeiro  Brazil 20 14 27 19 24 21
São Paulo  Brazil 8 5 7 6 4 6 7
Seoul  South Korea 7 21 2 8 11 4 2
Shanghai  People's Republic of China 14 7 10 1 6 10 10
Shenzhen  People's Republic of China 15 31 12  ??  ?? 28
Tehran  Iran 33 28 16 27 21 21
Tianjin  People's Republic of China 31 34 30 20 52 37
Tokyo  Japan 1 1 1 11 1 1 1
Wuhan  People's Republic of China 55 32 14 49 85 29

See also

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