List of metropolitan areas by population

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The following is a list of the twenty largest metropolitan areas in 2003 as defined by one source.[1] As population figures are interpreted and presented differently according to different methods of data collection, definitions and sources, these numbers should be viewed as approximate. Data from other sources may be equally valid but differ due to being measured according to different criteria or taken from different census years.

Rank Metropolitan area Country Population Area (km2) Population Density (People/km2)
1 Tokyo Japan 32,450,000 8,014 4,049
2 Seoul South Korea 20,550,000 5,076 4,048
3 Mexico City[2] Mexico 20,450,000 7,346 2,784
4 New York City[3] USA 19,750,000 17,884 1,104
5 Mumbai India 19,200,000 2,350 8,170
6 Jakarta India 18,900,000 5,100 3,706
7 São Paulo Brazil 18,850,000 8,479 2,223
8 Delhi India 18,600,000 3,182 5,845
9 Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Japan 17,375,000 6,930 2,507
10 Shanghai China 16,650,000 5,177 3,216
11 Manila Philippines 16,300,000 2,521 6,466
12 Hong Kong-Shenzhen[4] China 15,800,000 3,051 5,179
13 Los Angeles USA 15,250,000 10,780 1,415
14 Kolkata India 15,100,000 1,785 8,459
15 Moscow Russia 15,000,000 14,925 1,005
16 Cairo Egypt 14,450,000 1,600 9,031
17 Buenos Aires Argentina 13,170,000 10,888 1,210
18 London UK 12,875,000 11,391 1,130
19 Beijing China 12,500,000 6,562 1,905
20 Karachi Pakistan 11,800,000 1,100 10,727

References and notes

  1. R.L. Forstall, R.P. Greene, and J.B. Pick, "Which are the largest? Why published populations for major world urban areas vary so greatly", City Futures Conference, (University of Illinois at Chicago, July 2004) – Table 5 (p.34)
  2. Consists of two separate zona metropolitanas: the Zona Metropolitana del Valle de Mexico (ZMVM) and the Zona Metropolitana de Toluca (ZMT)
  3. Consists of two separate metropolitan statistical areas (MSA): the New York-Northern New Jersey Long Island MSA and the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk MSA.
  4. There are restrictions on the movement of labor between Hong Kong and mainland China and the two areas are sometimes listed separately in other lists.