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.

RankMetropolitan areaCountryPopulationArea (km2)Population Density (People/km2)
1TokyoJapan32,450,0008,0144,049
2SeoulSouth Korea20,550,0005,0764,048
3Mexico City[2]Mexico20,450,0007,3462,784
4New York City[3]USA19,750,00017,8841,104
5MumbaiIndia19,200,0002,3508,170
6JakartaIndia18,900,0005,1003,706
7São PauloBrazil18,850,0008,4792,223
8DelhiIndia18,600,0003,1825,845
9Osaka-Kobe-KyotoJapan17,375,0006,9302,507
10ShanghaiChina16,650,0005,1773,216
11ManilaPhilippines16,300,0002,5216,466
12Hong Kong-Shenzhen[4]China15,800,0003,0515,179
13Los AngelesUSA15,250,00010,7801,415
14KolkataIndia15,100,0001,7858,459
15MoscowRussia15,000,00014,9251,005
16CairoEgypt14,450,0001,6009,031
17Buenos AiresArgentina13,170,00010,8881,210
18LondonUK12,875,00011,3911,130
19BeijingChina12,500,0006,5621,905
20KarachiPakistan11,800,0001,10010,727

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.
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