In Cities…Does Size Really Matter?
When people ask which city in the world is “largest,” I’ve noticed that the responses can actually vary, depending on which country the person answering is from. Sometimes people answer according to area, while others answer according to population, and yet others answer as it relates to population density. So, what do you really mean when you ask which one is the LARGEST? Well, don’t sweat it! We’ll answer each of these!
1st: Which city in the world is the largest, area-wise?
New York, USA
The short answer: The New York Metropolitan area is the largest by size. Located in the northeast United States of America and with a population of almost 18,000,000 people, New York is not only a large city in terms of size, it is also chock-full of people and one of the most famous—if not the most famous—cities in the world. According to CityMayors.com, New York is the largest city in the world by area, coming in at 8683 square kilometers, or around 3353 square miles. It is amazing to note that, while there are many large and famous cities in the world, the USA makes up eleven out of the top twelve largest cities by area, with Japan a distant second behind New York itself! Japan, however, nearly doubles the size of New York in other related areas, which we will discuss in a moment.
2nd: Which city in the world is the largest, population-wise?
The short answer: The Tokyo-Yokohama Metropolitan area is the largest by population. Located in “the land of the rising sun” of east Asia, Tokyo is famous for many reasons, amongst them the amount of people who either live there or commute there for work. The current population estimate, according to WorldAtlas.com, stands at 37,843,000—that is nearly forty-million people! US cities fare rather well as it relates to area size; however, only New York is able to squeeze into the top ten city spots by population, at around 20,630,000 people—close to half of population of the Tokyo-Yokohama area, though it easily beats Tokyo in terms of area. WorldAtlas also reports that Jarkata, Indonesia is in the throws of a population boom currently, and may just well take over Tokyo’s population ranking one day. Currently, Jakarta stands at around 30,539,000 people, just seven million behind Tokyo.
3rd: Which city in the world is the largest, density-wise?
The short answer: The Dhaka Metropolitan area is the largest by density. As the capital city of Bangladesh, Dhaka is, to be very blunt and straight-forward, chock-full of people! With a population of over sixteen million people in an area of around 368 square kilometers (or 142 square miles), it is easy to see why this city ranks number one on the list of density! As a result, the density of the city stands at 44,100 people per square kilometer, or 114,300 per square mile, according to an extensive report from Demographia.com, which also includes metropolitan areas by geographical size. Just to give a comparison, where does Tokyo—the largest city by population—fall on this list? Get ready for this: Tokyo, long-known to me and others as a densely-populated city, comes in at 654 on the list of most densely-populated cities! This is really astounding, especially considering that I spent three months there! By comparison, Tokyo has around 11,400 people per square mile, or 4,400 people per square kilometer—quite different than the huge numbers Dhaka boasts!