HomeTOP LISTThe 10 Largest Cities in the World by Population 2024

The 10 Largest Cities in the World by Population 2024

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What are the largest cities in the world today? The world’s population data has showed that the global population rate keeps increasing on a daily basis.

As of 2024, the world’s population is approximately 8 billion and data experts have predicted that the world’s population will steadily increase to over 9 billion by the year 2060.

It has become clear that urbanization is the new deal among countries as mere cities are developing rapidly into megacities. Experts have projected that by the year 2030, Urban Areas would serve as home to 60% of the world’s population.

Today, only the top 10 world’s largest cities serve as home to over 250 million people out of world’s population of 8 billion. There are several factors facilitating the population increase in urban area which include; desire for a better life, job opportunities, modern technology, stable economy, business, quality healthcare, and solid education among others.

The largest city in the world is Tokyo, located in Japan and it is home to over 37 million people. China and India cities are also recognized to have some of the largest cities in the world of which Shanghai (China) and Delhi (India) are each of their top megacities.

Let’s tell you more about these megacities and their population in this 2024 list of the 10 largest cities in the world by population.

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What is the largest city in the world?

Tokyo is the world’s largest city by population leading with a staggering population of 37.1 million. This vibrant megacity is a famous hub for innovation, culture, and diversity.

The towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and efficient public transportation system embody Tokyo’s status as a global economic powerhouse.

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Top 10 largest cities in the world by population 2024

Here is the list of the largest cities in the word by population 2024, starting from the highest.

Rank City Country 2024 Population
1 Tokyo Japan 37,194,104
2 Delhi India 32,941,308
3 Shanghai China 29,210,808
4 Dhaka Bangladesh 23,209,616
5 Sao Paulo Brazil 22,619,736
6 Mexico City Mexico 22,281,442
7 Cairo Egypt 22,183,200
8 Beijing China 21,766,214
9 Mumbai India 21,296,516
10 Osaka Japan 19,013,434

1. Tokyo, Japan – (Population: 37,194,104)

The largest city in the world by population is Tokyo and it is located in Japan. Apart from being the most populous city in Japan, Tokyo is also the world’s largest metropolis.

In 2024, Tokyo, the capital city of Japan has been estimated to have a population of 37,194,104 residents.

Tokyo was formerly called Edo, and it used to be a small castle town in Japan before it grew to be the world’s largest city. Today, the technological advancement in the city has made a news around the world alongside its world-class shopping experience.

When it comes to land mass, Tokyo is the 45th largest as it has a total area size of 847.14 square miles.

2. Delhi, India – (Population: 32,941,308)

Delhi, officially called the National Capital Territory of Delhi is the world’s second largest city. India estimates the population of Delhi at 32,941,208, making it the country’s most populous city.

Delhi, which is also known as the Union Territory of India, is located in the north-central region of India.

The largest commercial Centre in northern India is Delhi and it is recognized as one of the top 2 productive metro areas in India.

Delhi is the second largest metropolitan area in the world and it is the largest in the country, India.

3. Shanghai, China – (Population: 29,210,808)

The city of Shanghai is also one of the largest cities in the world by population, having an estimated population of 29,210,808 people.

Shanghai is found on banks of the Yangtze River at the East China Sea in eastern China. In fact, the real meaning of the name Shanghai is “on the sea.”

It is the most-populated China city and a popular hub for finance, business, science & technology, and tourism in China. Shanghai is also notable to be one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People’s Republic of China.

Home to the one of the largest seaports in the world, Shanghai is also famous for its Shanghai Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world.

4. Dhaka, Bangladesh – (Population: 23,209,616)

The population of Dhaka is estimated at 23.2 million, making it to the list of the world’s largest cities.

Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh and it was formerly called Dacca. This Bangladesh largest city is a hub for financial and commercial services in the country and its impact on the nation’s economy is widely felt.

Also called the City of Magic or the City of Mosque, Dhaka’s culture revolves around art festivals, rickshaws and religious activities.

According to Wikipedia, Dhaka is considered one the world’s most densely populated built-up urban area.

5. Sao Paulo, Brazil – (Population: 22,619,736)

Sao Paulo is a megacity in the southern region of Brazil with a population of 22.6 million. It is the Brazil’s largest city and also one of the world’s largest cities.

GaWC has considered Sao Paulo to be the world’s alpha global city. This city has also been crowned the largest Bengali-speaking city in the world.

Sao Paulo got its name after an Apostle named Saint Paul of Tarsus. Terra da Garoa (the Land of Drizzle), Pauliceia, and Sampa are just few of Sao Paulo’s nicknames.

This city is among the top biggest in Brazil in terms of area size, measuring up to 587.3039 square miles.

A popular event hosted by Sao Paulo was the 2014 FIFA World Cup which has contributed to the city’s fame all over the world.

Sao Paulo was founded on 25 January, 1554 and it is rapidly growing annually among the world’s highest populated cities.

6. Mexico City, Mexico – (Population: 22,281,442)

Mexico City has an estimated population of 22,281,442 as at 2024, making it the sixth-most populous city in the world.

It is located in the valley of Mexico and it serves as the largest and capital city of Mexico.

Founded on March 13, 1325, Mexico has renamed up to 3 times, which the last occurred on January 29, 2016 as “Ciudad de Mexico”. The name is however generally recognized as simply Mexico.

This world’s sixth largest metropolitan area is also the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.

Sao Paulo is also a famous tourist spot as tourists flock most of its historic sites including; the Templo Mayor and the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, and the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes).

The incredible development of Sao Paulo from a village to a megacity over the years cannot be ignored as it is now even one of the most populated cities in the world.

7. Cairo, Egypt – (Population: 22,183,200)

Named among the largest cities in the world, the city of Cairo located in Egypt has an estimated population of 22.1 million. It can be seen in the banks of the Nile River in Egypt’s northern region.

Cairo was founded in 969 AD by the Fatimid dynasty and is the current capital of Egypt.

This city ranks among the top 15 busiest cities in the world and is also part of the largest urban agglomeration in Africa. As the largest Metropolitan area in Egypt, Cairo is also the largest in the Arab sphere or the Middle East.

Famous Egyptian museums and historic place are found in this city and some of them include; Pyramids of Giza, Al-Azhar Mosque, Maze of Khan el-Khalili and the Cairo Egyptian Museum.

Cairo’s popular nickname is the City of a Thousand Minarets and its area size is about 3,085 km².

8. Beijing, China – (Population: 21,766,214)

The capital of China, Beijing is also one of the largest cities in the world with an estimated population of 21.7 million.

Alternatively called Peking, Beijing is located in the northern region of the People’s Republic of China.

It is the second most populous city in China after Shanghai and is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the State Council.

Beijing is one of the world’s leading hubs for culture, diplomacy, politics, technology, finance, business, and tourism amongst others.

This megacity is also home to the headquarters of most of China’s largest state-owned companies. Not just that, Beijing houses the four biggest financial institutions by total assets in the world.

Beijing is also named the billionaire capital of the world as it is home to the highest number of billionaires.

International sport competitions including 2008 Summer Olympics and the Summer Paralympics of 2008 has held its ground in Beijing  and that is just a few of hosted international events in this megacity.

9. Mumbai, India – (Population: 21,296,516)

Mumbai also called Bombay is the second largest city in India and is also among the world’s largest cities. It lies on the Konkan coast on the west coast of India.

The city of Mumbai serves as the capital city of India and has a population reaching 21.2 million residents. Some of its popular nicknames include, City of Seven Islands, Indian Bollywood, Gateway of India and City of Dreams.

Mumbai is also considered the financial center of Mumbai. No wonder it is home to the highest number of billionaires in India.

This megacity is famous for its Bollywood film industry and is attributed to be the heart of Bollywood film industry.

Mumbai annually have huge impact in India’s economy, and Mercer has named Mumbai as India’s most expensive city.

10. Osaka, Japan – (Population: 19,013,434)

Osaka, located in the Kansai region of Honshu, Japan is the tenth largest city in the world by population. It is also the second largest city in Japan after the city of Tokyo.

This city used to be the traditional economic hub of Japan before Tokyo took over. Known as the street food capital of Japan, Osaka is famous for its street food all around the city.

Osaka is also recognized among the safest cities in the world despite having an enormous population of 19 million.

The Osaka Castle is one of the popular landmarks in the city and Dotombori is one of Osaka’s top destinations for tourists.

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Largest Cities in the World – Summary

There are many factors that contribute positively or negatively to the population of the largest cities in the world. It could be migration, fertility rate or life expectancy rate among others.

The youth often target the vastly populated cities in the countries as they see it as a means to settle for a better living.

However, the steady increase in the population rate of the most-populated cities often poses several challenges. Some of these challenges include, overcrowding, income inequality, higher crime rates, and environmental sustainability.

Considering the projection of the population growth of the world, it is without doubt that towns will develop into cities and cities will develop into megacities all in the name of urbanization.

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