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Here are the 20 Most Populated Cities on the Planet

20 Most Populated Cities on the Planet
Photo by Madel Baylongo

The world’s population continues to grow, especially in the most populated cities. Here is where we are.

Two thousand years ago, 170 million people shared planet Earth, according to WorldPopulationHistory.org. Since then, the human race has been on an upward trajectory: 7.7 billion people in 2019 and 10 billion predicted by the 22nd century.

According to the United Nations, the increase in the planet’s population presents many challenges. The countries seek to achieve sustainability goals by 2030. The more humans there are on Earth, the more resources we need like food, water, and land to feed them, the more resources we deprive of other species, and the more waste we produce.

However, population growth is slowing and, in some countries, is even declining, according to the United Nations. Here we present to you the 20 most populated metropolitan areas on the planet.

20. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Current population: 13,458,075

Rio de Janeiro Brazil Most populated city
Photo by Davi Costa on Unsplash

With nearly 5,400 people crammed per square kilometer, this huge city on the Brazilian coast is one of South America’s most popular travel destinations. However, more than 20% of the population lives in great poverty in nearly 800 favelas. These “substandard” neighborhoods of the city, as the Rio Times coyly calls them. On the positive side, population growth has slowed, from a peak of 4.2% per year in 1965 to 0.61% in 2019.

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19. Tianjin, China

Current population: 13,589,078

Tianjin Most Populated City in China
Photo by Vishnu Panday

The population of this 12,000 square kilometer port city in northeastern China grew by 188% between 1953 and 1982. Fortunately, growth has slowed considerably since then – changing only 1.3% between 2018 and 2019 – but it shows no signs of stabilizing or even retreating. The manufacturing industry, the city’s driving force, explains its rapid and constant growth.

18. Manila, Philippines

Current Population: 13,923,452

Manila Most populated city in Philippines
Image by Dylan Gonzales from Pixabay

Manila’s population growth has slowed over the years due to an increase in residents in the surrounding suburbs. But the city is no less overcrowded. According to New Geography, it’s the most densely populated municipality globally, with an average of 14,500 people per square kilometer and a peak of 70,000 people per square kilometer in the city’s densest neighborhood.

With the arrival in Manila of many poor migrants from rural areas, the city will continue to grow. This is bound to put additional pressure on resources.

17. Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Current population: 14,342,439 people

kinshasa city most populated city
kinshasa city most populated city

If Kinshasa was not on our list in 2019, it quickly jumped to 17th place. The capital is growing rapidly, with a growth of 4.3% between 2019 and 2020. The figure of 14.3 million is even more incredible when you consider that in 1950 the population of this city was only 201,905. People. The population of Kinshasa may seem huge, but this figure is relative compared to the whole world’s population.

16. Lagos, Nigeria

Current population: 14,368,332

Lagos most populated city in Nigeria
Photo by Obinna Okerekeocha on Unsplash

This port city is the largest on the African continent. It initially occupied only a few sheltered islands (notably the island of Lagos) in a lagoon overlooking the Atlantic Ocean but has since spread more than 50 kilometers inland and now covers around 452 square kilometers.

Its diverse population is drawn from around 250 groups, many of whom have migrated from the Nigerian countryside and neighboring countries. The vast majority of residents – 66% – live in slums.

15. Kolkata, India (formerly Calcutta)

Current Population: 14,850,066 With

Kolkata most populated city in India
Photo by Rohit Arora on Unsplash

India (1.3 billion people) and China (1.4 billion) are the two most populous countries globally, and it is no surprise that cities in these two countries are among the most inhabited.

A former trading post of the East Indian Company and Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity headquarters. Kolkata is India’s third most populous metropolitan area – a trend that is slowing but which, due to the growing popularity of its suburbs, does not seem to want to be reversed shortly.

14. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Current population: 15,153,729

Buenos Aires Most populated city
Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash

The center of the Argentine capital has only 3 million inhabitants, but its vast metropolitan area of 2681 square kilometers constitutes the second largest population in South America.

Although the suburbs of the greater metropolitan area have grown over the past 70 years, the population of the city center has remained fairly constant – the economic stagnation gripping the country has meant that people are more inclined to leave the city than settle there.

13. Istanbul, Turkey (formerly Constantinople)

Current population: 15,190,336

Istanbul Turkey most populated city
Photo by Luke Michael on Unsplash

According to the World Population Review, Istanbul is the most populous city in Europe (although technically, half of this megacity is located in Asia). This is a noticeable improvement considering it was the most populous city in the world in 1502. The city’s population doubled in the 1980s when its boundaries expanded significantly.

It is home to the largest airport in the world, which is a happy coincidence since it is one of the fastest-growing metropolises.

12. Chongqing, China

Current population: 15,872,179

Chongqing most populated city in China
Photo by 偉宗 勞 on Unsplash

Like many other cities in Asia, Chongqing has seen strong population growth since 2018 – 3.5%. Chongqing is one of the fastest-growing cities globally, and, as the World Population Review points out, that’s not going to change anytime soon.

The rapid expansion of the urban area is not Chongqing’s only problem. However: its workforce is shrinking as its population ages – a worrying stat considering that the total population of the entire Chongqing municipality currently has a staggering 33 million inhabitants.

11. Karachi, Pakistan

Current population: 16,093,786

karachi most populated city in Pakisthan
Photo by Muhammad Jawaid Shamshad on Unsplash

According to a World Bank report, one-fifth of Pakistan’s urban population resides in this ‘megalopolis,’ once the country’s capital. However, the number of its residents has climbed 2.2% since 2018, and its quality of life is plummeting, with violent crime, inequality, and financial instability making development challenges even greater.

With 24,000 people per square kilometer, Karachi is also one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

The city of Faisalabad in Pakistan is one of the most polluted cities in the world.

10. Osaka, Japan

Current population: 19,165,340

Osaka most populated city in Japan
Photo by Agathe Marty on Unsplash

The number of people living in Japan’s third-largest metropolitan area, known for the quality of its street food, is on the decline – it has fallen 0.3% since 2018. But over the same period, nearly 20,000 more people crowded into the wider Kansai region (which includes the city of Osaka), making living conditions more difficult.

7% of Japan’s total population lives in even more populated spaces in this region, whether in the city of Osaka itself or one of its 42 municipalities.

9. Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay)

Current population: 20,411,274

Mumbai most populated city in india
Photo by Hardik Joshi on Unsplash

According to National Geographic, India’s second-largest metropolitan area is home to the largest urban population: over 13 million at the last official census in 2011. Its trains alone carry 6 million people a day, which puts almost any other overcrowded city to shame. Mumbai’s population has grown sharply in the past 20 years – it has doubled since 1991 – due to migrants from rural areas moving to the city searching for work.

The consequences of this flow are rather grim: according to the report of the World Population Review, 41% of the inhabitants of Mumbai and its surroundings live in slums.

8. Beijing, China

Current population: 20,462,610

Beijing most populated city in china
Photo by zhang kaiyv on Unsplash

China’s second-largest municipality has almost as many inhabitants as Australia. And not only has its population been growing at a steady rate since 1975, but it is also expected to continue growing until 2035, according to the UN’s World Urbanization Prospects report.

Beijing is bearing the brunt of the effects of overcrowding in an urban area, and the air quality there is one of the worst in the world due to coal-fired power plants located near the city and heavy car traffic. In the PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5), there are 52 microns per cubic meter of air, as indicated by Reuters – for example, it is 11 in Montreal.

7. Cairo, Egypt

Current population: 20,900,604

Cairo most populated city in Egypt
Photo by Osama Elsayed on Unsplash

The Egyptian capital has been populated since at least the 4th century due to its strategic location on the Nile. After the plagues of the Middle Ages and the destructive riots of the 1950s, it grew rapidly, according to ThoughtCo.

Even its downtown population of 12 million is astronomical, as noted by World Population Review. The second-largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, is only 30% of Cairo’s area.

6. Dhaka, Bangladesh

Current population: 21,005,860

Dhaka most populated city Bangladesh
Photo by Ahmed Hasan on Unsplash

Business Insider called Dhaka the most densely populated city in the world in 2018, with more than 23,000 people per square kilometer and a staggering 2,000 people moving into Bangladesh’s capital every day.

The reason for the influx: is sheer desperation, as natural disasters caused by the climate crisis follow one another and wreak havoc in their home towns and villages. Therefore, it is not surprising that a quarter of Bangladeshis live below the poverty line and that around three million people live in the slums of Dhaka.

5. Mexico City, Mexico

Current population: 21,782,378

Mexico most populated city
Photo by Oscar Reygo on Unsplash

A major economic power (it ranks 18th in the world, according to WorldsCapitalCities.com ), Mexico City is also one of the most populated and densest cities in the world. 20% of Mexico’s population lives in Mexico City, according to the World Population Review.

As you might expect, the city’s growth – nearly 3% since 2018 – means that the authorities are struggling to provide essential services such as housing to its residents.

4. Sao Paulo, Brazil

Current Population: 22,043,028

Sao Paulo most populated city
Photo by Lucas Marcomini on Unsplash

The most populous city in the Americas, with over 11 million residents in the city itself, is a sophisticated and ethnically diverse global cultural center. There are curious, according to Forbes, 26 billionaires.

It is also a city of immigrants – “8% of students there are thought to be descendants of immigrants,” writes the World Population Review in a recent survey by the University of Sao Paulo. The metropolitan area continues to grow – it is predicted to reach 23 million by 2030 – but it has fallen in rank in recent years.

3. Shanghai, China

Current population: 27,058,480

Shanghai Most Populated City in China
Photo by Ralf Leineweber on Unsplash

Shanghai is the world’s largest city and one of the fastest-growing cities in the past 20 years, with “double-digit growth almost every year since 1992, except for 2008-2009,” the World Population Review tells us.

And it continues to grow, even as the pace slows. Experts predict that the greater metropolitan area will reach 50 million people by 2050, which will exacerbate all the problems that densely populated cities face, such as lack of infrastructure and pollution.

2. Delhi, India

Current population: 30,290,936

Photo by shalender kumar on Unsplash

Delhi, the Indian capital and seat of government, is the second city in terms of population and the first in terms of air pollution. More than 11,000 people live on average in every 1484 square kilometers. And it’s growing faster than almost any other city in the world.

“In 2001 alone, reports the World Population Review, its population increased by 215,000 due to natural growth and 285,000 due to migration. Its population has increased by 3.25% compared to 2018, and the city is expected to exceed 43 million inhabitants by 2035.

1.Tokyo, Japan

Current population: 37,393,128

Photo by Ryo Yoshitake on Unsplash

Tokyo most populated city in the world. Believe it or not, the most populous metropolitan area saw its population drop by 0.09% in 2019. This trend is expected to continue and increase through 2035, so that d in 16 years, Tokyo will have lost nearly 1.5 million inhabitants. This demographic trend should benefit the rest of the cities on this list!

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