Urban area

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Greater Tokyo in Japan, the world's most populated urban area, with about 40 million inhabitants as of 2022 Ginza area at dusk from Tokyo Tower.jpg
Greater Tokyo in Japan, the world's most populated urban area, with about 40 million inhabitants as of 2022
Greater Sao Paulo at night, as seen from the International Space Station ISS-67 City lights of Sao Paulo, Brazil.jpg
Greater São Paulo at night, as seen from the International Space Station
Greater Melbourne at night, as seen from the International Space Station Melbourne at night from the International Space Station.jpg
Greater Melbourne at night, as seen from the International Space Station
Warsaw metropolitan area Aglomeracja warszawska wg Swianiewicza.png
Warsaw metropolitan area

An urban area, built-up area or urban agglomeration is a human settlement with a high population density and an infrastructure of built environment. This is the core of a metropolitan statistical area in the United States, if it contains a population of more than 50,000. [1]

Contents

Urban areas originate through urbanization, and researchers categorize them as cities, towns, conurbations or suburbs. In urbanism, the term "urban area" contrasts to rural areas such as villages and hamlets; in urban sociology or urban anthropology it contrasts with natural environment.[ citation needed ]

The development of earlier predecessors of modern urban areas during the urban revolution of the 4th millennium BCE [2] led to the formation of human civilization and ultimately to modern urban planning, which along with other human activities such as exploitation of natural resources has led to a human impact on the environment.

Historical growth

In 1950, around the world, 764 million people lived in urban areas. By 2014, it was 3.9 billion. The change was driven by a combination of increased total population and increased percent of population living in urban areas. [3] In 2009, the number of people living in urban areas (3.42 billion) surpassed the number living in rural areas (3.41 billion), and since then the world has become more urban than rural. [4] This was the first time that the majority of the world's population lived in a city. [5] In 2014 there were 7.3 billion people living on the planet, [6] of which the global urban population comprised 3.9 billion. The Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs at that time predicted the urban population would occupy 68% of the world population by 2050, with 90% of that growth coming from Africa and Asia. [7]

Urbanization

Urban land area (km ), 2010 Urban land area (km2), OWID.svg
Urban land area (km ), 2010
Urban areas with at least one million inhabitants in 2006 2006megacities.svg
Urban areas with at least one million inhabitants in 2006

Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization. They are measured for various purposes, including analyzing population density and urban sprawl. Urban areas are also mostly found in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Japan and Australia and many other countries where the urbanization rate is over 80%.[ citation needed ]

Unlike an urban area, a metropolitan area includes not only the urban area, but also satellite cities plus intervening rural land that is socio-economically connected to the urban core city, typically by employment ties through commuting, with the urban core city being the primary labor market.

The concept of an "urban area" as used in economic statistics should not be confused with the concept of the "urban area" used in road safety statistics. This term was first created by Geographer Brian Manning. The last concept is also known as "built-up area in road safety". According to the definition by the Office for National Statistics, "Built-up areas are defined as land which is 'irreversibly urban in character', meaning that they are characteristic of a town or city. They include areas of built-up land with a minimum of 20 hectares (200,000 m2; 49 acres). Any areas [separated by] less than 200 metres [of non-urban space] are linked to become a single built-up area. [9]

Argentina and Japan are countries where the urbanization rate is over 90% while Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States are countries where the urbanization rate is between 80% and 90%.[ citation needed ]

Largest urban areas

There are two measures of the degree of urbanization of a population. The first, urban population, describes the percentage of the total population living in urban areas, as defined by the country. The second measure, rate of urbanization, describes the projected average rate of change of the size of the urban population over the given period of time. According to Urbanization by sovereign state article, the world as a whole is 56.2% urbanized, with roughly one-quarter of the countries reported as greater than 80% urbanized. Data is taken from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook estimates from 2020. [10]

According to Demographia, these are the 200 largest urban areas in the world by population (as of 2023): [11]

Urban AreaCountryPopulation
1 Tokyo-Yokohama Japan 37,785,000
2 Jakarta Indonesia 35,386,000
3 Delhi India 31,190,000
4 Guangzhou-Foshan China 27,119,000
5 Mumbai India25,189,000
6 Manila Philippines 24,156,000
7 Shanghai China24,042,000
8 Seoul-Incheon South Korea 23,225,000
9 Cairo Egypt 22,679,000
10 Mexico City Mexico 21,905,000
11 Kolkata India21,747,000
12 São Paulo Brazil 21,486,000
13 New York United States 21,396,000
14 Karachi Pakistan 20,249,000
15 Dhaka Bangladesh 19,134,000
16 Bangkok Thailand 18,884,000
17 Beijing China18,883,000
18 Moscow Russia 17,878,000
19 Shenzhen China17,778,000
20 Buenos Aires Argentina 15,748,000
21 Los Angeles United States15,587,000
22 Johannesburg-Pretoria South Africa 15,551,000
23 Bangalore India15,257,000
24 Chengdu China15,016,000
25 Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam 14,953,000
26 Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto Japan14,916,000
27 Lagos Nigeria 14,540,000
28 Istanbul Turkey 14,441,000
29 Lahore Pakistan13,504,000
30 Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo 13,493,000
31 Tehran Iran 13,382,000
32 Chongqing China12,653,000
33 Rio de Janeiro Brazil12,306,000
34 Xi'an China12,211,000
35 Chennai India11,570,000
36 Paris France 11,108,000
37 Zhengzhou China11,068,000
38 Luanda Angola 10,914,000
39 London United Kingdom 10,803,000
40 Dongguan China10,753,000
41 Lima Peru 10,556,000
42 Wuhan China10,353,000
43 Bogota Colombia 10,252,000
44 Tianjin China10,047,000
45 Hyderabad India9,797,000
46 Taipei Taiwan 9,662,000
47 Hangzhou China9,618,000
48 Nagoya Japan9,439,000
49 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 9,387,000
50 Chicago United States8,954,000
51 Nanjing China8,507,000
52 Riyadh Saudi Arabia 8,309,000
53 Shenyang-Fushun China8,044,000
54 Ahmadabad India8,006,000
55 Dar es Salaam Tanzania 7,965,000
56 Washington-Baltimore United States7,853,000
57 Boston-Providence United States7,429,000
58 Onitsha Nigeria7,205,000
59 Bandung Indonesia7,203,000
60 Addis Ababa Ethiopia 7,185,000
61 Khartoum Sudan 7,155,000
62 Santiago Chile 7,099,000
63 Dallas-Fort Worth United States6,979,000
64 Nairobi Kenya 6,929,000
65 San Francisco-San Jose United States6,844,000
66 Toronto Canada 6,837,000
67 Pune India6,819,000
68 Madrid Spain 6,798,000
69 Essen-Düsseldorf Germany 6,769,000
70 Quanzhou China6,743,000
71 Houston United States6,703,000
72 Baghdad Iraq 6,624,000
73 Surat India6,601,000
74 Amman Jordan 6,563,000
75 Surabaya Indonesia6,556,000
76 Hong Kong China 6,468,000
77 Yangon Myanmar 6,426,000
78 Hanoi Vietnam6,359,000
79 Qingdao China6,291,000
80 Miami United States6,139,000
81 Suzhou China6,091,000
82 Singapore Singapore 5,926,000
83 Philadelphia United States5,795,000
84 Accra Ghana 5,785,000
85 St. Petersburg Russia5,750,000
86 Atlanta United States5,702,000
87 Abidjan Ivory Coast 5,678,000
88 Kabul Afghanistan 5,566,000
89 Alexandria Egypt5,552,000
90 Milan Italy 5,471,000
91 Jiddah Saudi Arabia5,408,000
92 Ankara Turkey5,359,000
93 Faisalabad Pakistan5,356,000
94 Barcelona Spain5,317,000
95 Xiamen China5,253,000
96 Belo Horizonte Brazil5,242,000
97 Taiyuan China5,067,000
98 Changsha China5,065,000
99 Hefei China5,052,000
100 Mashhad Iran5,045,000
101 Kunming China4,995,000
102 Rawalpindi-Islamabad Pakistan4,954,000
103 Dubai United Arab Emirates 4,945,000
104 Sydney Australia 4,836,000
105 Kumasi Ghana4,794,000
106 Melbourne Australia4,709,000
107 Kampala Uganda 4,679,000
108 Monterrey Mexico4,674,000
109 Kano Nigeria4,670,000
110 Lucknow India4,661,000
111 Yaounde Cameroon 4,642,000
112 Phoenix United States4,617,000
113 Cape Town South Africa4,595,000
114 Ürümqi China4,548,000
115 Wuxi China4,524,000
116 Casablanca Morocco 4,499,000
117 Fuzhou China4,487,000
118 Guadalajara Mexico4,401,000
119 İzmir Turkey4,367,251
120 Jaipur India4,360,000
121 Kanpur India4,350,000
122 Santo Domingo Dominican Republic 4,345,000
123 Berlin Germany4,286,000
124 Guiyang China4,269,000
125 Detroit United States4,258,000
126 Nanchang China4,240,000
127 Mogadishu Somalia 4,219,000
128 Changzhou China4,206,000
129 Chittagong Bangladesh4,204,000
130 Dalian China4,177,000
131 Zhongshan China4,113,000
132 Kuwait Kuwait 4,066,000
133 Jinan China4,057,000
134 Medan Indonesia4,027,000
135 Wenzhou China4,024,000
136 Seattle United States4,001,000
137 Tashkent Uzbekistan 3,935,000
138 Shijiazhuang China3,871,000
139 Harbin China3,869,000
140 Recife Brazil3,866,000
141 Busan South Korea3,843,000
142 Bamako Mali 3,783,000
143 Indore India3,765,000
144 Douala Cameroon3,751,000
145 Montreal Canada3,750,000
146 Ibadan Nigeria3,657,000
147 Naples Italy3,653,000
148 Sana Yemen 3,585,000
149 Colombo Sri Lanka 3,532,000
150 Dakar Senegal 3,510,000
151 Porto Alegre Brazil3,504,000
152 Mbuji-Mayi Democratic Republic of the Congo3,493,000
153 Nagpur India3,493,000
154 Algiers Algeria 3,462,000
155 Durban South Africa3,452,000
156 Port Harcourt Nigeria3,429,000
157 Fortaleza Brazil3,415,000
158 Brasilia Brazil3,406,000
159 Changchun China3,387,000
160 Salvador Brazil3,344,000
161 Patna India3,331,000
162 Athens Greece 3,309,000
163 Nanning China3,249,000
164 Kathmandu Nepal 3,247,000
165 Medellin Colombia3,242,000
166 Rome Italy3,239,000
167 Varanasi India3,229,000
168 Gujranwala Pakistan3,218,000
169 Tampa-St. Petersburg United States3,203,000
170 Lusaka Zambia 3,202,000
171 Guayaquil Ecuador 3,183,000
172 Ouagadougou Burkina Faso 3,181,000
173 Damascus Syria 3,155,000
174 San Diego United States3,078,000
175 Orlando United States3,075,000
176 Kozhikode India3,049,000
177 Brisbane-Gold Coast Australia3,039,000
178 Rotterdam-Hague Netherlands 3,027,000
179 Tel Aviv Israel 3,006,000
180 Baku Azerbaijan 3,002,000
181 Kiyev Ukraine 3,001,000
182 Ad-Dammam Saudi Arabia2,994,000
183 Lanzhou China2,977,000
184 Charlotte United States2,879,000
185 Curitiba Brazil2,873,000
186 Cleveland United States2,871,000
187 Brazzaville Republic of the Congo 2,860,000
188 Aleppo Syria2,859,000
189 Thiruvananthapuram India2,851,000
190 Lisbon Portugal 2,832,000
191 Minneapolis-St. Paul United States2,796,000
192 Campinas Brazil2,789,000
193 Hyderabad Pakistan2,789,000
194 Multan Pakistan2,783,000
195 Conakry Guinea 2,781,000
196 Quito Ecuador2,778,000
197 Zhangjiaggang China2,770,000
198 Guatemala City Guatemala 2,765,000
199 Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo2,750,000
200 Agra India2,737,000

Very highly urbanized countries

This is a partial list of countries where the urbanization rate is at least 80%:

Those with the rate at 100%:

Definitions

The UN publishes data on cities, urban areas and rural areas, but relies almost entirely on national definitions of these areas. The UN principles and recommendations state that due to different characteristics of urban and rural areas across the globe, a global definition is not possible. [12]

European countries[ which? ] define urbanized areas on the basis of urban-type land use, not allowing any gaps of typically more than 200 metres (220 yd), and use satellite imagery instead of census blocks to determine the boundaries of the urban area. In less-developed countries[ which? ], in addition to land use and density requirements, a requirement that a large majority of the population, typically 75%, is not engaged in agriculture and/or fishing is sometimes used.[ citation needed ]

By region

East Asia

China

Since 2000, China's cities have expanded at an average rate of 10% annually. It is estimated that China's urban population will increase by 292 million people by 2050, [3] when its cities will house a combined population of over one billion. [13] The country's urbanization rate increased from 17.4% to 46.6% between 1978 and 2009. [14] Between 150 and 200 million migrant workers work part-time in the major cities, returning home to the countryside periodically with their earnings. [15] [16]

China has more cities with one million or more long-term residents than any other country, including the three global cities of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai; by 2025, the country will be home to 221 cities with over a million inhabitants. [13] The figures in the table below are from the 2008 census, and are only estimates of the urban populations within administrative city limits; a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which includes suburban and rural populations). The large "floating populations" of migrant workers make conducting censuses in urban areas difficult; [17] the figures below include only long-term residents.

Shanghai Pudong Panorama Jan 2 2014.jpg
Panoramic view of Pudong's skyline from the Bund in Shanghai
 
Largest cities or municipalities in China
China Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook 2020 Urban Population and Urban Temporary Population [18] [note 1] [note 2]
Rank Name Province Pop. Rank Name Province Pop.
Pudong Shanghai November 2017 panorama.jpg
Shanghai
Skyline of Beijing CBD with B-5906 approaching (20211016171955).jpg
Beijing
1 Shanghai SH 24,281,40011 Hong Kong HK 7,448,900 Guangzhou Twin Towers.jpg
Guangzhou
Commercial area of futian to east2020.jpg
Shenzhen
2 Beijing BJ 19,164,00012 Zhengzhou HA 7,179,400
3 Guangzhou GD 13,858,70013 Nanjing JS 6,823,500
4 Shenzhen GD 13,438,80014 Xi'an SN 6,642,100
5 Tianjin TJ 11,744,40015 Jinan SD 6,409,600
6 Chongqing CQ 11,488,00016 Shenyang LN 5,900,000
7 Dongguan GD 9,752,50017 Qingdao SD 5,501,400
8 Chengdu SC 8,875,60018 Harbin HL 5,054,500
9 Wuhan HB 8,652,90019 Hefei AH 4,750,100
10 Hangzhou ZJ 8,109,00020 Changchun JL 4,730,900
  1. Population of Hong Kong as of 2018 estimate. [19]
  2. The data of Chongqing in the list is the data of "Metropolitan Developed Economic Area", which contains two parts: "City Proper" and "Metropolitan Area". The "City proper" are consist of 9 districts: Yuzhong, Dadukou, Jiangbei, Shapingba, Jiulongpo, Nan'an, Beibei, Yubei, & Banan, has the urban population of 5,646,300 as of 2018. And the "Metropolitan Area" are consist of 12 districts: Fuling, Changshou, Jiangjin, Hechuan, Yongchuan, Nanchuan, Qijiang, Dazu, Bishan, Tongliang, Tongnan, & Rongchang, has the urban population of 5,841,700. [20] Total urban population of all 26 districts of Chongqing are up to 15,076,600.

Japan

In Japan, urbanized areas are defined as contiguous areas of densely inhabited districts (DIDs) using census enumeration districts as units with a density requirement of 4,000 inhabitants per square kilometre (10,000/sq mi).

South Korea

Seoul is the largest urban area in South Korea.

South Asia

India

For the Census of India 2011, the definition of urban area is a place having a minimum population of 5,000 of density 400 persons per square kilometre (1,000/sq mi) or higher, and 75% plus of the male working population employed in non-agricultural activities. Places administered by a municipal corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee are automatically considered urban areas. [21]

The Census of India 2011 also defined the term "urban agglomeration" as an integrated urban area consisting of a core town together with its "outgrowths" (contiguous suburbs). [22]

(2011 census) [23] [24]

Mumbai night skyline.jpg
Mumbai
Skyscrapers connaught place New Delhi.JPG
Delhi
The Kolkata skyline (from atop Naba Kailash Apartments, Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata) 2013-06-30 22-44.jpg
Kolkata
Chennai Skyline.jpg
Chennai
UB City.jpg
Bangalore
MindSpace campus in Hyderabad, India.jpg
Hyderabad

Rank City Name State/Territory Population Rank City Name State/Territory Population

Amdavad Aerial.jpg
Ahmedabad
Pune-City.jpg
Pune
GauravPath1.jpg
Surat
HawaMahal.jpg
Jaipur
CSJM University.jpg
Kanpur
Lucknow Skyline From Gomti Nagar.jpg
Lucknow

1 Mumbai Maharashtra 18,394,91228 Ludhiana Punjab 1,618,879
2 Delhi Delhi 16,349,83129 Nashik Maharashtra 1,562,769
3 Kolkata West Bengal 14,112,53630 Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh 1,491,202
4 Chennai Tamil Nadu 8,696,01031 Madurai Tamil Nadu 1,465,625
5 Bengaluru Karnataka 8,520,43532 Varanasi Uttar Pradesh 1,435,113
6 Hyderabad Telangana 7,749,33433 Meerut Uttar Pradesh 1,424,908
7 Ahmedabad Gujarat 6,361,08434 Faridabad Haryana 1,414,050
8 Pune Maharashtra 5,057,70935 Rajkot Gujarat 1,390,933
9 Surat Gujarat 4,591,24636 Jamshedpur Jharkhand 1,339,438
10 Jaipur Rajasthan 3,073,35037 Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir 1,273,312
11 Kanpur Uttar Pradesh 2,920,49638 Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh 1,268,848
12 Lucknow Uttar Pradesh 2,902,92039 Asansol West Bengal 1,243,414
13 Nagpur Maharashtra 2,497,87040 Vasai-Virar Maharashtra 1,222,390
14 Ghaziabad Uttar Pradesh 2,375,82041 Allahabad Uttar Pradesh 1,216,719
15 Indore Madhya Pradesh 2,170,29542 Dhanbad Jharkhand 1,196,214
16 Coimbatore Tamil Nadu 2,151,46643 Aurangabad Maharashtra 1,193,167
17 Kochi Kerala 2,119,72444 Amritsar Punjab 1,183,705
18 Patna Bihar 2,049,15645 Jodhpur Rajasthan 1,138,300
19 Kozhikode Kerala 2,030,51946 Ranchi Jharkhand 1,126,741
20 Bhopal Madhya Pradesh 1,886,10047 Raipur Chhattisgarh 1,123,558
21 Thrissur Kerala 1,861,26948 Kollam Kerala 1,110,668
22 Vadodara Gujarat 1,822,22149 Gwalior Madhya Pradesh 1,102,884
23 Agra Uttar Pradesh 1,760,28550 Bhilai Chhattisgarh 1,064,222
24 Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh 1,730,32051 Chandigarh Chandigarh 1,026,459
25 Malappuram Kerala 1,699,06052 Tiruchirappalli Tamil Nadu 1,022,518
26 Thiruvananthapuram Kerala 1,687,40653 Kota Rajasthan 1,001,694
27 Kannur Kerala 1,642,89254 Mysore Karnataka 990,900

Pakistan

In Pakistan, an area is a major city and municipality if it has more than 100,000 inhabitants according to census results. Cities include adjacent cantonments. Urbanisation in Pakistan has increased since the time of independence and has several different causes. The majority of southern Pakistan's population lives along the Indus River. Karachi is its most populous city. [25] In the northern half of the country, most of the population lives in an arc formed by the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Nowshera, Mardan and Peshawar. During 1990–2008, city dwellers made up 36% of Pakistan's population, making it the most urbanised nation in South Asia. Furthermore, 50% of Pakistanis live in towns of 5,000 people or more. [26] Karachi is the most populated city in Pakistan closely followed by Lahore according to the 2017 Census.

Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, there are total 532 urban areas, which are divided into three categories. Those are City Corporation, Municipal Corporation (Pourasova) and Upazila town. Among those urban areas, Dhaka is the largest city by population and area, with a population of 19.10 million. [27] In Bangladesh, there are total 11 City Corporations and 329 Municipal Corporations and 203 Small towns, which serves as the center for Upazilas. According to 2011 population census, Bangladesh has an urban population of 28%, with a growth rate of 2.8%. [28] At this growth rate, it is estimated that the urban population of Bangladesh will reach 79 million or 42% of total population by 2035.

Southeast Asia

Philippines

In 2020, 54 percent of the Philippine population lived in urban areas. [29] With an estimated population of 16.3 million, Metro Manila is the most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines and the 11th in the world. However, the greater urban area is the 5th largest in the world with a population of 20,654,307 people (2010 estimate). [30]

Singapore

As an island city-state, about 5.6 million people live and work within 700 square kilometres (270 sq mi). With 64 islands and islets, Singapore Island makes up the largest urban area in the country. According to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the country has the highest urbanised population in Southeast Asia, with 100 percent of its population living in an urban area. [31] The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is responsible for the urban land-use planning, which designates land use and urban density of the country. [32] The country is divided into 5 regions for planning purposes by the URA, even though as a city state Singapore is defined as a single continuous urban area. It is further subdivided into 55 urban planning areas, which acts as the boundaries of planned towns within the country. [33]

Vietnam

In Vietnam, there are six types of urban areas:

Thailand

Bangkok is the largest urban area in Thailand.

Europe

Finland

A street sign in Vimpeli indicating the beginning of an urban area in Finland Taajama kyltti Vimpelissa.jpg
A street sign in Vimpeli indicating the beginning of an urban area in Finland

As in other Nordic countries, an urban area (taajama in Finnish) in Finland must have a building at least every 200 m (660 ft) and at least 200 people. To be considered a town or a city (kaupunki) for statistical purposes, an urban area must have at least 15,000 people. This is not to be confused with the city / town designation used by municipalities. [34] [35]

France

In France, an urban area (Fr: aire d'attraction d'une ville ) is a zone encompassing an area of built-up growth (called an "urban unit" ( unité urbaine ) [36] – close in definition to the North American urban area) and its commuter belt ( couronne ). Americans would find the INSEE definition of the urban area [37] to be similar to their metropolitan area.

The largest cities in France, in terms of urban area population (2017), are Paris (12,628,266), Lyon (2,323,221), Marseille (1,760,653), Toulouse (1,360,829), Bordeaux (1,247,977), Lille (1,191,117), Nice (1,006,201), Nantes (972,828), Strasbourg (790,087) and Rennes (733,320). [38]

Tour Eiffel 360 Panorama.jpg
Panorama of Paris as seen from the Eiffel Tower as full 360-degree view (river flowing from north-east to south-west, right to left)

Germany

Germany has a number of large cities. The largest conurbation is the Rhine-Ruhr region (11 million in 2008), including Düsseldorf (the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia), Cologne, Bonn, Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg, and Bochum. [39]

Netherlands

The Netherlands is the 30th-most densely populated country in the world, with 404.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,048/sq mi)—or 497 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,287/sq mi) if only the land area is counted. The Randstad is the country's largest conurbation located in the west of the country and contains the four largest cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht. The Randstad has a population of 7 million inhabitants and is the 6th largest metropolitan area in Europe.

Norway

Norway defines urban areas ("tettsteder") similarly to the other Nordic countries. Unlike in Denmark and Sweden, the distance between each building has to be of less than 50 m, although exceptions are made due to parks, industrial areas, rivers, and similar. Groups of houses less than 400 m from the main body of an urban area are included in the urban area. [40]

Poland

In Poland, official "urban" population figures simply refer to those localities which have the status of towns (miasta). The "rural" population is that of all areas outside the boundaries of these towns. This distinction may give a misleading impression in some cases, since some localities with only village status may have acquired larger and denser populations than many many smaller towns [41] with most excessive example of Poznań, most spread urban area of the country with population of the city app. 534 thousand and metropolitan area around 1 million inhabitants. On the other hand, the Katowice urban area with numerous large and medium cities covers 1,468 km and has above 2 million people. The metropolitan areas in Poland are the biggest urban zones (e.g. Katowice metropolitan area, Łódź metropolitan area and Szczecin metropolitan area) and have great impact on the rural surroundings, as it is around Lublin, Radom, Kielce, Tarnów and Białystok.

Russia

Moscow, the capital and largest city of Russia Business Centre of Moscow 2.jpg
Moscow, the capital and largest city of Russia

Moscow, the capital and largest city of Russia, has a population estimated at 12.4 million residents within the city limits, [42] while over 17 million residents in the urban area, [43] and over 20 million residents in the Moscow Metropolitan Area. [44] It is among the world's largest cities, being the most populous city entirely within Europe, the most populous urban area in Europe, [43] the most populous metropolitan area in Europe, [44] and also the largest city by land area on the European continent. [45] Saint Petersburg, the cultural capital, is the second-largest city, with a population of roughly 5.4 million inhabitants. [46] Other major urban areas are Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Chelyabinsk.

Spain

Spain is a very highly urbanized country. Madrid is its largest urban area. The Southern and Eastern coasts with Barcelona, Valencia and Málaga are more urbanised than the Northern and Western ones.

Sweden

Urban areas in Sweden (tätorter) are statistically defined localities, totally independent of the administrative subdivision of the country. There are 1,956 such localities in Sweden, with a population ranging from 200 to 1,372,000 inhabitants. [48]

United Kingdom

In 2013 the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics (ONS) published 2011 Built-up Areas – Methodology and Guidance which sets out its definition of a Built-up area (BUA) as an area of built-up land of at least 20 hectares (0.077 sq mi), separated from other settlements by at least 200 metres (660 ft). For 2011 census data there are 5,493 built-up areas, of which 501 are divided into Built-up area sub-divisions (BUASD) for which data is also available. Each built-up area is named algorithmically, using Ordnance Survey place-name data. [49]

The ONS has produced census results from urban areas since 1951, since 1981 based upon the extent of irreversible urban development indicated on Ordnance Survey maps. The definition is an extent of at least 20 ha and at least 1,500 census residents. Separate areas are linked if less than 200 m (220 yd) apart. Included are transportation features. [50] The UK has five Urban Areas with a population over a million and a further sixty nine with a population over one hundred thousand.

 
Largest urban areas of the United Kingdom
(England and Wales: 2011 census built-up area; [51] Scotland: 2016 estimates settlement; [52] Northern Ireland: 2001 census urban area) [53]
Rank Urban area Pop. Principal settlement Rank Urban area Pop. Principal settlement
1 Greater London 9,787,426 London 11 Bristol 617,280 Bristol
2 Greater Manchester 2,553,379 Manchester 12 Edinburgh 512,150 Edinburgh
3 West Midlands 2,440,986 Birmingham 13 Leicester 508,916 Leicester
4 West Yorkshire 1,777,934 Leeds 14 Belfast 483,418 Belfast
5 Greater Glasgow 985,290 Glasgow 15 Brighton & Hove 474,485 Brighton
6 Liverpool 864,122 Liverpool 16 South East Dorset 466,266 Bournemouth
7 South Hampshire 855,569 Southampton 17 Cardiff 390,214 Cardiff
8 Tyneside 774,891 Newcastle upon Tyne 18 Teesside 376,633 Middlesbrough
9 Nottingham 729,977 Nottingham 19 Stoke-on-Trent 372,775 Stoke-on-Trent
10 Sheffield 685,368 Sheffield 20 Coventry 359,262 Coventry

Oceania

Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics refers to urban areas as Urban Centres, which it generally defines as population clusters of 1,000 or more people. [54] Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world, with more than 50% of the population residing in Australia's three biggest urban centres.[ citation needed ] [54]

Sydney Harbour Bridge night.jpg
Sydney is Australia's largest city, home to 5.3 million inhabitants. [55]
 
Largest populated areas in Australia
Rank Name State Pop. Rank Name State Pop.
Sydney Opera house 3.jpg
Sydney
Melbourne city skyline from the perspective of Port Melbourne.jpg
Melbourne
1 Sydney NSW 5,259,76411 Geelong Vic 289,400 Early morning in Brisbane City seen from Kangaroo Point, September 2020, 07.jpg
Brisbane
The Perth skyline in January 2016.jpg
Perth
2 Melbourne Vic 4,976,15712 Hobart Tas 251,047
3 Brisbane Qld 2,568,92713 Townsville Qld 181,665
4 Perth WA 2,192,22914 Cairns Qld 155,638
5 Adelaide SA 1,402,39315 Darwin NT 148,801
6 Gold CoastTweed Heads Qld/NSW 706,67316 Toowoomba Qld 143,994
7 NewcastleMaitland NSW 509,89417 Ballarat Vic 111,702
8 CanberraQueanbeyan ACT/NSW 482,25018 Bendigo Vic 102,899
9 Sunshine Coast Qld 355,63119 Albury-Wodonga NSW/Vic 97,676
10 Wollongong NSW 305,88020 Launceston Tas 93,332

New Zealand

Statistics New Zealand defines urban areas in New Zealand, which are independent of any administrative subdivisions and have no legal basis. [57] There are four classes of urban area: major urban areas (population 100,000+), large urban areas (population 30,000–99,999), medium urban areas (population 10,000–29,999) and small urban areas (population 1,000–9,999). As of 2021, there are 7 major urban areas, 13 large urban areas, 22 medium urban areas and 136 small urban areas. Urban areas are reclassified after each New Zealand census, so population changes between censuses does not change an urban area's classification.

North America

Canada

According to Statistics Canada, an urban area in Canada is an area with a population of at least 1,000 people where the density is no fewer than 400 persons per square kilometre (1,000/sq mi). [59] If two or more urban areas are within 2 km (1.2 mi) of each other by road, they are merged into a single urban area, provided they do not cross census metropolitan area or census agglomeration boundaries. [60]

In the Canada 2011 Census, Statistics Canada redesignated urban areas with the new term "population centre"; [61] the new term was chosen in order to better reflect the fact that urban vs. rural is not a strict division, but rather a continuum within which several distinct settlement patterns may exist. For example, a community may fit a strictly statistical definition of an urban area, but may not be commonly thought of as "urban" because it has a smaller population, or functions socially and economically as a suburb of another urban area rather than as a self-contained urban entity, or is geographically remote from other urban communities. Accordingly, the new definition set out three distinct types of population centres: small (population 1,000 to 29,999), medium (population 30,000 to 99,999) and large (population 100,000 or greater). [61] Despite the change in terminology, however, the demographic definition of a population centre remains unchanged from that of an urban area: a population of at least 1,000 people where the density is no fewer than 400 persons per km2.

Mexico

Mexico is one of many countries where the urbanization rate is at least 80%. Mexico City, its capital, is the largest urban area in the country.

United States

In the United States, the Census Bureau defines urban areas and delineates urban area boundaries after each census. The Bureau defines an urban area as "a statistical geographic entity consisting of a densely settled core created from census blocks and contiguous qualifying territory that together have at least 2,000 housing units or 5,000 persons." [63] There were 2,646 urban areas identified by the Census Bureau for 2020. 511 of these had a population of 50,000 or more. [64]

For the 2000 and 2010 censuses, the Census Bureau differentiated between two kinds of urban areas: urbanized areas and urban clusters. The term urbanized area denoted an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas under 50,000 people were called urban clusters. Urbanized areas were first delineated in the United States in the 1950 census, while urban clusters were added in the 2000 census. The distinction between urbanized areas and urban clusters was removed for the 2020 census. [63]

Urban areas consist of a densely-settled urban core, plus surrounding developed areas that meet certain density criteria. Since urban areas are composed of census blocks and not cities, counties, or county-equivalents, urban area boundaries may consist of partial areas of these political units. Urban areas are distinguished from rural areas: any area not part of an urban area is considered to be rural by the Census Bureau. [63]

The largest urban area in the United States is that of New York City and its surrounding suburbs. The New York–Jersey CityNewark, NY–NJ urban area had a population of 19,426,449 as of 2020, while the larger metropolitan area had a population of 20,140,470, and the combined statistical area had a population of 23,582,649. The next five largest urban areas in the U.S. are those of Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Houston, and Dallas. [64] 80.0 percent of the population of the United States lives within the boundaries of an urban area as of the 2020 census. [65]

The concept of Urbanized Areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau is often used as a more accurate gauge of the size of a city, since in different cities and states the lines between city borders and the urbanized area of that city are often not the same. For example, the city of Greenville, South Carolina has a city population just over 68,000 and an urbanized area population of around 400,000, while Greensboro, North Carolina has a city population just over 285,000 and an urbanized area population of around 300,000 — meaning that Greenville is actually "larger" for some intents and purposes, but not for others, such as taxation, local elections, etc.

In the U.S. Department of Agriculture's natural resources inventory, urban areas are officially known as developed areas or urban and built-up areas. Such areas include cities, ethnic villages, other built-up areas of more than 10 ac (4 ha), industrial sites, railroad yards, cemeteries, airports, golf courses, shooting ranges, institutional and public administration sites, and similar areas. The 1997 national resources inventory placed over 98,000,000 ac (40,000,000 ha) in this category, an increase of 25,000,000 ac (10,000,000 ha) since 1982. [66]

South America

Argentina

Argentina is highly urbanized. [67] The ten largest metropolitan areas account for half of the population, and fewer than one in ten live in rural areas. About 3 million people live in Buenos Aires City and the Greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area totals around 15 million, making it one of the largest urban areas in the world, with a population of 18 million all up. [68]

Córdoba has around 1.5 million people living in the urban area, while Rosario, Mendoza and Tucumán have around 1.2 million inhabitants each [68] and La Plata, Mar del Plata, Salta and Santa Fe [68] [69] have at least 500,000 people each.

Brazil

In Brazil, the terms metropolitan area (Portuguese: região metropolitana) and urban agglomeration (aglomeração urbana) have specific meanings. They are defined by federal and state legislation as collections of municipalities focused on "integrating the organization, planning and execution of public functions of common interest". [70] An integrated development area (região integrada de desenvolvimento) is one of the two above structures that crosses state (or Federal District) boundaries.
Skyline of Sao Paulo at dusk (cropped).jpg
Skyline of São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil

Chile

Chile is highly urbanized. The largest urban area in the country is its capital, Santiago.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Megacity</span> Metropolitan area with a total population in excess of ten million people

A megacity is a very large city, typically with a population of more than 10 million people. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in its 2018 "World Urbanization Prospects" report defines megacities as urban agglomerations with over 10 million inhabitants. A University of Bonn report holds that they are "usually defined as metropolitan areas with a total population of 10 million or more people". Elsewhere in other sources, from five to eight million is considered the minimum threshold, alongside a population density of at least 2,000 per square kilometre. The terms conurbation, metropolis, and metroplex are also applied to the latter.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metropolitan area</span> Administrative unit of a dense urban core and its satellite cities

A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban agglomeration and its surrounding territories sharing industries, commercial areas, transport network, infrastructures and housing. A metropolitan area usually comprises multiple principal cities, jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships, boroughs, cities, towns, exurbs, suburbs, counties, districts and even states and nations in areas like the eurodistricts. As social, economic and political institutions have changed, metropolitan areas have become key economic and political regions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conurbation</span>

A map of the large conurbation area of Helsinki in Uusimaa, Finland

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greater Tokyo Area</span> Metropolitan area in Japan

The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, consisting of the Kantō region of Japan as well as the prefecture of Yamanashi of the neighboring Chūbu region. In Japanese, it is referred to by various terms, one of the most common being Capital Region.

An urban area or tätort in Sweden has a minimum of 200 inhabitants and may be a city, town or larger village. It is a purely statistical concept, not defined by any municipal or county boundaries. Larger urban areas synonymous with cities or towns for statistical purposes have a minimum of 10,000 inhabitants. The same statistical definition is also used for urban areas in the other Nordic countries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">City proper</span> Geographical area contained within the defined boundary of a city

A city proper is the geographical area contained within city limits. The term proper is not exclusive to cities; it can describe the geographical area within the boundaries of any given locality. The United Nations defines the term as "the single political jurisdiction which contains the historical city centre. The term is synonymous with Central City in the United States which typically contains much of the lower income population. "

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Human settlement</span> Community of any size, in which people live

In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community of people living in a particular place. The complexity of a settlement can range from a minuscule number of dwellings grouped together to the largest of cities with surrounding urbanized areas. Settlements may include hamlets, villages, towns and cities. A settlement may have known historical properties such as the date or era in which it was first settled, or first settled by particular people. The process of settlement involves human migration.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metropolis</span> Large city or conurbation

A metropolis is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural area for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections, commerce, and communications.

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