The biggest cities in the world are truly spectacular places, where the height of our current achievements as a species and civilization can be witnessed. The thought of 20 million people co-existing and functioning together in a small region is pretty spectacular when you consider the simple, nomadic roots from which humans developed. It’s not really a surprise however, as it’s essentially a necessity given the world’s bulging population of about 7.167 billion people (according to the United States Census Bureau (USCB)) that we live in harmony together in densely-populated regions. And it will only continue along this course, as the world’s population is expected to top 9 billion before 2050.
The history and culture of the 25 biggest cities in the world makes for some great studying, as the majority of the cities have lengthy and notable histories that led to their development as human gathering places. In some cases, the living environment was an important factor, with open plains being desirable places to build cities, as opposed to deserts, mountains or forests (though the latter can be conquered).
In addition to the total population figures presented on our list, you’ll also notice the population density statistics of each city. This is the number of people living square kilometer living in the city, which gives you an idea of how tightly packed with people each city is. You may notice some discrepancies with the numbers on our list compared to other lists. That’s because this list ranks cities by their “city proper”, which essentially eschews outer districts if they are run by different political or administrative bodies than the city proper. This has little effect on the rankings of some cities, but others, like New York, and Tokyo (otherwise widely regarded as the most populated city in the world) have much fewer people with their actual city proper.
Here then, we have listed the 25 biggest cities in the world in terms of their city proper population, which will give you a glimpse into the staggering number of people that populate some of the world’s greatest cities. If you’re interested in further reading on the subject afterwards, particularly as it relates to the United States (from which only one city made our forthcoming list), we suggest you check out previous article on The 20 Biggest Cities in the United States.