Megacities around the world.

A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density (at least 2,000 persons/square km). Megacities can be distinguished from global cities by their rapid growth, new forms of spatial density of population, formal and informal economics, as well as poverty, crime, and high levels of social fragmentation. A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge upon one another. The terms conurbation and metroplex are also applied to the latter. The terms megapolis and megalopolis are sometimes used synonymously with megacity. The term metacity is also sometimes used to describe cities with more than 20 million people.

There are today 19 megacities on Earth and their number is expected to increase to 27 in 2025. The proportion of people living in megacities is small. In 2007, 9 per cent of the world urban population resided in megacities and by 2025 their share is expected to raise to almost 10 per cent. In relation to the whole world population, megacities account today for 4 per cent of the population, meaning that just one in twenty-five people on Earth live in megacities.  Asia has eleven megacities; Latin America has four; Northern America, two; and Africa and Europe have one each. Eleven of these megacities are capitals of their countries. By 2025, when the number of megacities rises to 27, Asia would have increased its number by five; Africa by two, and Europe by one.

2007

Rank

Urban agglomeration

Population *

1

Tokyo, Japan

35.7

2

New York-Newark, USA

19.0

3

Ciudad de México (México City), México

19.0

4

Mumbai (Bombay), India

19.0

5

São Paulo, Brazil

18.8

6

Delhi, India

15.9

7

Shanghai, China

15.0

8

Kolkata (Calcutta), India

14.8

9

Dhaka, Bangladesh

13.5

10

Buenos Aires, Argentina

12.8

11

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, USA

12.5

12

Karachi, Pakistan

12.1

13

Al-Qahirah (Cairo), Egypt

11.9

14

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

11.7

15

Osaka-Kobe, Japan

11.3

16

Beijing, China

11.1

17

Manila, Philippines

11.1

18

Moskva (Moscow), Russian Federation

10.5

19

Istanbul, Turkey

10.1

*millions inhabitants

Source:

Sources: http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm

World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megacity

Spanish version/Versión en español

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