Top 15 Most Populated Cities in the World

Top 15 Most Populated Cities in the World 2024: Of the eight billion people in the world, more than half of this number reside in cities across the world. As the world continues to urbanize, more countries will continue to expand and the number of people living in cities is expected to jump, according to the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The U.N. estimates that 35 percent of urbanization will occur in India, China, and Nigeria alone. We compiled a ranking of the most populated cities in the world for 2024, along with the countries where they are found, and their population. This list is compiled based on the most recent data from World Population Review.

The majority of the most populous cities in the world are in the two most populated countries in the world, China and India. Tokyo is clearly the largest city in the world with a population of over 37 million people. Closely following Tokyo are Delhi (33 million), Shanghai (29 million), and Dhaka (23 million) in second, third, and fourth places, respectively. All these cities are in the Asian continent!

Top 15 Most Populated Cities in the World 2024

Rank City Country Population
1 Tokyo Japan 37,194,000
2 Delhi India 32,941,000
3 Shanghai China 29,211,000
4 Dhaka Bangladesh 23,210,000
5 Sao Paulo Brazil 22,620,000
6 Mexico City Mexico 22,281,000
7 Cairo Egypt 22,183,000
8 Beijing China 21,766,000
9 Mumbai India 21,297,000
10 Osaka Japan 19,013,000
11 New York City United States 18,937,000
12 Chongqing China 17,341,000
13 Karachi Pakistan 17,236,000
14 Kinshasa Republic of Congo 16,316,000
15 Lagos Nigeria 15,946,000

1. Tokyo, Japan

Population: 37,194,000

15 most Populated Cities in the World


Tokyo tops with the list of the most populated cities in the world with a population of over 37 million people. It is also among the biggest and most powerful cities in the Asian continent and is a culturally diverse city with a vast number of choices for tourists. It is reputed for providing premium satisfaction in cuisine, entertainment, and shopping. Formerly known as Edo, Tokyo serves as the economic centre for Japan. It is seat of both the Japanese government and the Emperor of Japan.

Tokyo is the second-largest urban economy worldwide by gross domestic product after New York City, and is also Japan’s leading business hub. It houses the headquarters of several of the world’s largest investment banks and insurance companies, and serves as a hub for Japan’s transportation, publishing, electronics and broadcasting industries.

Tokyo is home to the world’s tallest tower, Tokyo Skytree, the world’s largest underground floodwater diversion facility, the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, and the world’s busiest train station, Shinjuku Station.

2. Delhi, India

Population: 32,941,000


Delhi: Top 15 most populated cities in the World

With 33 million people, Delhi is the second largest city in the world by population and the most populated city in India. It is officially recognized as the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi and covers an area of 1,484 square kilometres. Delhi’s long history and historic ties to being India’s capital have had an impact on its culture. This, coupled with the fact that the city boasts excellent cuisine, makes it popular with tourists.

Delhi has the second-highest GDP per capita in India (after Goa) and is among the most productive metro area in India. The major contributors to the city’s economy are construction, power, health and community services, and real estate. Also, the city has one of India’s largest and fastest growing retail industries.

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3. Shanghai, China

Population: 29,211,000


Shanghai is one of the four direct-administered municipalities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and is the third most populated city in the world with a population of 29.2 million. It is one of the world’s major centers for finance, business and economics, research, science and technology, manufacturing, transportation, tourism, and culture. It has the world’s busiest container port, the Port of Shanghai.

The city is renowned for its Lujiazui skyline, museums and the City God Temple, Yu Garden, and the China Pavilion. Shanghai is also known for its sugary cuisine, distinctive local language, and vibrant international flair.


The six largest industries in Shanghai- retail, finance, IT, real estate, machine manufacturing, and automotive manufacturing are the highest contributors to the GDP of the city.

4. Dhaka, Bangladesh

Population: 23,210,000



Dhaka is the capital, largest city of Bangladesh and the fourth-most populated city in the world with a population of 23.21 million people. The megacity of Dhaka is widely considered to be the most densely populated built-up urban area in the world. It is an important cultural, economic, and scientific hub of the Bengal region and South Asia.


Dhaka is the centre of political, economic, educational, scientific, research, and culture life in Bangladesh. The city accounts for 35% of Bangladesh’s economy and the city has a growing middle class, driving the market for modern consumer and luxury goods. Shopping malls serve as vital elements in the city’s economy.

Due to the large number of mosques that have been constructed there, Dhaka is recognized across the world as the City of Mosques. With its trade and growing textile industry, the city is also regarded as the industrial and commercial hub of Bangladesh. The modern National Museum and other historical locations allow visitors to learn about Dhaka’s rich cultural past.

5. São Paulo, Brazil

Population: 22,620,000

São Paulo: Most Populated Cities in the World


With a population of 22.62 million people, Sao Paulo is claims the fifth spot on our list of the most populated cities in the world. It is the most populous city in Brazil, and is the capital of the state of São Paulo, the most populous and wealthiest Brazilian state.

It exerts strong international influences in commerce, finance, arts and entertainment, and is the largest Portuguese-speaking city in the world. São Paulo is the financial capital of Brazil and has the largest economy by GDP in Latin America. The top five commodities exported by São Paulo are soybean (21%), raw sugar (19%), coffee (6.5%), sulfate chemical wood pulp (5.6%), and corn (4.4%).

Sao Paulo is also home to several of the tallest skyscrapers in Brazil, including the Mirante do Vale, Edifício Itália, Banespa, North Tower and many others.

6. Mexico City, Mexico

Population: 22,281,000


Mexico City is the capital and largest city of Mexico, and the most populous city in North America. With a population of 22.28 million, Mexico City is the sixth most populated city in the world. It is one of the world’s alpha cities and one of the most productive urban areas in the world.

The city accounts for 15.8% of Mexico’s GDP, and the metropolitan area accounted for about 22% of the country’s GDP. Mexico City offers an immense and varied consumer retail market, ranging from basic foods to ultra high-end luxury goods.

Mexico City has a rich history of artistic expression and has numerous museums dedicated to art, including Mexican colonial, modern and contemporary art, and international art.

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7. Cairo, Egypt

Population: 22,183,000


With a population of 22.2 million people, Cairo is among the most populated cities in the world. It is the largest city and the capital of Egypt. Cairo also has an extensive history that dates back to 969 CE, combining both ancient and new-world Egypt.

Cairo is also the largest city in Africa and the Middle East, and it is frequently referred to as the “center of civilization.” It is also one of the most visited tourist locations in Africa.


Cairo has long been a centre of the region’s political and cultural life, and is titled “the city of a thousand minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Its historic centre  was awarded World Heritage Site status in 1979 and Cairo is considered a World City with a “Beta +” classification according to GaWC. In addition, Cairo is home to the world’s second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University as well as the oldest and largest cinema and music industry in the Arab world.

Cairo accounts for 22% of Egypt’s economy (PPP) and the economy has traditionally been based on governmental institutions and services.

8. Beijing, China

Population: 21,766,000



Beijing, China is eighth on the list of the most populated cities in the world, with a population of 21.8 million people. The city is the capital of the People’s Republic of China one of the oldest cities in the world. Its rich history spans more than three millennia, blending both contemporary and traditional-style architecture.

The city of Beijing is considered one of the most important tourist spots in the world. Beijing city is home to several monuments, museums, and even seven different UNESCO World Heritage Sites, all of which make for incredible tourist destinations. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls, and gates.

Beijing is a global city and one of the world’s leading centres for culture, diplomacy, politics, finance, business, economics, education, research, language, tourism, media, sport, science and technology, and transportation.  The Beijing Capital International Airport is among the busiest airports in the world.

9. Mumbai, India

Population: 21,297,000


Mumbai: Top 10 Most Populated Cities in the World

Mumbai is the capital city of Maharashtra and is the second most populous city in India, after Delhi. It is ranked the ninth most populated city in the world with a population of 21.3 million. Mumbai is an alpha world city.

Mumbai is the financial, commercial, and the entertainment capital of India. It is also one of the world’s top ten centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, and generates 6.16% of India’s GDP. The city is also home to Bollywood and Marathi cinema industries.

It was constructed on the site of a village, and it was given its name after Mumba, the local deity, whose temple was originally located in the city’s southeast.


Read Also: Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the World

10. Osaka, Japan

Population: 19,013,000


The City of Osaka completes our list of the top 10 most populated cities in the world with a population of 19 million residents. This Japanese city is located in the Kansai region of Japan, which is popularly called the cultural heart of the country. Osaka was the commercial and political hub of Japan from as early as the fifth century, primarily because it provided traders and travelers with access to the sea and river routes


Today, it is fast becoming a popular tourist destination because of its historical landmarks, diverse cuisine, and many more activities. Osaka is a major financial center of Japan, and it is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in Japan. Several major companies, such as Panasonic, Sharp, and Sanyo are headquartered in Osaka.

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