These will be the world's biggest cities in 2030

ShutterstockA street in Tokyo, Japan.

With over 37 million residents, Greater Tokyo is the most populous metro area in the world today.

Urban growth is not unique to Japan. By 2030, the United Nations predicts that the world will have 43 megacities, defined as metro areas with more than 10 million people. Most of them will be in developing regions in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

The UN recently released its annual World Urbanisation Prospects, which estimates which metro areas will have the highest populations by 2030.

On World Population Day this Wednesday, let’s take a look at the top 13:


13. Greater New York, New York — 20 million

FlickrA street in New York, New York.

Population in 2018: 18.8 million

Note: The NY metro area includes New York City, Long Island, and the Mid and Lower Hudson Valley in New York state; Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and Edison in New Jersey; and Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury in Connecticut.


12. Karachi, Pakistan — 20.4 million

Population in 2018: 15.4 million


11. Lagos State, Nigeria — 20.6 million

ariyo olasunkanmi/ShutterstockA street in Lagos, Nigeria.

Population in 2015: 13.5 million

Note: Lagos State includes eight local municipalities.


10. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo — 21.9 million

Flickr via Antoine_MoensA street in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Population in 2015: 13.2 million

Note: Kinshasa includes four districts, which are further divide into 24 communes.


9. Greater Sao Paulo, Brazil — 23.8 million

Thiago Leite/ShutterstockA street in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Population in 2015: 21.7 million

Note: Greater Sao Paulo includes 39 smaller municipalities.


8. Greater Mexico City, Mexico — 24.1 million

ShutterstockA street in Mexico, City, Mexico.

Population in 2015: 21.6 million

Note: Mexico City’s metro area includes 76 municipalities.


7. Greater Beijing, China — 24.3 million

Population in 2015: 19.6 million

Note: Greater Beijing includes the Beijing and Tianjin municipalities and Hebei Province.


6. Greater Mumbai, India — 24.6 million

Photo by Harry Piqué on UnsplashA street in Mumbai, India.

Population in 2015: 20 million

Note: Greater Mumbai consists of nine local governing bodies and 15 smaller municipal councils.


5. Greater Cairo, Egypt — 25.6 million

Prin Adulyatham/ShutterstockAn aerial view of Cairo, Egypt.

Population in 2015: 20.1 million

Note: Greater Cairo includes the city of Cairo, as well as the surrounding districts of Giza and Qalyubia.


4. Greater Dhaka, Bangladesh — 28.1 million

Population in 2015: 19.6 million

Note: Greater Dhaka includes four districts and 11 smaller sub-units of districts.


3. Shanghai, China — 32.9 million

Andrew Milligan Sumo/FlickrA street in Shanghai, China.

Population in 2015: 25.6 million


2. Greater Tokyo, Japan — 36.6 million

Koichi Kamoshida/GettyA street in Tokyo, Japan.

Population in 2015: 37.5 million

Note: Greater Tokyo includes 23 smaller districts. The metro area is the only one in the top 13 that the UN predicts will see a decrease in population by 2030.


1. Greater Delhi, India — 39 million

Population in 2015: 28.5 million

Note: Greater Delhi includes satellite cities including Faridabad, Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh, Noida, and Ghaziabad.

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