Countries By Number of Cities Over One Million

By on in World Facts
China has over 100 cities with populations over 1 million. Editorial credit: TonyV3112 /

Currently, the total estimated number of human beings on earth is over 7.6 billion with China and India having over a billion citizens. The total annual births are estimated to be 135 million babies annually while the total deaths are about 56 million. The rapid economic growth rate of the majority of the biggest cities in the world has attracted a lot of people who live and work there, thus increasing the population of these places to over a million.

Top 3 Countries By Number of Cities Over One Million

1) China

Even though China is not the largest nation on earth by size, it is the most highly populated with a population of over 1.3 billlion. About 102 Cities in China have a community of over a million with about ten cities having over ten million residents. The urban population has grown by over half a billion in the last three decades, and this has resulted in the creation of megacities. Some of these cities include Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Chongqing, Beijing, and Shanghai. The high rate of urbanization in China is promoted by the government’s plan of having over 60% of the population living in urban centers by 2020. Guangzhou has the most significant metropolitan population of 44,294,245 people followed by Shanghai (35,965,403), Chongqing (25,165,500), and Beijing (22,500,000).

2) India

India is the seventh largest nation on earth by land area and the second by population right behind China. India has a population of over 1.2 billion people and the most highly populated city is Mumbai. Over 67% of the population still lives in the rural area. About 46 Indian cities have a community of over a million with Mumbai leading by 12,442,373 people followed by Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. Urbanization began after India gained their independence because of the adoption of a mixed economy which contributed to the growth of the private sector. The population living in the growing cities reached 30% by 2011.

3) Brazil

Brazil is the fifth biggest nation on earth by land area and population. Brazil has a population of about 258 million people with 87.86% of them living in the urban areas. Brazil has the highest urbanization level with about eighty-two out of every a hundred people living in the city. Brazil has about three hundred urban areas, and only seventeen of them have a population of over a million. Sao Paulo is the most highly populated city in Brazil with over 12,038,175 residents followed by Rio de Janeiro (6,498,837), Brasilia, Salvador, and Fortaleza. The state capitals like Sao Paulo (the state capital of the state of Sao Paulo) are the largest cities in their specific regions.

Factors Contributing To The High Population Growth In Some Cities

Rural-urban migration has increased the number of people living in these cities immensely over the last century. Some governments, such as the Chinese government, are promoting rural-urban migration, and they plan to grow the number of people living in the cities in the future by up to 60%. Industrialization has helped cities grow both in size and population. The most highly populated nations in the world like China, India, and Brazil have the most highly populous urban areas in the world which are growing due to poor economic growth in the rural areas.

Countries By Number of Cities Over One Million

RankCountryNumber of Cities Over One Million
8United States10

More in World Facts