World Facts

Largest Cities In Europe

Moscow remain the most populous urban area on the European continent in terms of its respective metro area populations. Many other national capitals are also large cities.

Europe has a relatively slow growing population compared to all of the other inhabited continents of the world. As of 2010, the population of the continent was found to be 740 million, as per the estimates released by the United Nations. This figure represented only 11% of the world's population, and it is expected that by 2050, the European population's relative proportion will further fall to represent only 7% of the world population. A rapidly declining birth rate contributes to this dramatic decline in the continent’s population. However, despite the fall in the continent of Europe's population, a large influx of immigrants from the developing and underdeveloped countries of the world, many in search of a better life in these European countries, are largely responsible for the booming populations that nonetheless do exist in the large metropolitan cities on the continent. If we observe the data on the most populous cities in Europe, we find that four cities of Europe make it across the 10 million-strong population mark, while 11 cities have a population of more than 3 million. This data clearly indicates that, despite the slow growth rate of the continent’s population, its major metropolitan areas are still huge crowd pullers.

Largest City In Europe

The list of Europe’s most populous cities reveals that the most populated city in Europe is Istanbul, followed by Moscow, Paris, and London. Istanbul is sometimes not included in the list of the most populated cities in Europe, as the city is technically located in Eurasia. However, over 60% of Istanbul's population is found on the European side of the city. Istanbul, a historic city whose development dates back to at least the time of the Silk Road, has seen a steady increase in population since the post war era. Today, it counts 14,163,989 people as its inhabitants in its metropolitan area.

Second on the list of Europe's most populated cities is Moscow, with a population of 12,165,704 in its metropolitan area. Moscow serves as a major economic, political, cultural and scientific center, and a bridge of sorts between Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Asia. This is the reason for the city’s enormous population, despite Moscow being one of the northernmost and coldest metropolises on Earth. According to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, Moscow is ranked as an "alpha global city", meaning it has one of the world’s largest urban economies. In the past, the city has served as the capital of major empires, and currently is the seat of power of the Russian Government.

European National Capitals Dominate The List

A number of entries on the list of Europe's most populated cities are country capitals. For example, Paris and London, the capitals of France and the United Kingdom, each have metropolitan populations of over 10 million. Both of these cities are famous for their world-class infrastructures, high living standards, thriving economies, cultural richness, and multiculturalism. All of these factors act as huge crowd pullers, attracting immigrants from all over the globe to these cities. Other capitals to be featured on the list with large metro areas include Madrid, Spain (6,199,254), Rome, Italy (3,717,956), Berlin, Germany (3,563,194) and Athens, Greece (3,051,899).

Future Trends Of Major Cities

The growth of the European population is predicted to be slow in the coming years when compared to the population growth of other continents, estimated to be seen peaking in 2050, and then declining afterwards. Though the growth will be slow, the tendency of people to gather at Europe’s urban areas will put ongoing stresses on the existing infrastructures of Europe’s most populous cities. More houses, hospitals, schools, and transport infrastructure will be thus needed to accommodate the growing populations in these large cities. Hence, city planners in Europe need to focus their attention on such tasks to ensure that the population of Europe's cities will continue to be able to enjoy the high standards of living offered in these cities.

Largest City Metro Populations In Europe

RankCityCountryMetro Population
1Istanbul Turkey14,163,989
4LondonUnited Kingdom10,313,307
7Saint PetersburgRussia4,992,991
14ManchesterUnited Kingdom2,645,598
15BirminghamUnited Kingdom2,514,596

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