World Facts

Largest Cities in North America

Mexico City has the largest metropolitan area in North America by population, followed by New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Many North American cities are well-known far beyond the borders of the continent. Not only do they stand out in terms of the size of the populous, but for their important cultural and economic contributions to their respective countries as a whole. Over the years, cities in Canada, the United States, and Mexico have frequently interchanged in size rankings due to a variety of factors influencing population growth. The population of North America is around 579 million. Looking more closely at this population of more than half a billion people, we have identified some of the largest, most important cities found on the continent in terms of population. In this article, the city populations listed are those of metro areas, not necessarily city proper populations within the bounds of city limits. Mexico City has the largest metropolitan area in North America by population, followed by New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

The 10 Biggest Cities in North America

1. Mexico City, Mexico (20,892,724)

Mexico City has the most populous metro area in North America with a population of 20,892,724. Located in the Valley of Mexico in the center of the country, Mexico City is the nation's capital. The population of Mexico City continues to grow, at an annual rate of 1.8%. Most Mexican industrial products are produced within its surrounding area, making it a logical point of relocation for the job-seeking migrants who continue to pour into in this city from all around the country.

2. New York, United States (20,182,305)

New York City has long been regarded as one of the most important cities on the continent and in the world as a whole. With a metropolitan population of 20,182,305, New York is known globally as “the city that never sleeps”, and as a place where dreams come true. While we may not take that flattering hyperbole literally, it is undeniably a fact that this city offers endless career opportunities, and it’s safe to say that career growth is among the primary drivers behind the choice made by massive numbers of people to reside in and around New York City. People all over the world gamble that their luck will be better in New York, in the hopes of finding a career path that will eventually allow them to stay in the city permanently, and enjoy the bountiful fruits of the "Big Apple".

3. Los Angeles, United States (13,340,068)

Los Angeles has over time come to rival its cross-country counterpart as one of the largest metropolises in North America. The metro area is home to Hollywood, the country’s show business and entertainment heart, as well as internationally important financial establishments. Its location also makes it an important link between the contingent United States and another world across the Pacific. For many, L.A. means unbounded opportunities, prompting local inhabitants to stay and newcomers to continue to arrive in hope of achieving their own “California Dreamin’.

4. Chicago, United States (9,551,031)

Chicago is located in the midwestern United States. It has a total metropolitan population of more than 9.5 million people. Despite cold winters, the city of Chicago has attracted people from all over the United States as well as the world with its culture, opportunities, and easy-going vibe.

5. Dallas-Fort Worth, United States (7,102,796)

The Dallas-Forth Worth area is the most populated city in the US state of Texas, with a total population of 7.1 million in its metro area. It is an important center for air travel and business, as well as southern US culture.

Commonalities Shared Between Big Cities

Looking at shared characteristics seen in each of the cities mentioned above, economic stability is a common denominator among them all. These cities have become so large due to the fact that their economies are highly competitive in both national and international markets. Looking at these North American cities, we see that, as a city’s economy grows, more people are drawn into it, promoting the metropolitan population to grow right alongside it.

The 40 Largest Cities in North America

RankMetropolitan AreaCountryMetropolitan Population
1Mexico CityMexico20,892,724
2New York CityUnited States20,182,305
3Los AngelesUnited States13,340,068
4ChicagoUnited States9,551,031
5Dallas–Fort WorthUnited States7,102,796
6HoustonUnited States6,656,947
7TorontoCanada6,116,725
8WashingtonUnited States6,097,684
9PhiladelphiaUnited States6,069,875
10MiamiUnited States6,012,331
11AtlantaUnited States5,710,795
12GuadalajaraMexico4,796,603
13BostonUnited States4,774,321
14San FranciscoUnited States4,656,132
15PhoenixUnited States4,574,531
16Inland EmpireUnited States4,489,159
17MonterreyMexico4,475,949
18DetroitUnited States4,302,043
19MontrealCanada4,045,877
20SeattleUnited States3,733,580
21Santo DomingoDominican Republic3,658,648
22Minneapolis–St. PaulUnited States3,524,583
23San DiegoUnited States3,299,521
24Tampa Bay AreaUnited States2,975,225
25PueblaMexico2,941,988
26DenverUnited States2,814,330
27St. LouisUnited States2,811,588
28BaltimoreUnited States2,797,407
29Guatemala CityGuatemala2,749,161
30Port-au-PrinceHaiti2,618,894
31VancouverCanada2,509,942
32CharlotteUnited States2,426,363
33PortlandUnited States2,389,228
34OrlandoUnited States2,387,138
35San AntonioUnited States2,384,075
36PittsburghUnited States2,353,045
37SacramentoUnited States2,274,194
38San JuanPuerto Rico2,196,538
39CincinnatiUnited States2,157,719
40HavanaCuba2,117,625
41TolucaMexico2,116,506
42Las VegasUnited States2,114,801
43Kansas CityUnited States2,087,471
44ClevelandUnited States2,060,810
45ColumbusUnited States2,021,632
46AustinUnited States2,000,860
47IndianapolisUnited States1,988,817
48San JoseUnited States1,976,836
49Panama CityPanama1,910,328
50TijuanaMexico1,840,710

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