With a global population surpassing 8 billion, it’s fascinating to see where we all decide to hang our hats. While many relish the quiet of smaller towns, millions gravitate towards the buzz of big cities. These urban hubs aren’t just dense with people; they’re bustling with culture, innovation, and life. Here are the most populated cities of 2023, where the majority of the world’s inhabitants call home.
1. Tokyo, Japan – 37,194,000
The sparkling capital of Japan takes the lead with over 37 thousand citizens. While it is full of skyscrapers and cutting-edge technology, you can still see the ancestry of traditional Japan at every turn.
2. Delhi, India – 32,941,000
This is another city that blends its rich history along with its modern needs beautifully. Taking a stroll down the streets of Delhi allows you to explore monuments of ancient times and also high-end shops.
3. Shanghai, China – 29,211,000
Often looked to as the forefront of amazing futuristic tech. This is a city full of marvels of architecture like the Shanghai Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower. They remain one of the most important powerhouses for commerce around the globe.
4. Dhaka, Bangladesh – 23,210,000
The history that this capital city has is showcased at every turn. While they have definitely kept up with the times, their closeness to their heritage and traditions is a bigger part of their city than the skyscrapers associated with the ones above.
5. Sao Paulo, Brazil – 22,620,000
Sao Paulo is one of the most important economic cities, with their exports being just as rich as their samba music. A beautiful place to experience the arts and sounds of Latin culture, with festivals throughout the year.
6. Mexico City, Mexico – 22,281,000
Another capital city that loves its history. Mexico City combines the indigenous practices of their ancestors and the changes brought by the colonials to make a city focused on teaching others. They are proud of everything that makes them who they are today.
7. Cairo, Egypt – 22,183,000
Well known for containing one of the seven wonders of the world, the Giza Pyramids. The history that continues to be discovered here has changed how we view our history and what we know of ancient people.
8. Beijing, China – 21,766,000
Another well-known landmark lies here, the Great Wall of China. Beijing is also home to the imposing Forbidden City, reminding us of China’s imperial history. With great history also comes modern architecture and a city known for its culinary scene.
9. Mumbai, India – 21,297,000
China isn’t the only one being featured twice on this list; India also has two of the most populated cities. Mumbai is known for the Bollywood film industry, which brings in more revenue and viewers than even Hollywood!
10. Osaka, Japan – 19,013,000
Another two-timer on the list! Osaka, Japan, is a foodie destination for sure, known for its amazing street vendors and entertainment districts. Of course, historical landmarks like Osaka Castle show their history as well.
11. New York City, United States – 18,937,000
Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Center. New York City is the hub for all things associated with the Big Apple. Fast-paced living might be what they are known for, but New Yorkers definitely have more to offer, like street fashion and unique street food.
12. Chongqing, China – 17,341,000
Often referred to as the “Mountain City,” Chongqing sits in the southwestern part of China and is surrounded by ancient mountains. Another city where you can find rich history mixed with modern innovation.
13. Karachi, Pakistan – 17,236,000
A major player in the global economic game that we don’t hear much about. Karachi is home to the Karachi Stock Exchange, cementing that importance. One of their famous landmarks features the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
14. Kinshasa, Republic of Congo – 16,316,000
Kinshasa is a melting pot of cultures and languages. Though it sits in the continent of Africa, French is actually its official language. It is also one of Africa’s largest cities in terms of size, nearly 4,000 square miles.
15. Lagos, Nigeria – 15,946,000
Lagos isn’t just in the top 15 for the current population. It’s also one of the fastest growing as well. The Lagos Carnival is flocked to every year with various events that tell their history and provide an experience of their current culture unlike any other.
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This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.