Cities

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China's cities are growing, and with that growth come the problems associated with it: power, pollution, transportation, logistics, over-crowding, etc. But how big are these cities? I tried to collect some data on this question at the bottom of this page.

As we passed through various cities we would stick our cameras up against the windows and mash the shutter button. Once in a while we caught something interesting.

Beijing

beijing7.jpg (124906 bytes) beijing8.jpg (193335 bytes) heaven12.jpg (181408 bytes)
beijing9.jpg (193451 bytes) beijing10.jpg (185898 bytes) hutomg5.jpg (307197 bytes)

Chongqing

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Guilin

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Shanghai

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Suzhou

suzhou24.jpg (197534 bytes) suzhou36.jpg (222828 bytes) suzhou25.jpg (230070 bytes)
suzhou37.jpg (137229 bytes) suzhou38.jpg (159655 bytes)

Wanzhou

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Wuhan

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wuhan22.jpg (146070 bytes) wuhan23.jpg (150786 bytes) wuhan24.jpg (118296 bytes)

Wushan

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Yangshuo

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guilin26.jpg (143904 bytes) guilin25.jpg (123451 bytes)
 

Population figures

China, with a population of 1.25 billion people accounts for over 20% of the population of the world. It has 13 cities of over 2 million people. During our visit we heard confusing claims about city size. The most striking was that Chongqing was the world's largest city, and contained about 30 million people. The official web site for the city gives figures that make it possible to put this in context. Chongqing is one of four urban areas in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjing and Chongqing) which is directly under the central government rather than being part of a province. The closest analogy in the United States is the District of Columbia. It administers an area of 32,800 square miles, an area larger than the state of Indiana. As a result it can certainly claim to be the world's largest "City" in area. With this much territory, it might seem misleading to compare it to other cities, except that it has a population density of 927 people per square mile, higher than that of the San Francisco Bay area.

For the record, here are the worlds 25 most populous urban areas based on the latest available census data. I have highlighted the ones that we visited on this trip.

Rank

Urban Area

Census

Population

City
Rank

Incl. suburbs City proper
1 Tokyo, Japan 1995 32,574,900 7,967,614 9
2 Chongqing, China 1997 30,420,000 3,127,178 20
3 Seoul, South Korea 1998 21,273,000 10,231,217 1
4 New York, USA 1996 19,938,500 7,380,906 10
5 Osaka, Japan 1995 16,828,400 2,600,000 23
6 Mexico City, Mexico 1995 16,674,200 8,274,921 7
7 São Paulo, Brazil 1996 16,583,200 10,017,821 2
8 Bombay, India 1996 15,725,000 9,925,891 3
9 Los Angeles, USA 1996 15,495,200 3,553,638 19
10 Moscow, Russia 1999 15,040,000 8,368,449 6
11 Shanghai, China 1997 14,570,000 8,214,384 8
12 Cairo, Egypt 1995 14,525,000 6,800,000 14
13 Beijing, China 1997 12,400,000 7,362,426 11
14 Calcutta, India 1996 12,118,000 4,399,819 18
15 Buenos Aires, Argentina 1996 11,931,000 2,965,403 21
16 London, England 1991 11,840,700 7,074,265 13
17 Jakarta, Indonesia 1995 11,500,000 9,112,652 5
18 Teheran, Iran 1996 11,176,200 6,750,043 15
19 Lagos, Nigeria 1996 10,878,000 1,408,000 25
20 Paris, France 1995 10,587,300 2,125,246 24
21 Delhi, India 1996 10,298,000 7,206,704 12
22 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1996 10,192,100 5,606,497 17
23 Karachi, Pakistan 1996 10,119,000 9,863,000 4
24 Chengdu, China 1997 9,890,000 2,954,872 22
25 Tianjin, China 1997 9,530,000 5,855,044 16
 
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