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Top 10 Most Populated Cities in the World 2024

The world saw rapid urbanization over the years as people started to move on from rural areas to urban ones. More than 50% of the world’s total population lives in urban areas and it is predicted that the numbers will rise over the years. Some cities have more than 30 million residents. If you want to know which are the most populated cities in the world, then here is the list.

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List of 10 Most Populated Cities in the World

  1. Tokyo
  2. Delhi
  3. Shanghai
  4. Dhaka
  5. Sao Paulo
  6. Cairo
  7. Mexico City
  8. Beijing
  9. Mumbai
  10. Osaka

1) Tokyo

Tokyo continues to hold the title of most populous city in the world as of 2024, with an astounding 37,115,000 residents. This dynamic city offers both locals and visitors an engaging experience by skillfully combining the ultramodern with the traditional.

Tokyo’s massive and well-functioning public transportation network, which includes the internationally recognized Tokyo Metro and Japan Railways, serves the city’s large population. Towering skyscrapers that provide sweeping views of the expansive urban landscape, such as the Tokyo Skytree and the famous Tokyo Tower, dominate the city’s skyline.

Tokyo offers plenty of cultural opportunities for those who seek them out. A must-see in Asakusa is the historic Senso-ji Temple, which displays traditional Japanese architecture and spiritual traditions. 

Tokyo is known for its fast-paced lifestyle, and Shibuya Crossing, the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, is a prime example. Adjacent to the area lies Harajuku, a bustling hub of young culture and fashion, and Takeshita Street, which is a diverse thoroughfare filled with unique shops and cafes.

Tokyo also offers a wide variety of top-notch eating establishments, including street food vendors and restaurants with Michelin stars. Fresh sushi and other seafood treats are available in Tsukiji Outer Market, providing a gourmet experience.

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2) Delhi

With 33,807,000 residents, Delhi is the second most populous city in the world in 2024. This huge city offers a diverse range of activities for both locals and tourists, as it is a melting pot of culture, history, and modernity.

Delhi is separated into several districts, each with a distinct personality. Old Delhi is located among its winding streets, ancient buildings, the Jama Masjid, and the magnificent Red Fort, both recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk is a historic market well-known for its colorful street cuisine and traditional bazaars.

The Indian capital, New Delhi, on the other hand, is known for its expansive boulevards and magnificent government structures, such as the India Gate, a war memorial honoring Indian Army personnel, and Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Presidential Residence. New Delhi’s Connaught Place is a commercial center noted for its busy markets and colonial-era architecture.

Delhi boasts an equally spectacular cultural environment, with establishments such as the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and the National Museum exhibiting the rich legacy of India. The Lotus Temple, which is well-known for its unusual flower-like architecture, and Akshardham Temple, a large complex that showcases India’s rich cultural legacy and ancient art, are also located in the city.

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3) Shanghai

With 29,868,000 residents, Shanghai is the third most populous city in the world as of 2024. One of the most fascinating metropolitan centers in the world, this bustling port city on China’s central coast is a dynamic blend of modernity and history.

Shanghai Tower, the third-tallest building in the world, and the Oriental Pearl Tower, a famous landmark with sweeping city views, are among the futuristic skyscrapers that dominate the city’s skyline. Famous for its waterfront promenade, The Bund represents Shanghai’s rapid development and colonial past by showcasing a blend of modern and historical structures across the Huangpu River.

The city has a thriving cultural scene with lots of galleries and museums. While China’s first state-run museum of modern art, the Power Station of Art, organizes cutting-edge shows, the Shanghai Museum has an extraordinary collection of Chinese art and antiques.

One of the busiest shopping avenues in the world, Nanjing Road, is a shopping haven with everything from luxury boutiques to conventional retailers. Yuyuan Garden in the Old City offers a peaceful getaway with its classical Chinese landscaping, historic pavilions, and a busy bazaar nearby, offering a sense of old Shanghai.

Shanghai’s restaurant scene is just as diverse, offering everything from high-end international dining options to neighborhood cafes serving classic Shanghainese fare like pan-fried buns and soup dumplings, or xiaolongbao. This vast metropolis is easy to explore thanks to effective public transit, which includes the Shanghai Maglev, the fastest commercial train in the world.

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4) Dhaka

With 23,936,000 residents, Dhaka is the fourth most populous city in the world in 2024. Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, is a hive of political, cultural, and economic activity that is distinguished by its fast urbanization and lively street life.

Dhaka is well-known for its cultural and historical sites. The 17th-century Mughal fort known as Lalbagh Fort provides insight into the city’s rich history. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, the Ahsan Manzil, often called the Pink Palace, is a magnificent structure that houses a museum dedicated to highlighting Dhaka’s Nawab period.

The many mosques and temples in the city; the Dhakeshwari Temple and the Star Mosque (Tara Masjid) being two notable examples, highlight its spiritual legacy. These locations showcase Dhaka’s rich architectural legacy and diversity of religions.

The vibrant markets and retail areas of Dhaka provide evidence of the city’s thriving economy. One of the most well-known and historic retail districts, New Market, is constantly bustling with shoppers looking for anything from electronics to textiles. One of South Asia’s biggest malls, Bashundhara City, provides a more contemporary shopping experience.

With eateries providing traditional Bangladeshi food and street food booths, the city’s culinary culture is similarly active. A variety of pithas (rice cakes), biryani, and hilsa fish are must-try meals.

5) Sao Paulo

With 22.81 million residents, Sao Paulo is the fifth most populous city in the world as of 2024. Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil and a major cultural and economic center in South America is well-known for its energetic lifestyle, multicultural population, and extensive cultural offerings.

The city’s skyline, which is lined with contemporary skyscrapers and famous structures like the Edifício Itália and the Banespa Building, is evidence of its economic might. One of Sao Paulo’s main thoroughfares, Paulista Avenue, is a hive of commerce, entertainment, and culture. It is lined with retail malls, business offices, and cultural establishments such as the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), which has a remarkable collection of Western art.

Sao Paulo is renowned for its multiculturalism as well, with a sizable population of immigrants from Lebanon, Italy, and Japan. The city’s culinary scene reflects this heterogeneity. Visitors can enjoy local specialties like pastel de bacalhau (codfish pastries) and mortadella sandwiches at the Mercado Municipal, often known as the Municipal Market.

One of Brazil’s biggest urban parks, Ibirapuera Park, provides a green haven amidst the bustle of the metropolis. It has many museums, such as the Afro-Brazil Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, in addition to lovely gardens and walking routes.

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6) Cairo

With 22,624,000 residents, Cairo is the sixth most populous city in the world in 2024. Cairo, the capital of Egypt and the biggest city in the Arab world, is a historical, cultural, and energetic metropolis.

Because of its magnificent Islamic architecture, Cairo is renowned as the “City of a Thousand Minarets”. There are many mosques, madrasas, and hammams in Islamic Cairo’s ancient quarter; two notable examples are the Sultan Hassan Mosque and the Al-Azhar Mosque. A medieval Islamic fortification, the Cairo Citadel is home to multiple museums, notably the Egyptian Military Museum, and provides expansive views of the city.

Some of the most famous ancient monuments, like the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza, are found on the Giza Plateau, which is an area outside of Cairo. Another must-see is the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, which has a vast collection of ancient Egyptian items on display, including Tutankhamun’s treasures.

Cairo’s vibrant bazaars, such as Khan el-Khalili, with their winding lanes teeming with stores offering jewelry, spices, and handcrafted goods, provide an overflow of senses. These markets offer a window into the lively street culture and rich traditions of the city.

The attractiveness of Cairo is mostly derived from the Nile River, which flows through the city. Cruises on the Nile, from elegant dinner cruises to traditional feluccas, provide distinctive views of the city’s cityscape and important historical sites.

Cairo in the modern era is a vibrant city with a burgeoning cultural scene, modern galleries, and an increasing number of cafes and restaurants. On Gezira Island, the wealthy neighborhood of Zamalek is well-known for its chic restaurants, cultural centers, and verdant gardens.

7) Mexico City

With 22,505,000 residents, Mexico City is the seventh most populous city in the world as of 2024. As the nation’s capital, this expansive city seamlessly combines a rich past with contemporary urban living to form a thriving cultural and commercial center.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mexico City’s historic center is home to famous sites like the Zócalo, one of the biggest public squares in the world. Here are the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace, which are covered in Diego Rivera murals that tell the story of Mexico.

The Templo Mayor, an Aztec temple complex, and the neighboring Xochimilco floating gardens, where guests can take colorful trajinera boat excursions through the old canals, are two places to see the city’s historical origins.

Mexico City offers a wealth of opportunities for those interested in culture. Operas, ballets, and art exhibitions are held at the magnificent architectural treasure that is the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Chapultepec Park is home to the National Museum of Anthropology, which has a sizable collection of pre-Columbian antiquities, including the well-known Aztec Sun Stone.

One of the biggest city parks in the Western Hemisphere, Chapultepec Park has a zoo, museums, and lots of open space for enjoyment. Chapultepec Castle, which offers expansive city views, is also located in the park.

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8) Beijing

With 22,189,000 residents, Beijing ranks eighth in the world’s most populous cities as of 2024. Beijing, the capital of China, is a rapidly modernizing city with a rich historical legacy that combines modern innovation with old-world charm.

The Forbidden City is the center of the city, which is well known for its historical sites. Large courtyards, elaborate rooms, and an abundance of relics are used to illustrate China’s dynastic history in this large imperial palace complex, which is now a museum. Situated south of the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square is one of the world’s largest public squares, bordered by important buildings such as the Great Hall of the People and the Mao Zedong Mausoleum.

The Temple of Heaven, a magnificent example of Ming dynasty architecture situated in a lovely park, is another famous location. Emperors used to hold rituals there to guarantee bountiful harvests. The Summer Palace provides a peaceful escape from the bustle of the city with its vast gardens, temples, and lake.

The Great Wall of China is also easily accessible from Beijing, with places like Badaling and Mutianyu being popular tourist destinations. These remarkably intact sections offer an insight into the enormous undertaking of ancient Chinese engineering.

Beijing in the modern era is similarly stunning, with its contemporary Central Business District, renowned CCTV Headquarters, and Olympic Park, which is home to the Water Cube and Bird’s Nest Stadium, all featuring striking architecture. Located in a former industrial complex, the 798 Art District is a center for modern and contemporary art and culture.

Beijing has a well-known international food scene, especially for its delicious Peking duck. The city’s food markets, like the Donghuamen Night Market, provide a wide selection of street cuisines and traditional snacks.

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9) Mumbai

With 21,673,000 residents, Mumbai is the ninth most populous city in the world in 2024. Mumbai is a city of contrasts and excitement, presenting a distinctive fusion of tradition and modernity. It is the financial, commercial, and entertainment hub of India.

Mumbai is well-known for its prominent sites. One of the most identifiable icons of the city is the Gateway of India, a magnificent arch that stands watch over the Arabian Sea. The ancient Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which is located nearby, is a reminder of Mumbai’s colonial heritage. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CST) is a masterpiece of architecture that combines Victorian Gothic and traditional Indian customs.

The cultural landscape of the city is rich and diverse. Mumbai is the birthplace of Bollywood, the center of the Indian film industry, and the city that produces the most films globally. Visitors can explore Film City or watch a film at one of the numerous old theaters, such as Regal or Eros. 

Every area in Mumbai has something special to offer. Colaba is a well-liked tourist destination because of its unique blend of stores, cafes, and old buildings. The “Queen of the Suburbs,” Bandra, is well-known for its chic bars, fine dining establishments, and waterfront promenades. A contemporary engineering marvel, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link connects these vibrant areas of the metropolis.

Also Read: Best Places to See in Mumbai

10) Osaka

With 18,967,000 residents, Osaka is the 10th most populous city in the world in 2024. Osaka, the third-biggest city in Japan, is a busy metropolis renowned for its cutting-edge architecture, exciting nightlife, and extensive culinary history.

Because of its well-known culinary scene, Osaka is frequently referred to as the “Kitchen of Japan”. The city is well-known for its street cuisine, which includes must-try specialties like okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) and takoyaki (octopus balls). This gourmet experience centers around Dotonbori, a bustling entertainment district with many restaurants, food stands, and the famous Glico running man sign.

The Umeda Sky Building, an architectural wonder with a Floating Garden Observatory that offers panoramic views, is a prominent feature of the city’s modern skyline. Encircled by magnificent gardens, Osaka Castle is a historic emblem of the city and offers a look into Japan’s feudal history. Exhibits and relics about the history of the castle and the Toyotomi clan are on display at the castle’s museum.

The cultural attractions in Osaka are varied. One of the biggest aquariums in the world, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan showcases marine life from the Pacific Rim. A well-known theme park, Universal Studios Japan draws guests of all ages with its exhilarating rides and performances.

NoName of CityTotal Population
1Tokyo 37,115,000
2Delhi 33,807,000
3Shanghai 29,868,000
4Dhaka 23,936,000
5Sau Paulo22,800,000
6Cairo 22,624,000
7Mexico City22,505,000
8Beijing 22,189,000
9Mumbai 21,673,000
10Osaka 18,967,000

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It is estimated that the number of people living in urban areas will increase up to 1.5% by 2045. The population of Earth is increasing and it is causing the major cities to become overcrowded with people. These cities are taking strict initiative to hold this many residents but the numbers suggest that the population will only increase soon. This article discussed the top 10 most populated cities in the world at the moment.  


What Is the Most Populated City In the World In 2024?

Tokyo is the world’s most populated city at the moment. Its population is estimated to be more than 37 million right now. 

How Many People Live In Cities In the World?

Recent reports suggest that more than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities and the numbers are expected to increase rapidly over the years because of better facilities and job opportunities. 

Is Tokyo Bigger than London?

Tokyo is bigger than London in terms of population and area. Tokyo has an area of 2,194 square kilometers while London has 1,572 square kilometers of area.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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