The 20 most crowded cities on Earth

The 20 most crowded cities on Earth

lagos nigeria shoppingLagos, Nigeria.Akintunde Akinleye/REUTERS

  • Whether they're known primarily for business or tourism, cities are some of the most densely populated areas on the planet.
  • Tokyo, Japan, is the most populated city in the world with 38,140,000 people.
  • New York-Newark is the most populated city in the US with 18,604,000 people.

Cities like New York, Beijing, and Tokyo are known for being exceptionally crowded. Photos of massive crowds of people depict these cities' residents doing everything from walking down the street to marching in parades and even sitting in traffic.

We all know these cities have giant populations, but do you know just how crowded they are? The United Nations data booklet, "The World's Cities in 2016," details the world's most populated cities as well as population growth projections for 2030.

Tokyo, Japan, for example, is the most populated city in the world as of 2016 with nearly 39 million residents. Keep reading for the rest of the top 20 most populated cities all over the globe.

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20. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

20. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro.
Yasemin Olgunoz Berber/Shutterstock

Population in 2016: 12,981,000

Rio de Janeiro's climate remains pleasant year-round, although the city is particularly crowded in the warmer months, and during the holiday season through Carnival in February.

Copacabana beach is one of the city's most crowded locations, filled with locals and tourists alike.

19. Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

19. Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Passengers wait to enter a railway station after trains were delayed due to bad weather in southern China in Guangzhou
Thomson Reuters

Population in 2016: 13,070,000

Located on the Pearl River just northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is the third-largest city in China.

The bustling port city is one of China's biggest commercial and manufacturing hubs, bringing in millions of workers from around the country.

16. Chongqing, China

Population in 2016: 13,744,000

Given its close proximity to the Yangtze River, Chongqing is a prominent port city and industrial hub in southwest-central China.

The city is home to iron, steel, and other manufacturing plants, in addition to natural resources like coal, natural gas, and a variety of minerals. These resources and industries draw workers from all over the country.

13. Buenos Aires, Argentina

13. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires.
gary yim/ Shutterstock

Population in 2016: 15,334,000

As the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is an important city for many of the country's main industries, including tourism, finance, and manufacturing.

Due to an aging population and low birth rates, however, the city's population is only expected to rise to 16,956,000 by 2030.

12. Karachi, Pakistan

Population in 2016: 17,121,000

As the economic and industrial capital of Pakistan, Karachi is a city on the rise. Both the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim are located in the city, serving Karachi's transportation and trade industries.

Karachi is expecting a steady population rise by 2030 with an estimated 24,838,000 residents.

1. Tokyo, Japan

1. Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo.

Population in 2016: 38,140,000

As of 2016, Tokyo is the most populated city on Earth. Known for its modern design, dedication to cutting-edge technology, and crowded streets, Tokyo has long had a reputation of being densely populated.

While the UN still expects Tokyo to hold the number one spot in terms of population in 2030, the city's population is expected to decline to 37,190,000 over the next 13 years.

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