The 2022 Most Populated Cities in the World

Half of the world’s population now lives in cities, according to the UN-Habitat’s latest reports. While this number is set to increase to two-thirds by 2050, urban challenges are growing exponentially, making it more crucial than ever, to transform our cities. Annually, the world population review assesses the growth of cities in terms of the evolution of the number of residents living in metropolitan areas, to understand global trends. In 2022, the list of the top 20 most populated countries remained similar to the 2021 edition, with a slight change in numbers and positions. Tokyo kept its status as the world’s largest city, with 37 million inhabitants, while Delhi and Shanghai, followed in second and third positions.

Comparing the results to the 2021 edition, the only decrease that can be seen in the top 20, involves both Japanese cities, Tokyo and Osaka. The rest of the list had, on average, a growth of 1.8% in the total of people residing in metropolitan areas. In fact, African cities Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Lagos in Nigeria gathered the highest rates, with respectively a 4.39% and a 3.54% increase in residents in 1 year. The largest city in the American continent is still Sao Paulo in Brazil, followed closely by Mexico City and Buenos Aires in Argentina, further down the table. In Europe, Istanbul is the most populous, with more than 14.5 million residents.

Lagos, Nigeria. Image © By Tayvay/ ShutterstockIstanbul, Turkey. Image © By kukuruxa/ ShutterstockTianjin, China. Image © By chuyuss/ ShutterstockKolkata, India. The Famous Howrah Bridge over the River Ganges where People ,taking Holy bath in River Ganges .. Image © ABIR ROY BARMAN/ Shutterstock+ 22

Discover below the top 20 most populated cities in the world in 2022, in comparison to 2021, and check the full list of results.


Related Article

The 20 Largest Cities in the World: 2021 Edition


1- Tokyo, Japan

Population 2022: 37,435,191

Population 2021: 37,339,804

Tokyo, Japan. Image © ESB Professional/ Shutterstock
Tokyo, Japan. Image © ESB Professional/ Shutterstock

2- Delhi, India

Population 2022: 29,399,141

Population 2021: 31,181,376

Delhi, India - September 18, 2014: Crowd of people on the street of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, India on September 18, 2014.. Image © Elena Ermakova/ Shutterstock
Delhi, India – September 18, 2014: Crowd of people on the street of Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi, India on September 18, 2014.. Image © Elena Ermakova/ Shutterstock

3- Shanghai, China

Population 2022: 26,317,104

Population 2021: 27,795,702

Shanghai, China. Image © Planetlabs
Shanghai, China. Image © Planetlabs

4- Sao Paulo, Brazil

Population 2022: 21,846,507

Population 2021: 22,237,472

The Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge in São Paulo, Brazil over the Pinheiros River, opened in May 2008. It connects Marginal Pinheiros to Jornalista Roberto Marinho Avenue.. Image © Raphael Paulino Goncalves/ Shutterstock
The Octavio Frias de Oliveira bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge in São Paulo, Brazil over the Pinheiros River, opened in May 2008. It connects Marginal Pinheiros to Jornalista Roberto Marinho Avenue.. Image © Raphael Paulino Goncalves/ Shutterstock

5- Mexico City, Mexico

Population 2022: 21,671,908

Population 2021: 21,918,936

Plaza Del Ejecutivo/ Mexico City, Mexico. Image © benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe
Plaza Del Ejecutivo/ Mexico City, Mexico. Image © benjaminrgrant, source imagery: @digitalglobe

6- Cairo, Egypt

Population 2022: 20,484,965

Population 2021: 21,322,750

Cairo, Egypt. Image © By Prin Adulyatham/ Shutterstock
Cairo, Egypt. Image © By Prin Adulyatham/ Shutterstock

7- Dhaka, Bangladesh

Population 2022: 20,283,552

Population 2021: 21,741,090

 Dhaka, Bangladesh. Image via Shutterstock
Dhaka, Bangladesh. Image via Shutterstock

8- Mumbai, India

Population 2022: 20,185,064

Population 2021: 20,667,656

City of Mumbai. Image © akksht/ Shutterstock
City of Mumbai. Image © akksht/ Shutterstock

9- Beijing, China

Population 2022: 20,035,455

Population 2021: 20,896,820

Beijing ,China - October 22 ,2017... Image © Travelpixs/ Shutterstock
Beijing ,China – October 22 ,2017… Image © Travelpixs/ Shutterstock

10- Osaka, Japan

Population 2022: 19,222,665

Population 2021: 19,110,616

Osaka city skyline with Tenma neighborhood (in Kita district) and Miyakojima district.. Image © Tupungato/ Shutterstock
Osaka city skyline with Tenma neighborhood (in Kita district) and Miyakojima district.. Image © Tupungato/ Shutterstock

11- Chongqing, China

Population 2022: 16,874,740

Population 2021: 16,382,376

Chongqing, China. Image © By zhangyuqiu/ Shutterstock
Chongqing, China. Image © By zhangyuqiu/ Shutterstock

12- Karachi, Pakistan

Population 2022: 16,839,950

Population 2021: 16,459,472

Karachi, Pakistan. Image © By ibrar.kunri/ Shutterstock
Karachi, Pakistan. Image © By ibrar.kunri/ Shutterstock

13- Istanbul, Turkey

Population 2022: 15,636,243

Population 2021: 15,415,197

Istanbul, Turkey. Image © By kukuruxa/ Shutterstock
Istanbul, Turkey. Image © By kukuruxa/ Shutterstock

14- Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Population 2022: 15,628,085

Population 2021: 14,970,460

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Image © By Issa Kashala/ Shutterstock
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Image © By Issa Kashala/ Shutterstock

15- Lagos, Nigeria

Population 2022: 15,387,639

Population 2021: 14,862,111

Lagos, Nigeria. Image © By Tayvay/ Shutterstock
Lagos, Nigeria. Image © By Tayvay/ Shutterstock

16- Buenos Aires, Argentina

Population 2022: 15,369,919

Population 2021: 15,257,673

Aerial photo with drones. Plaza de Mayo (May square) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It's the hub of the political life of Argentina.. Image © Studio New-Art/ Shutterstock
Aerial photo with drones. Plaza de Mayo (May square) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s the hub of the political life of Argentina.. Image © Studio New-Art/ Shutterstock

17- Kolkata, India

Population 2022: 15,133,888

Population 2021: 14,974,073

Kolkata, India. The Famous Howrah Bridge over the River Ganges where People ,taking Holy bath in River Ganges .. Image © ABIR ROY BARMAN/ Shutterstock
Kolkata, India. The Famous Howrah Bridge over the River Ganges where People ,taking Holy bath in River Ganges .. Image © ABIR ROY BARMAN/ Shutterstock

18- Manila, Philippines

Population 2022: 14,406,059

Population 2021: 14,158,573

Manila, Philippines. Image © By KieferPix/ Shutterstock
Manila, Philippines. Image © By KieferPix/ Shutterstock

19- Tianjin, China

Population 2022: 14,011,828

Population 2021: 13,794,450

Tianjin, China. Image © By chuyuss/ Shutterstock
Tianjin, China. Image © By chuyuss/ Shutterstock

20- Guangzhou, China

Population 2022: 13,964,637

Population 2021: 13,635,397

Guangzhou, China. Image via Shutterstock
Guangzhou, China. Image via Shutterstock