Authors: Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox – May 8, 2013
The modern megacity may have been largely an invention of the West, but it’s increasingly to be found largely in the East. The seven largest megacities (defined as areas of continuous urban development of over 10 million people) are located in Asia, based on a roundup of the latest population data released last month by Wendell Cox’s Demographia. The largest megacity remains the Tokyo-Yokohama area, home to 37 million, followed by the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, Seoul-Incheon, Delhi, Shanghai and Manila.
With roughly 20 million inhabitants, the New York metro area, the world’s largest urban agglomeration from early in the 20th century till Tokyo surpassed it in the 1950s, ranks eighth. The only other western urban areas among the 28 biggest megacities now are Moscow (15th), Los Angeles (17th), and Paris (28th). London, which was the first modern city of a million people, is not on the list at all, with expansion long ago stopped by its green belt. In 1990, New York ranked second and Los Angeles ranked eighth.