The 7 Most Populated Cities in the World

Including interesting facts that you probably didn’t know.

A woman looking shocked in front of skyscrapers with the words “So Many People” next to her.
Image created in Canva

#7 — Cairo, Egypt (21.75 million)

The city of Cairo, Egypt.,_Egypt_(46173582934).jpg

The capital city of Egypt comes in seventh on our list of most populated cities on earth. Cairo itself was established in the 10th century. Cairo was a key city along the spice trade route from Europe to the Far East.

#6 — Mexico City, Mexico (22.08 million)

A picture of Mexico City, Mexico.

Mexico City, Mexico is not only the capital of Mexico — but it’s also the most populated city in all of North America. Mexico City was founded in 1521 by Spanish conquistadors. Mexico City has been a central hub of politics, religion, and trade for centuries.

#5 — Sao Paulo, Brazil (22.42 million)

A picture of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo is the capital of a state in southeastern Brazil bearing the same name as the city. The city is the industrial center of Latin America. Sao Paulo was founded by Jesuit missionaries on January 25, 1554.

#4 — Dhaka, Bangladesh (22.47 million)

A picture of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka, also sometimes spelled Dacca, is the capital of Bangladesh. The city’s history can be traced back nearly 2,000 years. Dhaka was the center of a prosperous sea trade that attracted traders from countries like England, France, and Portugal.

#3 — Shanghai, China (28.51 million)

A picture of Shanghai, China

Shanghai has one of the world’s largest seaports, and it’s a major commercial and industrial center for China. Shanghai was one of the first Chinese seaports to open up to Western trade.

#2 — Delhi, India (32.06 million)

A picture of Delhi, India

Delhi consists of two parts: Old Delhi in the north and New Delhi in the south. Delhi is the national capital of India. Delhi has great historical significance and is an important center of commerce and transportation.

#1 — Tokyo, Japan (37.27 million)

A picture of Tokyo, Japan

And finally, we arrive at Tokyo — the most heavily populated city on our list. Tokyo was known as Edo until 1868. Tokyo is the capital city of Japan. Tokyo is home to many domestic and international companies’ headquarters.

I’m a bit of an introvert, so the thought of being in a city with this many people is not something I’m eager to do.

However, Tokyo — in my opinion — would be a really cool place to visit.

What about you? Which one of these seven cities would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments!

Subscribe to The Seven Series on Substack.

Population counts from



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store