Special Report

30 Most Crowded Cities in the World

Source: Thinkstock

20. Tokyo, Japan
> People per square mile: 37,260
> Population: 8.9 million
> Land area: 240.09 square miles
> Population change, 2005-2015: 6.7%

One of the largest cities in the world, Tokyo’s population continues to grow despite the average family size shrinking. According to Japan’s most recent national census, the continuing population growth may be due to the number of elderly people increasing by 3.7% over five years, accounting for 22.9% of Tokyo’s population. The metropolitan area is the largest industrial, commercial, and financial center in Japan, with many international corporations headquartered in the city center.

Source: Irrational pi / Wikimedia commons

19. Bandung, Indonesia
> People per square mile: 38,204
> Population: 2.5 million
> Land area: 64.95 square miles
> Population change, 2005-2015: 12.3%

Bandung – Indonesia’s third-largest city — is one of the many highly populated areas in Southeast Asia. Located close to the metropolis and capital city of Jakarta and with a population of 2.5 million, Bandung has about the same population of the metropolitan area of Denver but is packed into an area one-128th the size.

Bandung is one of the most creative, highly-educated Indonesian cities. According to UNESCO, 56% of the city’s economic activity is related to design in some way.

Source: The Diary of a Hotel Addict / Flickr

18. Jakarta, Indonesia
> People per square mile: 40,237
> Population: 10.2 million
> Land area: 252.37 square miles
> Population change, 2005-2015: 14.8%

Jakarta — one of the most densely-populated cities in the world — may be losing its status as Indonesia’s capital. Located on the world’s most populated island of Java, Jakarta is already 40% below sea level with areas north of the city sinking at up to 20 cm a year. The city has decided to combat this by building a 15-mile seawall, refurbishing the crumbling flood canal system and constructing new islands for shopping.

Source: Thinkstock

17. Barcelona, Spain
> People per square mile: 40,506
> Population: 1.6 million
> Land area: 39.68 square miles
> Population change, 2005-2015: 14.0%

The historic city of Barcelona is a world-leading sport, arts, science, fashion, and commerce center. Barcelona recently rolled out a re-greening program called “Plan of the Green and Biodiversity Barcelona 2020” that will deliver 108 acres of new green space in the city by 2019 and over 400 acres by 2020. The plan will give each citizen nearly 11 square feet of extra green space on average.

Source: Thinkstock

16. Quezon City, Philippines
> People per square mile: 41,656
> Population: 2.8 million
> Land area: 66.30 square miles
> Population change, 2005-2015: N/A

Quezon City, the most populous city in the Philippines, is a highly dense urbanized area that faces environmental issues due to insufficient waste management for its large population. In fact, Quezon City generates about 2,000 to 3,000 tons of garbage daily. Across the country, an estimated 20% of all generated waste goes uncollected.

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