These are the ten largest metropolitan areas in the world based on land size. Each city’s population and density (or number of people per square kilometer) are also listed, for comparison purposes.
1. New York – 8,683 square kilometers
Population – 17.8 million
Density – 2,050
New Yorkers like to call their city the capital of the world. Well, it is certainly the biggest, and it can argue that it has the most. From the cultural variety brought about by its museums and theater scene, to the fancy restaurants and hip fashion. The Big Apple is known as the cultural capital of the world, which complements its stature as a center for international diplomacy, with the headquarters of the United Nations located in the city. For those with an active and sporty lifestyle, you will never run out of things to do the whole year round. New York has at least two teams representing the city in all the four major North American sports.
2. Tokyo/Yokohama – 6,993 square kilometers
Population – 33.2 million
Density – 4,750
This is the world’s most populated city, with a population crammed more densely than Bangladesh. Tokyo also has the largest metropolitan economy in the world. The capital of Japan, Greater Tokyo actually includes an adjoining region and prefecture. In Japan, the area is called the National Capital Region. The city is home to some of the world’s largest electronic companies, and is known for its expensive standard of living.
3. Chicago – 5,498 square kilometers
Population – 8.3 million
Density – 1,500
Known for Michael Jordan and the Sears Tower, Chicago is an international center for business, finance, telecommunications and transportation. The city’s O’hare International Airport is actually the second busiest airport in the world when it comes to traffic movements. The Chicago metropolitan area has the fourth largest gross domestic product in the world among cities.
4. Atlanta – 5,083 square kilometers
Population – 3.5 million
Density – 700
The city was established in 1847 and despite being located in Georgia, its people are known for progressive views not normally associated with southern states. The city’s Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. It is the primary hub of transportation for the southeast portion of the United States. As a result, the logistics industry has emerged as one of the city’s most dominant industries. Other important sectors include government administration, higher education and professional and business services. Media operations are also huge in Atlanta, with the international news giant CNN based in the area.
5. Philadelphia – 4,661 square kilometers
Population – 5.15 million
Density – 1,100
The City of Brotherly Love where Rocky Balboa originated, Philadelphia is the largest city in the state of Pennsylvania and is considered as the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley. Its economy is driven mainly by the financial sector, as the city tries to shift its focus on information and service-based industries.. The city is also known for being one of the top health education and research centers in the United States.
6. Boston – 4,497 square kilometers
Population – 4.032 million
Density – 900
Boston has great schools within the city and its nearby surrounding areas. It has become known as an international center of higher education, as a result. The city is also considered a center of medicine. Its economy is driven mainly by biotechnology, finance, marketing and research. It is also one of the top financial centers in the world. Boston is also known for its innovation, having been on top of the list both in the world and in the United States.
7. Los Angeles – 4,320 square kilometers
Population – 11.789 million
Density – 2,750
Los Angeles is the City of Angels and the home of Hollywood. Because of the countless movie and television studios dotted around the area, the city is also known as the Entertainment Capital of the World. Aside from entertainment, business, culture, education, fashion, media, science, sports, technology and trade also drive the economy of Los Angeles. Los Angeles has a huge economy that is counted as the third richest in the world, and the city is also considered as one of the most powerful and influential. A lot of famous cultural and business institutions are headquartered in the area.
8. Dallas/Fort Worth – 3,644 square kilometers
Population – 4.15 milion
Density – 1,150
If California has its Silicon Valley, the Dallas and Fort Worth area has a Silicon Prairie. Also known as the Telecom Corridor, practically all the giant telecommunication firms have an office in the area. The city actually has one of the highest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the country.
Farming and ranching are big in Fort Worth, providing an even balance to the companies peddling communication and electronic gadgets in Dallas. Defense contractors also have significant presence in the area, with Bell Helicopter Textron, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin having offices there. Exxon Mobil has its headquarters there, while American Airlines provides the biggest source of employment.
9. Houston – 3,355 square kilometers
Population – 3.82 million
Density – 1,150
Of Fortune 500’s top corporations, Houston is home to the second most number of headquarters, after New York City. Its economy is driven by dynamic industries, including those of the health care sector, oil field equipment manufacturing, energy, transportation and aeronautics. Ever heard of “Houston, we have a problem?” Mission Control Center is located in this city.
10. Detroit – 3,267 square kilometers
Population – 3.9 million
Density – 1,200
It used to be the Motortown, with all the largest carmakers in the United States based in the area. But Detroit has since attracted emerging technologies into its city. Particularly, it has been trying to get companies engaged in biotechnology, information technology and hydrogen fuel cell development to relocate, offering various attractions such as tax incentives, wireless internet zones and high rise residences. The headquarters of Compuware is located in Detroit, and companies like HP Enterprise Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers have a significant presence in the city.
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