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Talk:List of cities proper by population/Archive 8

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Hong Kong

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The consensus is that Hong Kong is not a country/nation/sovereign state, it is a city in China. AlbinoFerret 00:55, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Hong Kong is a country (or as some others may prefer the word "region"), though not a sovereignty state. It has its own flag: The HKSAR Flag, which is widely recognised by International Olympic Committee and some other international organisations (e.g. APEC) under the name of "Hong Kong, China" (often referred to as the Olympic Standard). This is recognised and approved also by the central government of P.R. China. I strongly request related articles to list Hong Kong in the country list (in the form of "Hong Kong, China" if preferred to avoid disputes), and to list its SAR Flag int the flag list. The situation is highly similar to Puerto Rico of U.S., Gibraltar of U.K., and French Polynesia of France. The reasons are: Hong Kong enjoys its own currency (HK Dollar), has its own border (with independent immigration and customs control), own jurisdiction system (common law and Court of Final Appeal), and is recognised as an economy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Groverlynn (talkcontribs)

Here are the key points against your argument:
  • Hong Kong is not an independent (sovereign) country, it is Special administrative region of China. And so does not match any of the other flags on the list, which are all sovereign countries.
  • Hong Kong is a second tier administrative unit, like an American State, or Chinese Province, and does not match any of the other flags on the list, which are all first order administrative units..
  • The Olympics is not an authority on what is a first level administrative unit. People of Hong Kong are represented in the United Nations by China, which is the first level administrative unit, as an example.
  • For these reasons, primarily that the inclusion of the Hong Kong flag is inconsistent with inclusion criteria for other flags on this list, Hong Kong should be considered part of China and use the Chinese flag. I would like to hear from other users on this as well. Mattximus (talk) 18:15, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree with Mattximus, and would like to add that consensus was reached many years ago that List of countries should be a redirect to List of sovereign states. And the issue has been discussed repeatedly on various lists, and the consensus is that only sovereign states should be listed in the "country" field. See Talk:List of metro systems/Archive_18, for example. -Zanhe (talk) 06:37, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Mattximus none of your arguments are reasonable.
  • There's nothing as "sovereignty country" but only "sovereignty state". A country cannot have sovereignty, but only a state can. HKSAR, along with Macao SAR, (as a former colony) is always recognised as an economy, and thus a country (or country/region as you guys preferred).
  • Don't be ignorant and say HKSAR (or Macau SAR, or Taiwan) is the same as a province of P.R. China. That is as ridiculous as to say Puerto Rico, Guam, or North Mariana are the same as states of U.S, or French Polynesia, Reunion, and French Guiana are the same as provinces of France. They are indeed not.
  • The so-called first level administrative unit has nothing to do with "country" (Indeed, a province or a state is usually the FIRST level administrative unit. Therefore, I guess you are talking about level ZERO, and would argue against level ZERO thereafter). HKSAR and other territories with full or nearly full autonomy are level 0.5 administrative unit, and is therefore a country. Even a pure level 0 administrative unit can be a non-sovereignty country, and Taiwan is a perfect example. However, Taiwan is no doubt (excluding in the mind of patriotic Mainland Chinese) a country. On the other side, a country can be of level 1 administrative unit, and Scotland (as a constituent country) is the perfect example.
  • U.N is not an authority on "country" but only on "sovereignty state". It can only recognise a "sovereignty state" but never a "country". The Olympic is the international organisation that is most widely used to recognise countries: Taiwan has joined it (under the name of Chinese Taipei), and so does HK (under the name of Hong Kong, China), and Puerto Rico (under the name of Puerto Rico) [1].
  • HK is not the only country that is not a sovereignty state but enjoys a flag and is listed in a "country list". In this list, Taiwan, as a non-sovereignty-state country (or at least not fully recognised sovereignty state), is listed in the country list. In some other lists (e.g. List of urban areas by population) Puerto Rico, as another non-sovereignty-state country, is also listed in the country list.
  • In most situations (e.g. excluding UN), HK and Macau are listed under country. It's very easy to find a English media listing Hong Kong or Macau under "country". Even UNESCO (a UN organisation) list Macau (as Macao, China) under country list as associate members, along with several other non-sovereignty-state country: Anguilla, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Faroes, Sint Maarten, and Tokelau [2].
  • Don't treat me as a person seeking independence of HK. I am not. I am just stating the status quo of HK at international stages. The argument of a person seeking independence of HK will use "Hong Kong" rather than "Hong Kong, China", and will not agree on "HKSAR Flag" and "HKSAR". Groverlynn (talk) 05:38, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Well your comparison with Puerto Rico is not apt, because it is not an integral part of the USA. A better comparison for Hong Kong would be for French Guyana which is integral to France, like Hong Kong is integral to China. In fact, in most international lists they use the French flag for French Guyana. Now Taiwan is a first level administrative unit, and is not controlled by Beijing. There is no controversy here whether to use the Taiwan flag. My primary concern is not the political status of Hong Kong, but a list that is consistent. To me, the Hong Kong flag, being subnational, stands out like a sore thumb, and is not consistent with the rest. That's why I'm arguing this point.
Hong Kong is no more integral to China than Puerto Rico to US; In fact, Puerto Rico is more integral to US than Hong Kong to China. Central government of P.R. China cannot get involve in ANY administrative issue or law-making issue in Hong Kong. Also Hong Kong does not pay any tax to the central government, and in turn the central government spends no money in Hong Kong. It's a lot looser than federation but slightly tighter than confederation. For Puerto Rico, it gets fiscal compensation from the federal government of US. Congress of US can announce invalidness of the law passed by Puerto Rico.Groverlynn (talk) 03:26, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Comment (summoned by bot), what are we being asked to comment on? Obviously it has something to do with HK's status, but could someone be more specific about the content disagreement, stating it as clearly as poss., NOT starting with argument for/against the disputed point. Pincrete (talk) 13:30, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

we are arguing if we should use "Hong Kong, China" as the name of the country for Hong Kong, or "China". And if the HKSAR Flag   Hong Kong or PR China Flag   China should be used for Hong Kong. Groverlynn (talk) 03:26, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Comment Oh dear, this is the problem with lists and info-boxes, we are forced to a 'one word' answer. Firstly HK is not a country by any definition, though there are anomalous countries (Scotland), which are neither sovereign states, nor 'recognised' by anyone. HK is anomalous though and I see no objection to putting HK, China to indicate that anomaly. If it is being insisted that 'country' means 'sovereign state', then that is China. Pincrete (talk) 20:23, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

I think the question should be expanded to: should we use any subnational flags in the country column. If we add Hong Kong, we have to add all the others for consistency. If so, which subnational flags should be used and which should not? Mattximus (talk) 15:31, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
You don't have to "add" anything. Because what you've done is "un-adding/depriving" Hong Kong from the list. For decades, people put Hong Kong (either "British Hong Kong", or "Hong Kong, China") and its flag (British Hong Kong flag, or HKSAR flag respectively) in the country and flag lists. So does other countries/territories under similar circumstances, including Puerto Rico of U.S. In the contrary of your view, which wishes to list China as the name of country for Hong Kong, and the P.R. China flag as the flag for Hong Kong, your idea is indeed the cause for inconsistency; in other words, only put "Hong Kong, China" as the name of country for Hong Kong, and HKSAR flag as the flag for Hong Kong, can maintain the consistency with other countries / territories including Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, British Bermuda, Guam, etc. Groverlynn (talk) 17:04, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: Hong Kong is not member of United Nations so it is not country. Moreover, Which country recognizes HK as nation? Does PR China recognizes it as country/nation? No. Does India? No. Does US? No. Does UK? No. No one recognizes HK as nation or country so HK is not nation. Neither HK self declared itself as nation. Even self declaration doesn't matters, ISIS has declared them as nation (Islamic state) so should we call them country or nation.? No. Calling some entity as nation needs acceptance of other nations, specially major nations and UN. --Human3015Send WikiLove  00:34, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
UN does not define "country", but only "sovereignty state". Please make sure that you can tell the difference of the two political terms before making a comment. Groverlynn (talk) 17:04, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Groverlynn (talk) 17:04, 15 August 2015 (UTC) Yes, Hong Kong is part of China. But what has it to do with its official name of "Hong Kong, China" on the international stage, which is proven by the government of P.R. China? Puerto Rico is part of U.S., and it's almost always listed as Puerto Rico, but not United States. Groverlynn (talk) 17:04, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
  • No, Hong Kong should be listed with "China" in the last column. This debate is held consistently across Wikipedia. As above, whilst there are lots of anomalous places in the world, the most consistent and objective highest level unit to use for lists like this is the "sovereign state" as listed in List of sovereign states. If you want to be 100% correct then by all means change the column header to "sovereign state". However, I do not support putting "Hong Kong SAR" in the final column. AndrewRT(Talk) 17:20, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: I believe the intricacies regarding the status of Hong Kong are thoroughly discussed in its article, which has the appropriate flag, etc; however, the simple fact of the matter is it is now part of China, and that's an indisputable notion. The reader who is looking for simple and quick facts on this list can have those cleared up; if more details are required he has Hong Kong to browse in detail. I think there is a political agenda behind this (e.g. see List of islands by population density for another instance of Hong Kong stated as a country), and even though I support the democratic emancipation of HK, we can't whitewash articles into displaying concise information that is inaccurate. Cheers, FoCuS contribs; talk to me! 01:20, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Semi-protected edit request on 14 September 2015

1 bengaluru is in india. 2 New Delhi is missing. 3 Someone has ruined this page to remove indian cities. (talk) 16:09, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

  Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. -- Sam Sailor Talk! 16:22, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
Fixed the Bengaluru error, as for Delhi, it appears that the municipality has been recently split into 3 separate cities [1]. I count all 9 Indian cities over 3 million are here. Are there any others missing? Mattximus (talk) 16:41, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
Completely omitting Delhi is undesirable. Either add all three Delhi municipal corporations since they all have populations over three million, or add the National Capital District, or add the population of the former Delhi MC if you are comfortable calling this the "traditional" definition of Delhi's city proper à la Tokyo or Chongqing, or scrap this impossible-to-manage list. Cobblet (talk) 18:20, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, Delhi seems like another settlement that we're going to have to make a special case for, maybe. I'm not sure if I'd be comfortable adding the entry in its capacity as the NCT, particularly since it's kind of hard to call it a local government/municipality since there are local governments - actual city corporations, in fact - beneath this level of government. That would only leave two options then: adding the three individiual local governments independently, or pretending for statistical purposes that the original corporation wasn't split into three. Each is undesirable, but I guess the question becomes, then, which one is more desirable. This I know: If we're going to list a "city" like Lagos, which neither has a local government that covers most of the central urban area, nor a regional government overseeing the smaller local governments, then Delhi must be listed. And, quite frankly, Lagos's situation is very much like Australian city situations (i.e. a state government, and then a bunch of small, fractured local governments), and for whatever reason, we keep Lagos here while excluding Australian cities. --Criticalthinker (talk) 18:46, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Am I correct in assuming that the current figure is for Lagos State? Does "Lagos Division" still exist? Cobblet (talk) 19:50, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
To be honest with you, I don't even know what that figure given for Lagos is. Someone changed it from the official population, and even in that case it was some arbitrary decision in which local government areas could be cobbled together to consitute a Lagos "city" proper. But, no, I don't think the figure given either time was for the whole state. --Criticalthinker (talk) 17:24, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
And given that Nigeria's census has been notoriously fraught with controversy, I'm not sure the official figures were trustworthy in the first place. Lagos is definitely not the only city in sub-Saharan Africa with this problem – I tried to find a reliable figure for Kinshasa and that proved impossible. Wikipedia doesn't and shouldn't have a ranked list of cities proper in Africa. So why do we have one for the whole world? Cobblet (talk) 21:06, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Oh, so THIS is the motivation behind your entrance into this particular subsection? Seems a bit disingenuous to begin to discuss with us Delhi when you ultimate argument is that this page shouldn't even exist. If that's your ultimate conclusion, I don't agree with that. As has been said, we're long past the point of arguing whether this page should exist, and have been on how best to make it work since most interested in this topic have found it worthwhile even with all of its difficulties. If this is something you're interested in discussing, I guess you'll have to find others who would like to debate it. I'm done with that debate. --Criticalthinker (talk) 15:04, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
And have we succeeded in "making it work"? We've gotten nowhere on this one issue even though the omission of Delhi's been brought up numerous times. I entered the conversation only to put a stop to this "Delhi's not on the list because it's been split up" nonsense. When I outlined the solutions we could take, your response was to bring up Lagos. When I pointed out that Lagos wasn't the only entry with these problems, and that our continued inability to solve them calls the validity of the entire list into question, you started speculating on my motives. Now that you're casting aspersions on my conduct, let me just say I don't understand why you're so attached to this list even though you're more aware of its problems than most and don't have any suggestions for how to fix them, and why your interest in "making it work" doesn't motivate you to contribute to a relatively clear-cut decision regarding the most frequently brought-up omission on the list. I can't seem to get anywhere with you and I'm not going to try any more. Cobblet (talk) 17:05, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Cobblet, You keep saying this, but are you aware this debate is 8 years old? Have you seen Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of cities by population? If you want you can nominate it again, but otherwise saying it over and over here isn't very productive. Mattximus (talk) 22:45, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm well aware of that proposal, and that none of the arguments against it held much water, and that none of the arguments I'm bringing up now were mentioned then, and that the person who proposed it seems to have changed his mind nonetheless. How much of the recent discussion on this talk page has been productive, anyway? (I'm the last person to have made a substantial change to the list's content – I put Chongqing back in.) How many times has the omission of Delhi been brought up? Why does nobody want to take action on it? Is it because any action we take seems to be arbitrary? Is it not obvious by now that this is going to be a recurring problem with many of the list's entries? If I can't get people like you and Criticalthinker to acknowledge this article's deficiencies, what hope do I have of generating meaningful discussion with editors who haven't been regular participants in these discussions and aren't as familiar with the subject matter and its nuances? I'm not wasting my time on an AfD if it's doomed to fail from the get-go, but our inertia is not doing our readers any favours either. Cobblet (talk) 23:17, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Well since this is a list of cities by administrative definition, I think the only solution would be your first one, include all municipal corporations that are over 3 million, even if this means including 3 for Delhi. Do you have the stats to back up the claim that all 3 are over 3 million? Mattximus (talk) 21:18, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
That would be the next least sensible choice. It would be inconsistent with not only Tokyo and Chongqing but other cities on the list as well – we'd definitely have to include North and South Dhaka CCs as separate cities too, and one would have to ask why we're including the entirety of Beijing-shi when Dongcheng and Xicheng Districts would be the analogous subdivisions for Beijing. These are the issues you run into when you try to compare wildly different forms of city government around the world using one arbitrary metric. I don't have precise population figures for the Delhi MCs – you'd have to back-calculate them from census subdivision figures. Cobblet (talk) 23:00, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
New Delhi is the only city proper in Delhi and it has a population of about 250k. This article is not List of metropolitan areas by population and that's where Delhi belongs. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Filpro (talkcontribs) 21:39, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
This is not even true. Even before the recent fracturing of Delhi, there were multiple local governments in the NCT. Delhi was every bit a "city" as New Delhi, so what you said doesn't even make any sense. New Delhi wasn't even anywhere near the largest local government in the NCT, and was essentially given a local government, at all, because it was the national capital. --Criticalthinker (talk) 17:24, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
New Delhi does not contain Delhi's historical city centre. Cobblet (talk) 23:00, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
That matters because?Filpro (talk) 23:04, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Because that is what a city proper is. Putrajaya is not KL's city proper. Kotte is not Colombo's city proper. Cobblet (talk) 23:15, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
OK. It's either that or all of Delhi as it used to be. Berlin is listed here and it is both a city and a state of Germany while Delhi is a city and a Union Territory of India. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Filpro (talkcontribs) 23:20, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

This article

really needs attention. Some considerations:

  • When deciding upon a source to use for the city’s population, there are three possible criteria: (1) the reliability of the source; (2) how current the population figure is; (3) Whether the figure corresponds to, in this case, what a reasonable person would consider to be the city proper.
  • Often, sources will state the “population” of a “city” without giving the definition being used (municipality, urban area, metro area, etc.). When possible, population and surface area figures should be from the same source, to ensure that both figures are based on the same definition of city and hence are factually accurate.
  • An excellent source in that regard is, which not only breaks down an area, subdivision by subdivision, but also shows a map of the area, coded by population density, so that one can see deserves to be considered “city” and what doesn’t. I believe is a reliable source.

A major problem on this article is that someone has been defining Chinese cities as being the entire sub-provincial city, prefecture-level city, or direct-controlled municipality, resulting in many large, low-density “cities” in China. I strongly oppose this definition; only something densely populated is really a city. I had an argument in February 2014 with User BsBsBs over the matter; he insisted that carving out only the core districts to counted as a city was original research. He finally admitted that Wikipedia opinion was on my side on that matter.

For instance, the whole DCM of Beijing has about 21 M people and about 16,000 km2, but only the core districts (pop. ≈11.7 M; area ≈1368 km2) should count. Several other Chinese cities on this list have a similar problem. Other Chinese cities on this list that have suffered the same “count-the-whole-municipality” treatment (* = should be deleted because the core districts aren’t populous enuf):

  • Tianjin
  • Chongqing
  • Nanjing
  • Shenyang
  • Ningbo
  • Changsha
  • Ürümqi* (only 214 people per km2!)

Counting the whole municipality is appropriate, tho’, if the municipality is dense enough, as is the case, IMO, with Shanghai, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Shantou, and possibly. In the case of Guangzhou and Foshan, I would exclude outer districts because there are some low-density ones. In the case of Zhongshan, I would include the whole municipality because it apparently doesn’t have any distinct subdivisions. Xiamen has a pop. density of over 2000 km–2, so I would count the whole thing. Then again, it has some low density outer districts, so perhaps they should be deleted, in which case Xiamen would no longer have over 3 M people. See for information on population densities and a breakdown by district.

Cities on this list that should be deleted (other than aforementioned Ürümqi):

  • Izmir. The core districts together have fewer than 3 M people.[1]. I suspect the area (≈2000 km2) and pop (≈4 M) figures came from different sources, creating a problem.

Cities that need attention:

  • Lagos. Has about 21 M people, according to the preferable definition as a set of Local Government Areas.[2]
  • Tokyo. Previously, the precedent was that only the 23 Special Wards would count. Now, however, that precedent has been broken. I think the Special Wards definition is better.
  • Mumbai. The definition should read “Mumbai + Mumbai Suburban”, with a population of about 12.4 M.[3]
  • Cairo. The 11.9 M pop. is a mistake. It should only be about 9 M.[4]
  • Lahore. The source doesn’t say 10 M people.
  • Baghdad. Baghdad Governorate has about 7.6 M people on about 734 km2.[5]

Cities that should be added/restored to this list (pops according to

  • Delhi, India. Pop ≈16 M.[6]
  • Casablanca, Morocco. Pop ≈3.3 M.
  • Kano, Nigeria. Metro area (definition of city same as with Lagos) pop. ≈3.3 M.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pop. ≈3.049 M.

Btw, I strongly agree with classifying all of Hong Kong as one “city” for purposes of this list.

Based on the extensive vandalism this list has suffered, I do support semi-protection.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 23:59, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Responses: Lagos, Dhaka, Casablanca

This article is a mess in more ways than one. Piling on what you're saying, sources such as for Karachi is not a census authority source nor is a source that has any expertise with demographics. While this would definitely pass as a reliable source, the article doesn't give attribution to where they got their number. The CityMayors list (used for Lagos) is not a good source either. It uses both city AND urban area. This is evident with some cities like Buenos Aires. Demographia's numbers are for urban area and I have no idea why that number would be used for a "city proper". Elockid(BOO!) 00:12, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
I think is a reliable source. Moreover, it is a very good source because it (a) gives both area and population, so you can be sure that area and population figures are based on the same definition of city; (b) breaks down Chinese cities by district so you can tell what are core districts and what are not.
Also, the 13.4 M figure for Lagos is obsolete. the 2006 census already recorded 16 M people, so 21 M for 2015 seems reasonable.
Ningbo is somewhat problematic. Some districts have just over 1000 people per km2. Should they count? If so, then Ningbo belongs on this list (tho' not with over 7 M people). If not, then Ningbo doesn't belong. What's your opinion?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 19:46, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

I just started repairing the article, but alot more work is needed.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 20:19, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

Another issue. Should the outer districts of Tianjin, with densities of about 1,000 to 1,600 per km2, count?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 21:03, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
More vandalism. Dhaka's pop has been reduced to 6.9 M. It should be more like 12 M, based on (talk) 21:19, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
That was me who changed the population. The previous entry was the entire district instead of just the city. Not sure what part of citypopulation you're looking at but it's shown as 7,033,075 which is very close to one listed by the BBD. Elockid(BOO!) 21:25, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
Elockid, thanks for confessing to making the change. I, however, favor including the whole district, to better reflect current administrative boundaries; it's simpler and less arbitrary that way. The district has over 10,000 people per km2, more than enuf to be called a city. Btw, sorry for saying Casablanca is in China. I copied and pasted from the information for Hefei. Can someone please get the 3-letter code for Morocco so that it will say Morocco?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 22:14, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Just wanted to point out; it is Lagos Metro that is estimated as 21 million; usually referring to the entirety of Lagos State, which includes Lagos City and several other sparsely populated towns/cities in the state. I'm not sure that is what a city proper is. The LGAs considered to be in Lagos City actually has a population of 13 to 15 million. Basically, I'm not sure I understand this user's solution, cos it's not exactly choosing a particular definition.--Jamie Tubers (talk) 13:15, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Now I understand. “BANGLADESH: Districts and Cities” lists Dhaka as a “city” with about 7 M people. Problem is, there is no single subdistrict called “Dhaka”; the 7 M population figure presumably refers to a set of core districts. The question is, should the entire Dhaka District count as a “city”?
As for Lagos, there is no single “Lagos City”. There are only Local Government Areas, Metro Lagos, and Lagos State. I think Metro Lagos should count as “city proper” for purposes of this list. As for the pop figure of 5 M for the “city” of Lagos, that is from 1991, a very obsolete figure; equivalent for the 2 M for Kano.[7]--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 22:50, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
Another city that needs attention: Santiago. The current definition there includes Santiago Province (apparently minus one or two rural municipalities), plus some adjacent areas. That's not right.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 22:54, 21 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Of course there's the city of "Lagos". There are Local Governements (mainly those in the Island and some Mainland) that form "Lagos" boundaries. While there're towns like Ikeja, Epe, Ikorodu, Ojo that are also in Lagos State. Due to the small area that the state is, these other towns, along with Lagos are regarded as one metro area. That is the entirety of Lagos State. Hence "Metro Lagos" = "Lagos State" = 21 million. The problem you have is, you really have no clue about the political divisions of every country, but you're trying decide solutions that'll never work for each country. In Nigeria, cities are not political divisions, but they are however still defined. Large cities often consist of several LGAs, while mid-size cities are usually their own single LGA, and several small cities are usually grouped under a single LGA. These are basically for administrative purpose, but people know the cities, with their boundaries, usually defined by gates or other demarcations. See google maps; here's is Lagos with some of the LGAs in the link you gave, while this is Lagos State which consists of all the LGAs in your link on metro Lagos. Metro Lagos is just what it is called, a "METROpolitan area". It isn't a single city! Will never be.
Kano State is not even a metro area at all. There is Kano, a city on its own, and Kano State, a very large state with many towns. And I don't think by any standards, metro areas are the same "city proper". We already have a list addressing that. Lastly, No one knows where that website got their figures from. Kano figures for examples doesn't fit into any official figures from Kano State Government.--Jamie Tubers (talk) 10:44, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, “NIGERIA: Provinces and Cities” lists Lagos State as having about 10 M people (as of 2011) on 3,345 km2. This is much bigger in area than the ~1100 km2 listed as part of Metro Lagos. Therefore we can conclude that Metro Lagos is a much smaller piece of territory than Lagos state. The discrepancy in population between the 10 M and the 21 M is, I think, due to the 2006 Nigeria census which officially listed Lagos as having ≈8 M people; but this is thought to have been a fraudulent undercount (what do you expect; this is Africa!); the true population of Lagos then was more like 16 M.
Also, I never claimed that all of Kano State was a metro area; I was saying that what “NIGERIA: Metro Kano” lists as “Metro Kano” should count as city proper. This Metro Kano is presumably much smaller in area than Kano State. Kano State actually covers about 20,000 km2.[8]
As for what counts as “city proper” for Istanbul, I recommend counting not the whole province but the “agglomeration” or “Istanbul City”, which covers perhaps 2,200 km2 and has about 14 M people.[9]--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 22:52, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
I still think Metro Area is the best definition of city proper for both Lagos and Kano; neither city has a single, “core” district. True, Metro Kano has a “Kano Municipal” LGA, but since the 1991 census lists “Kano” as having 2 M people[10], that definition of Kano must be more inclusive than that.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 21:56, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
This totally defeats the purpose of this list, though. How would it make sense to use the metropolitan area as the "city proper" when there is already a list of the world's largest metropolitan areas? I think for "cities" or urban areas without associated local governments for their cores, if they are to be added at all they should use urbanized local government areas as their building blocks for the "city proper" and preferably only those that are entirely urbanized when applicable. In the case of Lagos, then, there is no way you'd include every local government area in Lagos State. In fact, Lagos' own city page has a statistical definition of "Lago", so perhaps that would be the best definition. --Criticalthinker (talk) 13:29, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Actually, Metro Lagos only covers less than 1200 km2 and even the least crowded district has over 3000 people per km2; so in the usual sense of Metro area, the metro area of Lagos would extend well beyond “Metro Lagos”. In this case, tho’, I think Metro Lagos refers to those LGAs that are usually considered “Lagos”. Also, if “Lagos' own city page has a statistical definition of "Lago[s]"”, then can you give the page’s URL, so that I can see for myself?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 17:04, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
I fixed the statement that Casablanca is in China, deleted Izmir and fixed Tianjin's population to exclude outer districts. Okay? I've fixing the list from the top (of the list) down.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 21:26, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Elockid, sorry for calling your edit vandalism. I put a break titled “Responses” in this thread because it was getting very long.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 17:33, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Don't sweat it. Elockid(BOO!) 20:53, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

I just signed the post “I still think Metro Area is the best definition of city proper for both Lagos and Kano; neither city has a single, “core” district...” I initially wrote it on Oct. 22, as part of the post just before it; but forgot to sign it. Just to clarify a possible discrepancy in dates. Okay?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 22:01, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Guangzhou; rankings

I fixed Ankara and Guangzhou. Okay?--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 16:59, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
With respect to Guangzhou, I believe you are performing original research. Remember this list is "city proper" which means the local administrative area which contains the urban core. The official statistics count and reference has 12,700,800 people as of the 2010 census. I can't find anywhere in the official statistics reference for the number you used. Did you just arbitrarily exclude some of the districts? What criteria did you use to do so? Mattximus (talk) 20:00, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I believe this article is gradually losing its purpose. It's anything but a city proper list.--Jamie Tubers (talk) 09:19, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree. It's actually a bit crazy to have the definitions separated like this, or we will forever have people asking "where is Sydney" or "Chongqing is too high"... I proposed this change earlier, maybe it will get more support now?
Name Country Image City Proper Urban Metropolitan
Toronto Canada   2,615,060 5,132,794 5,583,064
Chongqing China   29,914,000 17,830,100 17,000,000
Sydney Australia   169,505 3,641,421 4,840,600
Whoever is changing everything has completely messed up the ranking numbers. If you're going to change population data to the extent that it changes its ranking, you must correct the ranking numbers for the other entries. This is how it's always been done. --Criticalthinker (talk) 13:26, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
The reason I don't correct the ranking numbers is that correcting them is alot of work, and they will have to be corrected again and again anyway, so I am saving that til the article is more fully repaired. As for rankings, I think we should accept that the 5 largest cities are Shanghai, Karachi, Lagos, Delhi, and Istanbul; next step is to correct Istanbul's population as I suggested and fix Tokyo so that Mumbai ranks 6th. Jamie Tubers, why do you think this is "anything but a city proper list"? Mattximus, the reason outer districts are excluded is that they are not really urban. On my User talk page, in Feb. 2014, I had an argument with User BsBsBs about the matter; he insisted that cutting out outer districts was original research, but he finally admitted that Wikipedia opinion was on my side on that matter. To avoid further disrupting this article, please abide by the consensus that outer districts of Chinese cities should not count.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 14:22, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm not disrupting anything, I haven't edited this page in ages. But he is right, if you are just arbitrarily cutting out districts that don't meet your criteria then yes, that is original research. If you give a population figure you must cite it, and not cite a list of numbers you added/subtracted. That's the definition of original research which is not allowed in wikipedia. In other words, Solomonfromfinland, you must find a reference for that 9,866,519 number you quoted and link a source or it will be removed in favour of official statistics. Mattximus (talk) 01:25, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
I cited my source, and calculated said figure; a routine calculation is not original research; see What SYNTH is not. I excluded those districts of Guangzhou that had under 1000 residents per km2. Mattximus, sorry if you agree with BsBsBs, but as BsBsBs admitted, Wikipedia opinion is on my side on that matter. I am from Finland, and Kuopio municipality has about 111,000 people; but I don't consider Kuopio a city of over 100,000. Why? Kuopio's main built-up area (keskustaajama, it is called in Finnish) has only about 86,000 people; and Kuopio municipality has only about 45 people per km2.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 23:05, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
Solomonfromfinland , I think you are mistaken with that policy. You are committing research by deciding which numbers to add together. The addition itself is fine, but you've committed original research in deciding which numbers to add based on a completely arbitrary 1000 residents per km2. Do you have a reference for that cutoff? Is 999 residents per km2 magically no longer part of the city? Again this would be original research. Based on what you said I will have to revert to the official statistics with the proper reference. Mattximus (talk) 02:37, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
Have to make the cutoff somewhere. In general, if a Chinese prefecture-level city has less that 2000 people per km2, I will include districts of over 1500 people per km2 (in China, this is the minimum pop density for being considered fully urban), and exclude districts of under 1000 km–2. Districts of between 1000 and 1500 km–2 are problematic in that respect. Fortunately, Guangzhou had no districts in the 1000 to 1500 range. In the case of Beijing, it was easy: There was a set of core districts that all had over 6000 people per km2 and over 11 M people total; no other district had more than 1400 people per km2; so the obvious choice was to include said core districts only. However, the current definition of Tianjin proper includes some districts that have only about 1200 people per km2; for consistency, perhaps only the core districts, all of which are over 20,000 km–2 and which have a combined pop of about 4.3 M, should count. (When I fixed Tianjin, the footnote said the 1200 to 1500 km–2 districts [such as Binhai New Area] were included.) What do you think? Mattximus, sorry for suggesting that you were disrupting the article. I knew that someone had altered the Chinese cities so as to include the whole prefecture-level city.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 20:10, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid not, you don't "Have to make the cutoff somewhere." That's the very definition of original research. I feel for your problem, but what you are describing is the definition of List of urban areas by population. Remember, you are in List of "city proper" by population. The definition of city proper is administrative boundaries, and speaks nothing of density. This is the cited united nations definition, not original research. Perhaps your efforts are better served in that second list? It doesn't matter if you or I don't like the population of Guanzhou, it doesn't matter that we don't personally like that it includes parts that are not very dense. We don't choose the definitions to fit our personal interests. We don't add or subtract districts we arbitrarily don't like. Wikipedia just reports information with as little POV or original research as possible. Remember, this is a list of administrative units based on the UN definition, that's all. Mattximus (talk) 22:20, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
Sorry if cutting out low-density outer districts (LDODs) is original research, but there is a Wikiconsensus in favor of such a practice, even if it doesn’t conform with the “strictly administrative” definition of city proper (CP). Then again, you could argue that you are still using an administrative definition; you are choosing a set of districts. As for saying we don’t get to choose, the United Nations probably never explicitly said that LDODs must count as CP. In fact, the following quote from this article arguably supports cutting out LDODs: “…However, many Chinese cities included govern territories that extend well beyond the traditional "city proper" into suburban and rural areas.”
Cutting out LDODs certainly does make the “city” better conform to most people’s concept of “city”. You could argue that even if removing LDODs is OR, then it is a legitimate exception, similar to the fact that you kind of have to use your own judgment to decide what Categories an article belongs in. No-one’s objected to me cutting out a low-density district of Ankara? Btw, simply cutting out outer districts of Guangzhou is not going to turn this into a list of urban areas:
  • Given that all of Beijing’s core districts have over 6000 people per km2, and the adjacent districts have over 1000, it can be inferred that Beijing’s urban area is bigger than the core districts, and includes part of the outer districts. This does not mean, however, that the adjacent outer districts of Beijing should count as CP.
  • Guangzhou, Dongguan, Shenzhen, and some other cities are part of one urban area, which based on looking at the map[11], likely has over 40 M people. So the core districts of Guangzhou are not a whole “urban area”.
One thing that someone did that is particularly undesirable is reverting Guangzhou’s population to include the whole prefecture-level city, without changing the area or density figures, so that area, pop and density figures are based on different definitions of the city and are thus inconsistent. Please revert said edit and include only Guangzhou’s core districts, as I wanted. Else it looks ugly.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 00:56, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Btw, we really need Wikicode for it to automatically rank the cities, to avoid the time-consuming task of adjusting the ranks manually. I asked for such Wikicode before, but my request was ignored.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 21:53, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
While I do struggle with how we should rank this page, and mostly agree with you, I think there HAS to be some room for some original research, but only to the point of consensus by those most active on the page. I also don't think that even arbitrarily piecing together administrative city districts to form "city propers" is worse than including so-called "cities" in certian parts of the world in their entirety. I think for some cities we will have to do this, and that doesn't make it a measure or "urban areas." Urban area/agglomeration measurements are spatial measurements of a settlements area regardless of municipal/administrative boundaries. That is to say the building block for an "urban area" are probably more abitrary than that for a "city proper" since what counts as "urban" is decided upon by the definition fo any given country. In the case of a "city proper" in situations where the administrative boundaries of a "city" far expand beyond what one could call a "city," I think that it's not only appropriate, but absolutely necessary, to then scale-down the buildings blocks to the level of city districts/boroughs/etc. The good thing is that for the vast majority of cities on this list, official municipal boundaries generally cover the extent of the central settlement in question, or at the very least, each regional municipalities/governments includes fully urbanized second-tier local governments. But, there are certainly cases where "cities" do not in any concievable way correspond to even the loosest definition of what any reasonable person would consider a "city proper" and this is particularly the case with the vast majority of Chinese cities, some of these who boundaries are so large and whose governments are given so much power that they'd essentially be first-tier administrative divisions almost anywhere in the world. I believe even Chinese academics generally agree that most of the Municipalities and Prefecture/Sub-Provincial level "cities" shouldn't be thought of a "cities" in the traditional sense. At the end of the day, any city proper list that would put Chongqing as a "city proper" of approximately 30 million people isn't worth its salt, and by your definition, that would be exactly how it'd be listed here. --Criticalthinker (talk) 14:16, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
So, in closing, there does have to be some level of original research/exceptions, but I'm not sure it's as arbitrary of unpalatable as you think it is. To summarize and reiterate my position: In those cases where administrative boundaries for a central urban settlement (read "city" in the traditional sense of the word) include a high level of territory which could not be considered urban relative to the physical size of the urban area within the administrative "city" (see most Chinese "cities") and the units of local government are so small that that they don't even begin to cover what would generally thought to be the boundaries of the central urban settlement of an urban area and that city also doesn't have a regional/metropolitan government that could be thought of as a "city" (see London), that we at least consider piecing together second-(or even third)-tier administrative divisions in these "cities" to find a "city proper" where applicable. Sometimes, we wouldn't even have to do original research because some national statistics agencies have their own definitions of "cities/city propers" in those instances where there is no realistics regional/metropolitan government and the units of local government are too small. This has consistently been my point for years, now, but I'll just leave it here, again, in case anyone is trying to work out a compromise. It has its own pitfalls and undesirable effects, but it's a better and more accurately reflective idea of "city proper" means than either straight-up consistency in which case you have a list of "cities" which include everything from something like Chongqing Municipality or Beijing Municiaplities which consists of multiple urban settlements - often dozens of miles apart from one another - with their own (second-tier) local governements to something as small and dense as your general Indian city, which is much closer to the idea of a "city proper." Just to keep on the Chinese examples for a minute, even the Chinese government inadvertently reveals the idea of sub-provincial/prefecture-level/municipal "cities" to be concepts that don't generally adhere to the concept of "city proper." In these large "cities" you'll usually almost have an actual "city proper" which is distinguish from its surrounding territory by the fact that it's divided into second-level "districts." That's usually the "city proper" in the sense we understand. Beyond that, these "cities" usually then include "counties/county-level cities" which when they include urban settlements are often seperate city propers in their own right as we understand the concept. This doesn't always hold (everything in Beijing, for instance, seems to be called a "district"), but the point remains that even the Chinese seem to make the distinction if even only statistically or informally. --Criticalthinker (talk) 14:16, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I've read your reply and I sympathize with the situation. The problem can be easily stated: there is no single good definition for what makes up a city. That is why we have 3 lists on wikipedia, each with a different definition. This one is administrative, like or not. It's the official UN definition, if you don't like it please find and cite some other definition of city proper and I will support you. With this definition it's inevitable that some cities will be too large to meet with common views, or too small. From this definition, some contributors feel like shoe-horning in cities, like Beijing, that simply don't fit this definition very well. They do it by arbitrarily cutting or merging administrative districts, which is not only against wikipedia's original research policy, but doesn't even make sense for this list since it doesn't fit the clear criteria. I firmly believe that our opinion doesn't matter, only abiding by the definition without incorporating our original research. I propose giving multiple populations for each city, as I show above. This will allow us to include cities like Sydney, and explain anomalies like Chongqing but remaining consistent and committing no original research. Mattximus (talk) 19:52, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Mattximus, when you write, "This one is administrative, like or not." and "I firmly believe that our opinion doesn't matter", you are being too stern and too inflexible, and too pessimistic/coercive (trying to force people to accept a definition of city that they don't like). Few people would regard the whole of Chongqing direct-constolled municipality as a "city".--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 01:01, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Solomonfromfinland: Are you sure you read my reply? I'm very happy to change the definition if you have a source, but you are adding your original research that goes against the current definition used on this page. You are adding numbers that you just made up by adding some things with other things arbitrarily. For any list you must have inclusion criteria, and as of now, this list is using UN definitions for what makes a city. There are 3 definitions, each with their own list. If you don't like the definition of "city proper", please by all means change the definition with an appropriate citation, but do not add apples and oranges in the same list. It makes comparisons even more meaningless. Mattximus (talk) 01:31, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
@Mattximus: I agree with what you say, but that being the case, why do we list an entity called "Central Chongqing", which is not at all a city proper. The city proper population of Chongqing is 29 million, and it should be at the top of this list. The note at the bottom of the table saying Sum of the 2014 population estimates for the "urban-function core district" and "urban-function extended district" of Chongqing, which were 3,677,600 and 4,512,200 respectively - if that isn't original research, I don't know what is.  — Amakuru (talk) 09:41, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Yep you are correct Amakuru , it is definitely original research, made up by some editor. The only solution I can see to this issue is to merge the three lists of largest cities by population into one, so readers can use whatever definition is useful to them. It's clear the "city proper" definition is not really applicable to all cities, so it would be nice to merge them as I have shown if you scroll up a bit. What do you think? Would you support such a merger? Mattximus (talk) 15:18, 13 November 2015 (UTC)


I've been conversing with someone here on Wiki who is helping me figure out local government as it pertains to Baghdad, and he's helped me understand that there is actually a city of Baghdad governed seperately from the Baghdad Governorate (province), so the figure here is not for the "city proper." Administratively, Baghdad Governorate currently has a total of 11 administrative districts (this needs to be corrected on the governorate and Iraqi districts page, which I plan to do some time), of which on 6 are incorporated into the municipal city (Mayoralty) of Baghdad. Municipally, there is a city (Mayoralty) of Baghdad which is divded into 9 municipal divisions. It's my understanding that the 9 municipalities of Baghdad City overlap the 6 administrative divisions Baghdad Governorate so that they share the same border. Anyway, I'm not sure how we'd find the population of the 9 municipalities/6 districts, but to be clear, there is a Baghdad City seperate (or in addition to) from Baghdad Governorate. Maybe this is something with some Arabic language skill could research on the Baghdad Mayoralty city website. I doubt the population would be much different, as the vast majority of the governorate's population is in the city, but it would definitely change the area and density calculations in a major way since Baghdad City is a small part of the 4,000 sq km+ governorate. Just as an example, the two physically largest districts of the governorate (Al-Mada'in and Mahmoudiyah) are not even in the Baghdad Mayoralty. BTW, in spite of the note left of the city on the list, it is not a federal district set-up. --Criticalthinker (talk) 15:21, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Linyi is missing? 10+ million population

Helloo! why isn'y Linyi on the list?

Because by any realistical definition, Linyi's city proper is clearly only the three central districts of the "city." Many times, Chinese cities make it more clear than most give them credit for what the actual city proper is. In this case, all of the other divisions are clearly outlying counties in which not even the urban area spills. --Criticalthinker (talk) 15:03, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

I totally agree, Linyi is not a city of over 3 million.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 18:50, 18 December 2015 (UTC)


Partially related to above comments, is this listing 'reliable'? I first came here from Beijing to check where that cities page says in the lead:

"The city proper is the 3rd most populous in the world." (linking to this page)

Whereas on this page it is 12th " the world." Looking further Beijings' page also says it is:

"... the third in municipal population after Shanghai and Chongqin".

So perhaps that is where the discrepancy (3rd in world or 3rd in China?) comes from. 220 of Borg 01:53, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

Population of Karachi and other Pakistani cities

The population of Karachi has been highly overstated on the basis of a newspaper article. The population of Karachi is certainly not more than that of Mumbai. Stating NEWSPAPER ARTICLE as the reference is not appropriate and is not authentic. I had added a reference of UN data that has been reverted. The population of all the Pakistani cities has been overstated. It should therefore be corrected. If anyone has objection, must discuss before reverting my edits.

Aursani (talk) 17:36, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

The population of Karachi was about 9 M as of 1998[12]. However, lists it as about 21 M as of 2011; on 3527 km2.[13] Let's use the more recent population figure, especially since the old one may be based on a differnt definition of city limits; the 23 M figure is close to that used by 1998 figures are too old.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 17:19, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

The cities in Pakistan are problematic. Lahore District (1772 km2) had about 6.31 M people in 1998, while the “city” of Lahore (presumably a narrower definition) had only 5.14 M[14]. (I prefer the broader definition of Lahore; that is, counting the whole city district like with Karachi. My preference for the borader definition is perhaps supported by the fact that on Wikipedia, “Karachi District” redirects to “Karachi”.) But I would like a more recent figure, not the current figure of 10 M, which is not even supported by the source cited. (The 10 M figure refers to the whole agglomeration [urban area][15], and so should not be used.) Unfortunately, does not give population figures more recent than 1998 for Pakistani cities, other that Karachi. Index Mundi says that as of 2011, Karachi had 13.876 M people, and Lahore 7.566 M; but I have a feeling that these figures are based on a narrower definition of the city, counting only the cantonment and not the whole city district. If Lahore had 6.318 M people in 1998, and the pop has grown 2% per year since then, by 2015 it will be 8.846 M (cities in Pakistan are growing very quickly, so 8.8 M might be too low).

While a figure of about 3.4 M is listed for Hyderabad[16], I think that refers to the whole area of 3198 km2, which would probably be too sparse to count as a city. See the Wikipedia article “Hyderabad District, Sindh”. According to Geohive, said district covers 1,870 km2 and had 2.059 M people in 1981 and 1.494 M in 1998[17]. (Do they mean 1.494 M in 1981 and 2.059 M people in 1998?)

The source[18] listed for Faisalbad is inconsistent. It says, “1,300 km² (490 miles²) - City population 7,480,675 people[.] Density: 927/km2 (2,400/sq mi)”. Later it says, “The proper city covers an area of approximately 1,230 square kilometres (470 sq mi), while the district covers more than 16,000 square kilometres (6,200 sq mi).” Problem is, 7,480,675 people at 927 km–2 implies about 8,000 km2 (presumably the whole city district or metro area), and none of the area figures match that. Also, none of the area figures on the source cited support the 237 km2 lsited, nor do any pop figures suppoert the 6.4 M.

Another thing I don’t like is that the pop and area figures for Rawlpindi and Peshawar are unreferenced.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 20:14, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Peshawar has 3,571,000 people as of 2015[19]. I presume that refers to the whole city district of 1257 km2.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 23:50, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ "TURKEY: İzmir City". Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "NIGERIA: Metro Lagos". Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "INDIA: Administrative Division". Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "EGYPT". Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "IRAQ". Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "INDIA: Delhi". Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "NIGERIA: Provinces and Cities". Retrieved 21 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "NIGERIA: Provinces and Cities". Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "TURKEY: İstanbul City". Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "NIGERIA: Provinces and Cities". Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "CHINA: Administrative Division of Guăngdōng". Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  12. ^ "PAKISTAN". Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  13. ^ "PAKISTAN: Karachi City". Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "GEOHIVE: Pakistan". Geohive. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "Demographia World Urban Areas: 11th Annual Edition: 2015:01" (PDF). Demographia. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  16. ^ "THE NEWS: INTERNATIONAL: Sindh population surges by 81.5 pc, households by 83.9 pc". The News (Pakistan). Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  17. ^ "GEOHIVE: Pakistan". Geohive. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  18. ^ "Phonebook of Faisalabad". Phonebook of the World. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  19. ^ "Population estimates for Peshawar, Pakistan, 1950-2015". Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
I've removed Faisalabad from the list. That's pretty shady sourcing. It's primary objective seems to be to find the best hotels for each city there. There is no attribution from where those numbers came from or any sort of explanation about those statistics. A source more dedicated to statistics is needed. There are better sources out there. Phonebookreview isn't one of them. ElockidHappy holidays! 03:56, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
I commented the population statistics for Pakistani cities in an archived thread. My conclusion is that there is no really good source at the moment for statistics later than the 1998 Census, but the best source is probably the UN projections from the 2014 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects. A file with yearly population estimates is found here (excel).--Pjred (talk) 10:24, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
It's more up to date than 1998 census but my concern is that the UN data is for agglomerations. We could be facing (another) situation where if we do something to X, it has to be done to Y also. ElockidHappy holidays! 13:44, 30 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree with User:Elockid. I would only cite official population estimates or censuses from the official Pakistan statistics agency ( Their most up to date information is unfortunately from 1998, but that's the only reliable numbers we have to work with until the next estimate/census is made. Here is the link I think we should cite. [2] Mattximus (talk) 14:14, 30 December 2015 (UTC)


Beijing isn't correct in terms of population if we're talking about Urban Area (which is the city proper for Chinese cities I believe). With an urban area of 1368.32 kilometers, the population should be 18,590,000, not 11,716,620. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:04, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

No, the definition here for Chinese cities is core districts. (A semi-administrative definition.) Based on population densities of the districts, one can infer that the Beijing urban area extends beyond the core districts. The core districts' combined population is about 11.7M.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 17:47, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
Beijing city proper should use the official statistics form the Beijing Bureau of Statistics. The source currently provided is first, not official, and second does not match the number in the table, and so should not be used. This page is for administrative divisions, I feel someone did original research to create their own semi-administrative definition, which runs afoul of wiki's no original research policy. Mattximus (talk) 22:17, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Unreliable population figures

I wanted to take a moment to highlight some concerns regarding three of the estimates we currently have published for Karachi, Lagos, and Lahore. While the Karachi figure does provide a reference, the linked-to article lists out an estimate without attribution. Lagos cites an estimate from, and Lahore provides no valid source whatsoever. I will defer to other editors who have experience with maintaining this list on how best to proceed. Regards, Yamaguchi先生 (talk) 00:52, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

I agree on all three counts. I've noticed that before. Also, there is no reason that Delhi should cite when they have a good official statistics agency with a recent census. If I had more time I could help clean up the page. But you are correct with your concerns. Mattximus (talk) 21:17, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
I'm confused about something else I just noticed, though, and that's how the "definition" section of Beijing and Shanghai say that the population figure is for the "core districts", but the numbers obviously correspond to the entire municipality, including the districts in which not only does the contiguous urban area not extend, but some districts that wouldn't even be considered part of the metropolitan area. Now, we've gone through this many times before for years and it's my opinion that it should include what even the Chinese include as the core districts. But, however we add them, the definition should fit the population number. If the population is for the entire municipality, than the definition should simply read "Municipality." --Criticalthinker (talk) 08:18, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
The latter is the best option. If we just use the population for the "Core Districts", then we are just duplicating List of urban areas by population which is where those "core districts" matches the definition. Mattximus (talk) 12:12, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
I mean, it needs to be changed back to "Municipality," but choosing the core districts would not be the same as "urban area" measurements, which are almost always spatial measurements regardless of local government boundaries, or at least that's what that other list should consist of. I think that's what I've been trying to get at for years. Where applicable, adding up core districts isn't the same thing as an urban area/agglomeration measurement, so it wouldn't be duplicating anything. Of course, the dominant opinion here is for no original research to be used, so I'll respect that so long as it's the dominant opinion. But, I will always make clear that adding together actual local government districts to define a "city proper" where a national/sub-nation government doesn't have the concept of a official city proper is not the same thing as an urban area spatial measurement. --Criticalthinker (talk) 16:18, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Chinese cities

Some users tried to coerce me into accepting that the whole of Guangzhou municipality should be treated as city proper (CP), even the low-density outer districts (see Archive 8). They insisted that cutting out outer districts was original research. However, they told me that they’d be willing to accept a narrower definition of CP if there were a source that supported such a definition. Well, there is one. See the article City proper. Under the section Internationalization, it cites United Nations Demographic Yearbook as saying that for Tokyo, “city proper refer to 23 wards (ku) of the old city”.[1] That’s one precedent for CP being a set of core districts. Therefore the definition of Tokyo for purposes of this list should be narrowed to include only the 23 Special Wards.

The section City proper#Controversy supports the notion that for China, CP should refer only to core districts. Supposedly, “in 1986, to cope with growing administrative demands at the local level, China essentially reclassified counties as cities in order to allow local city governments to control the surrounding areas”. [Dead link.] Thus: “Even though the municipal district of Chongqing has… more than 30 million inhabitants, fewer than 6 million actually live in Chongqing city proper.” Look on to see that the core districts (pop density > 1500 km–2) of Chongqing have a combined pop of only ≈4.5M.[2] The section City proper#Controversy also cites someone as “us[ing] "city proper" in the context of "city districts", and not as the larger administrative area.”[3]

What is particularly ugly is the partial reversion of my edits for Guangzhou and Tianjin, so that the pop figures are for the whole municipality, while the area and density figures are for core districts only. Blatantly inconsistent.

May I point out that it claims Seoul is larger than Guangzhou when the population figures say the exact opposite. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:27, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

I couldn't find your link to the website that says city proper definition should specifically be the "core" districts for Chinese cities. The one above is a dead link. If you can find that please let us know so we can add it to the lead paragraph and apply that exception consistently to all Chinese cities. Original research is when you choose a number of districts based on an arbitrary density, then add them up yourself, the post them on this page. But if what you say is true, then the distinction is not arbitrary and therefore acceptable. Mattximus (talk) 20:03, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Please use the narrower definition of CP and fix the entries on this list for Tokyo, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Nanjing, etc.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 18:49, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Also remember that you can't use a sum of certain districts you personally deem to be urban, it has to be a population figure from a reliable source. If no source has that exact figure, we are stuck with the municipal numbers because original research is not allowed. Mattximus (talk) 04:07, 19 December 2015 (UTC)
Who added Zunyi? At 199 people per km2, Zunyi is not a city. Based on the quote, “China essentially reclassified counties as cities in order to allow local city governments to control the surrounding areas” (see City proper#Controversy), prefecture-level cities (Chinese: 地級市/地级市/dì jí shì) are arguably counties more than cities; even though 市/shì literally translates as “city”. This list should conform to what reasonable person would regard as a city.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 00:27, 24 December 2015 (UTC)
It was not me, I would have added many other Chinese cities first, but what you are describing is the urban area, not city proper. Urban area has it's own list here List of urban areas by population. This list is strictly for administrative divisions. I agree though, there is a problem with this definition for both Chinese cities and Australian ones (for the opposite reason). But you can't just change the definition to whatever you feel like. We're stuck with it. I proposed a solution above, having multiple definitions in one list, so that all major cities are included, but got little support. Mattximus (talk) 01:19, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

Karachi population density

The population density for Karachi had an entry of 6427 and a reference.

That reference does not contain 6427. Perhaps someone tried to calculate it from a population and area, but I could not reproduce it. Given that the other entries are calculated from the population and area, I replaced the entry with the template used in the other cities.

(This actually arose because an alert reader notes that the sorting did not work correctly for that column; replacing the entry with the template should solve that problem as well. )--S Philbrick(Talk) 13:48, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, looks good now. Mattximus (talk)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 February 2016

Sydney Australia 4.84 million 12.140 km squared (talk) 21:52, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

This is the population of Metropolitan Sydney, which you can find here at List of metropolitan areas by population. This page is for the municipal boundaries definition. Just as a side note, these kind of issues would not occur if we merged the lists, but I have not heard much support for this move. Mattximus (talk) 22:38, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
  Not done: as explained by commentor above --allthefoxes (Talk) 23:01, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
@Mattximus: From a maintenance standpoint, I would be in favor of such a merge. If we listed both the metropolitan and municipal boundaries in a single list, it should also mitigate the confusion between these two as well. What objections or concerns have been voiced regarding such a merge? Regards, Yamaguchi先生 (talk) 23:18, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply, Yamaguchi先生. Well, if you look here at World's largest cities, there is actually 3 lists that probably should be merged into one. I proposed this format a few times (just for format ideas, not for validity of populations), but no support or comments was given. I'll post it again here to see if any more discussion can be encouraged..
Name Country Image City Proper Urban Metropolitan
Toronto Canada   2,615,060 5,132,794 5,583,064
Chongqing China   29,914,000 17,830,100 17,000,000
Sydney Australia   169,505 3,641,421 4,840,600

Mattximus (talk) 00:05, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Support. In my opinion this is a clean presentation of the same data, and I support a change in this direction as it would be a net positive for both readers and editors alike. Regards, Yamaguchi先生 (talk) 00:16, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
I've started the list over at World's largest cities, and hopefully this page can be redirected there and the discussions on what is a city proper can all be located in one place. Much easier to maintain this way. Mattximus (talk) 17:15, 13 February 2016 (UTC)


What do you think about redirecting this page to World's largest cities? Now that this list is found in its entirety on that page, there is no real function for this one any more. Isolating the lists from each other causes confusion (where is Sydney? and why is the population of this Chinese city so high?) which will hopefully be resolved once the lists are fully merged. Mattximus (talk) 17:17, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 February 2016

Thee population of Hyderabad is 6,731,790 but in the article, it is wrong. Please change that. Haseeb Quadri (talk) 13:42, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

  Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 19:19, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Official statistics from the Indian Government states the population was 6,809,970 based on the last census. Mattximus (talk) 12:51, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Uh, where is Manila?

As one of the largest cities in the world, why isn't Manila on this list? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:12, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

Read the page. This is a page on city propers. --Criticalthinker (talk) 19:09, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Manila has 1,652,171 people, which is lower than the limit for this page. You can see World's largest cities for a more comprehensive list. Mattximus (talk) 03:48, 11 March 2016 (UTC)


If anyone can resolve the "citations needed" the table will be more compact.   All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 14:09, 6 April 2016 (UTC).

Semi-protected edit request on 6 May 2016

Please recheck the population of chennai in wikipedia (talk) 18:43, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Checked again, and it looks to be accurate. Here is the official population from the Government of India[[3] Mattximus (talk) 22:05, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
  Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. clpo13(talk) 17:32, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 14 May 2016

Heyo. Sydney, Australia has a population of over 4 million people but is not listed here even though it is higher than even the lowest city on this list. This should be corrected. Envici (talk) 09:03, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Hi there, the City of Sydney has a population of 169,505 so would not be considered on this list. Mattximus (talk) 13:12, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
Sydney has a population of 4,921,000 and Melbourne has a population of 4,529,500. The area as a whole is considered one city. If we are going to go by LGAs then London shouldn't be on the list. The actual City of London has a population of around 7,000 people.2602:306:CC42:8340:695B:72D7:D2A3:E7A0 (talk) 21:29, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Not quite, London has an elected local government and mayor. Sydney is comprised of local government units with no administrative unit covering the whole thing. This list contains only cities based on administrative divisions. So by this definition, Syndey has 169,505 people. There are other lists with other definitions. Mattximus (talk) 11:19, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Removal of rank column

I have removed the rank column from the list. The values in this column were unsupported original synthesis (though based on reliably sourced population figures) and were obviously incorrect if the list is incomplete—which the page freely admits. For example, the list claimed that Wenzhou is the 91st largest city in the world simply because it is the 91st city in this list, but that ranking is obviously not true if the list is incomplete. Please do not add the rank column back without references to reliable sources supporting those ranking numbers specifically. —Bkell (talk) 01:31, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, this was a much needed change. I'm still wondering why this page exists if it's copied directly into World's largest cities.... Mattximus (talk) 03:30, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 June 2016

The Office for National Statistics has released a new population estimate for London of 8,673,713 as of June 30 2015. Change to:

8,673,713[1] (talk) 01:41, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

  Done st170etalk 14:26, 26 June 2016 (UTC)



This is what the article about London Boroughs says: "The London boroughs are administered by London borough councils (sometimes abbreviated LBCs) which are elected every four years. They are the principal local authorities in London and are responsible for running most local services, such as schools, social services, waste collection and roads. Some London-wide services are run by the Greater London Authority, and some services and lobbying of government are pooled within London Councils. Some councils group together for services such as waste collection and disposal (e.g., the West London Waste Authority). The boroughs are local government districts and have similar functions to metropolitan boroughs. Each borough council is a local education authority."

Note the words "they are the principal local authorities in London and are responsible for running most local services"; and "the boroughs are local government districts" which have similar functions to metropolitan boroughs, which in the rest of the UK are "unitary authorities" and which are the ONLY level of subnational local government.

And then there is "Greater London", which has an elected body and is also responsible for some functions, but does not have general control over the 32 or 33 boroughs.

So, where there are two levels of "local government", below national governments and provincial/state governments where they exist, which of the two local levels are you arbitrarily choosing to determine the size of the "cities proper" ?

This identification problem is an issue in the united states and china to my knowledge and probably also in other places. Lathamibird (talk) 06:29, 23 July 2016 (UTC)


Dubious about Zunyi. The prefecture contains 6M, but the city proper is only about 1M.

Matthewmayer (talk) 15:34, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

How are you defining city proper? Mattximus (talk) 16:28, 4 September 2016 (UTC)
I'd imagine how the Chinese define city propers in their "cities." By districts (minus counties and county-level cities), which is still a definition that includes larger areas than how most country's define their city propers. We've been over this before, though, and could never find agreement. I've used this example before, but "Beijing" includes urban areas literally on the other side of mountains dozens and dozens of kilometers away from even Beijing's greater metropolitan area, yet we count the whole "municipality" as a city proper. It's ridiculous, and the Chinese would agree. --Criticalthinker (talk) 00:50, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
There is an easy solution, and that is to offer multiple definitions, since of course the Chinese definition of city does not match the American definition, does not match the Australian definition. I tried to make the list here at World's largest cities, and would be happy if this page just merged with that one so we don't have to have this confusion. Mattximus (talk) 01:25, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
It should be of no surprise that I'm a solid "no" vote on that proposed merge. Just using Beijing as an example, again, your "urban population" category does not take into account how even Beijing defines it's city propers. I mean, even Beijing's own page makes distinctions between Beijing's inner city and urban areas, suburbs, and the outer suburbs, which are in no way part of the city proper or urban area of Beijing. Just an an example of what I was talking about earlier, Yanqing District is literally on the other side of a range of mountains from Beijing's urban area and metropolitan area. Tanghekou (town) in Huairou District is 118 km from the center of Beijing, and literally in the mountains to the north. I mean, if I'm to get behind a merge, it's got to be better than this. --Criticalthinker (talk) 09:27, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
It's not mine, it's the one used on the List of urban areas by population page. Well, if you don't like merging the three articles into 1 with multiple definitions, you are now stuck accepting the complete absence of Australian cities, and the inclusion of too many Chinese cities. The way they each define what it means to be a "city" is very, very different. But you can't change that, since it's WP:OR, so you are stuck with apples and oranges. Mattximus (talk) 13:05, 5 September 2016 (UTC)


I'm getting conflicting information on Rawalpindi. The city's page has its area listed as being 259 square kilometers. I don't see 127 square kilometers listed anywhere. Maybe it's for one of the union councils within Rawalpinidi? Rawalpindi, BTW, is not one of Pakistan's city districts, which are entire metropolitan areas governed at a regional evel. In the case of this smaller city, I imagine the "city proper" would most likely be the two tehsils listed (Rawal & Potohar). IMO, it'd actually be whichever union council - the administrative division below tehsil and most basic unit of local government - is actually Rawalpindi. Anyone familiar with Pakistan know the answer to this? --Criticalthinker (talk) 00:13, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

shouln't "Paris" be at least somewhere in there ?

Paris has 20K people by square kilometer. it probably should be mentionned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

This article is about the population of the city proper, not the population density. Paris' city proper population is only about 2.25 million...not enough to make this list. Coulraphobic123 (talk) 00:29, 7 October 2016 (UTC)


Shouldn't Sydney, Australia which has a population over 4 million make the list? 2602:306:CC42:8340:C78:9047:461:4569 (talk) 07:05, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

This is something we've been over multiple times on previous talk pages, but I guess we'll do it again. "Sydney" has no single local government (or even a regional government with constituent boroughs) covering what would be seen as a "city proper" so the concept doesn't relate to most Australian cities. The number you site is for the entire metropolitan area, which is not a "city proper" by any agreeable definition. --Criticalthinker (talk) 09:12, 31 October 2016 (UTC)


Surely Metro Manila counts? Even Taguig or Makati city on their own would anyway be big enough to appear on this list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Manila has 1,780,148 people, and this list starts at 3 million. If you want metro populations, there is a list for that: List of metropolitan areas by population. Mattximus (talk) 23:51, 16 November 2016 (UTC)


Who changed Cairo's population? Even the link given for the population - and we should really stick to official Censues and county estimates from official statistics agencies when we can - differentiates between the population of Cairo and the entire governorate. They have a 7 million number for the city proper, whatever that is. --Criticalthinker (talk) 02:18, 30 November 2016 (UTC)


What's going on with Dhaka? I do not see the population number given from any source in on this page or the Dhaka's article. Dhaka should be a rather easy one since there seems to be a relatively recent Census number, and since Dhaka's city proper is split between two clearly defined local government areas. The larger numbers are for the Greater Dhaka Area, a conurbation or metropolitan area. --Criticalthinker (talk) 21:54, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Why does it say Dhaka is 4th when it clearly isn't.

It says Dhaka is 4th in the world with 12 million but Delhi , Lagos and a few more are clearly bigger. Pastrami is the best (talk) 04:08, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

It says Dhaka is 38th.... Mattximus (talk) 23:26, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Table sort doesn't work.

Sorting by population density scrambles the list. (talk) 20:10, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

The population density column is being sorted alphabetically rather than numerically. Can someone please fix this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jugdizh (talkcontribs) 14:18, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

Should London, Tokyo, Delhi, and Jakarta, really be included??

Since the goes by city proper as stated in the opening:

London refers to Greater London, which is not an entire city, but a region of England which includes the City of London proper, which has a separate Lord Mayor with a council and a population of just 8,072; and the City of Westminster, which is also a separate city within Greater London with a Lord Mayor and City Council and a population of just 233,292. The region excluding the City of London is also a ceremonial county of England. What is the difference between Greater London and Greater Manchester which is also set up much like Greater London?

Tokyo has no city, but is a metropolitan prefecture Which includes 23 self-governing wards that once made up the now-defunct City of Tokyo as well as different cities and towns in the western part of the prefecture.

Delhi is a union territory within India, similar to the federal district of Washington DC. New Delhi is a separate city within Delhi that is named as the capital of India.

Jakarta is a special capital region and consists of 5 cities.

Shouldn't this article be about CITIES (as it is named) and not regions, states, or prefectures? 2602:306:CC42:8340:1D8B:5F42:9A9C:39B8 (talk) 23:22, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Greater London is not a region... The "City of London" and "City of Westminster" are just names of districts of London. Much like Brooklyn and Manhattan are of New York. Would you try and say that New York is purely Manhattan? No of course not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 22 January 2017 (UTC)

Westminster and the City are cities in the United Kingdom which are granted by the crown and Greater London is one of the 9 regions of England. See City status in the United Kingdom 2602:306:CC42:8340:7502:235E:E498:DC2E (talk) 22:51, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Hong Kong is a colony which contains the Victoria City, Kowloon, New Kowloon, and other areas. Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are each a collection of cities and other council areas. Manhattan is not a city itself according to New York state law. The five boroughs collectively is, since the amalgamation. Tokyo-do got some cities on their western side, aka. the Tama-chiiki. (talk) 03:28, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Not quite true. Hong Kong has had a unified government since 1999, so it should absolutely be on this list. There is no controversy that the five boroughs of NYC are unified, nor that Sydney, Melbourne and Perth do not have a unified government. Mattximus (talk) 13:43, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
In the case of HK the municipal councils were abolished at 24:00 on 31st December 1999, i.e., at 00:00 on 1st January 2000. But a territorial government does not become a city government just because it abolishes all city governments subordinate to it. (talk) 20:44, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 31 March 2017

Dhaka should be moved up as the source states that the original population of Dhaka is 10 million more than stated, which was probably entered incorrectly due to a typo. Also, multiplying the stated population density of Dhaka and the area of the Dhaka (city proper), gives us a value of about 17 million population. Please look into this problem and solve this. Statistical252 (talk) 15:22, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

  Not done unsourced ProgrammingGeek talktome 17:52, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

This is not true. The population you are talking about is one for a whole statistical metropolitan area. Dhaka's city proper is rather simple to understand. It's a two municipal corporations.

Semi-protected edit request on 25 April 2017

Karachi has a population of 27.51 million (2016) 2001:1970:53C1:8600:E9E2:738D:D44D:F2DE (talk) 21:36, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

  Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. — IVORK Discuss 21:51, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 April 2017 (talk) 00:18, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

the top city should be honshu

Request will have to be denied, suggestion is not comprehensible. Mattximus (talk) 01:00, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

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Name Change To List of Cities Proper (by population and area)

Changing the name to include area or not include the by population part would make lots of sense because you can change the order of the list by selecting either area or population or more minor options. BrandonALF (talk) 12:31, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Chinese municipalities - are they equal to cities?

The list of cities proper is dominated by Chinese cities. And this is not because China is #1 in the world by the size of urban population, but simply because the standard administrative division in China is the combination of the city proper (that is usually split into few separate districts) and large surrounding urban areas. The name of such combined unit is translated into other languages as 'city' though this is just literal translation, and not the proper translation of the meaning. Good illustration - map of China, that shows, that almost whole China is divided between 'cities'; rural districts are rare exceptions. I offer for Chinese cities to counr not the whole 'city' but only the core - districts that are 100% or close to 100% urban (or districts with population density above some level e.g. 2000 per Good news is that almost every Chinese 'city' has administrative division between central districts and peripheral districts so it can be pretty easy to count city proper population


  1. Shanghai - either 8 districts of inner city (Puxi) with 7m people or Puxi + 4 districts around it (18m)
  2. Beijing - either Inner City (2 districts with ~2.1m people) or urban area, including next circle of 4 districts (~14m in sum with Inner City) should be counted
  3. Wuhan - central part of the district (6 districts, or 7 - if Hongshan is included) has the population about 6.5m
  4. Guangzhou - there are ~5m people in the city core (4 districts) but may be three surrinding districts (+4.5m) can be added
  5. Chongqing - there are 5 central districts with total population ~4.5m (currently 9 districts out of 38 are included into the estimate, but 3 peripheral included districts have population density as low as 500-1000 per
  6. Tjanjin - 6 districts of 'innecr city' have population of 4.3m, though may be 4 surrounding districts with another 2.5m should be added to the count
  7. Zhengzhou - core population (core = 5 districts) is above 4m
  8. Shenyang - 5 districts of 'city proper'(~3.8m)
  9. Nanjing - 4 or 5 districts of 'inner city', 3.5-3.9m
  10. Changsha - 5 districts of 'city proper' have population of just above 3m

(then 3 disputable cases)

  1. Shenzhen - city core (Futian and Louhu) have the population slightly above 2k, but if 3 western districts are added, total populaton raise to more than 6 m
  2. Quanzhou - city core (2 districts) is below even 1m, but with Jinjang ans Shishi Quanzhou can pretend that it's above 3mZunyi should be removed from the list (there is no significant city core)
  3. Dongguan - complicated case, as the whole 'city' hasrelatively high populatopon density but there is no clear center/core. In fact this is not the unified city, but just one of administrative parts of large Pearl Rivel Delta urban area

(then cities that IMO should be excluded from the list)

  1. Ningbo - core urban area is far below 2m, so the city should be excluded from the list
  2. Shantou - its core (3 districts) has the population of only 2.1m, so the city should be excluded from the list
  3. Foshan -district core (chancheng) has the populationslightly above 1m, so the city should be excluded
  4. Zhongsang - in fact this is relativel small city (less than 400K in two core districts), out of the list
  5. Xiamen - two core districts (island part) have the population below 2m, and even total population of urbanised areas is below 3m
  6. Suzhou - the density is too low for real City, so I offer to exclude it from the list

Chinese cities that are already represented in the list properly (with only central urban districts counted): Harbin, Hefei, Xian, Hangzhou, Wenzhou

Barouh (talk) 00:17, 27 June 2017 (UTC)Barouh

Well you are correct that the city proper definition of Chinese cities does not relate well with others. The best solution is to offer multiple definitions like you see here List of largest cities so we can properly distinguish the urban areas from the administrative areas for Chinese cities. Australian cities have the opposite problem as they are made up of tiny local governments. Since we can't change the definition of city proper (so we can't do what you propose here on this page), I suggest we just get rid of this page altogether and link it to List of largest cities which is an exact copy of this page anyway. What do you think of that solution? Mattximus (talk) 00:46, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Three points. (A) The definition require that it should be "an administratively recognised urban status" - this is not so in China, where significant parts of 'cities' territory has no official status of urban area. Even in Shanghai 10% of the population are counted as rural, and the share of rural area by % of territory is much-much higher. (B) General approach can't be used for China as de facto there is no distinction between urban administrative units and rural administrative units (all China except some western and northern parts consists of 'cities'. (C) Already now some Chinese cities are counted in the list the same way I propose - by the population of central urbanised districts (Harbin and 4 other cities - see the list above, I edited my post) Barouh (talk) 09:15, 27 June 2017 (UTC)Barouh
Unfortunately you can't just make up your own definition on wikipedia, that is WIKI:OR and is not allowed. You must stick with the UN definition which is administrative unit. In Chinese cities the rural and urban areas do not have different administrations, so you can't split those. However, on the list World's largest cities there is a space for Urban population. This list is not about urban populations but about administrative populations. Mattximus (talk) 13:14, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
I know you probably don't know, but we've been through this a hundred times. I completely agree that listing the entire area for a sub-provincial/prefecture-level, heck even county-level "cities" is ridiculous, but there doesn't seem to be enough consensus to allow it to be changed. I think Beijing is a particularly egregious case where you have an urban area literally on the other side of mountains (i.e. Yanqing town) being counted in as part of the "city proper" of Beijing. There are other areas within the "city" of Beijing that obviously aren't part of the actual city proper. I can see sometimes where it can be debatable, but when you have other cities within these "cities" that aren't even contiguous with the greater urban area of the central settlement, it's really hard to argue that these are part of the city proper. --Criticalthinker (talk) 00:56, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
"Really hard to argue that these are part of the city proper" is not true, it is absolutely part of city proper since it's administered centrally. It's just a stupid definition. That's why this page should probably be deleted and redirected to List of largest cities so we can show the population of the different definitions for Chinese cities and not have wildly inaccurate numbers. Mattximus (talk) 02:06, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Whole New York state is also administered centrally and has the same name as its largest city. Does it mean that we can count whole state as the city? :) Barouh (talk) 09:22, 27 June 2017 (UTC)Barouh
New York State is not a city and is not administered from NYC. The Chinese cities, no matter how ridiculous their boundaries may seem, are called cities and administered from the urban center. -Zanhe (talk) 09:40, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
There's no perfect solution to this, and tons of ink has been spilled on it (read the archives). The choice we face is between WP:OR (Barouh's approach) and using the official definition, which can lead to some ludicrous results. I tend to agree with Mattximus that this list should not exist. There is no acceptable definition of "city proper" that is consistently applicable worldwide. -Zanhe (talk) 09:45, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
There is a perfect solution, merge this list with World's largest cities so we can use 3 different definitions of what a city is, so that we can better compare cities around the world. Mattximus (talk) 13:14, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Return to "List of cities proper by population/Archive 8" page.