The world’s population officially reached 7 billion in March 2012. We have our fair share of big cities in South Africa, but none of them are in the top 10 list of the world’s biggest cities. They are big but they are not “that big”.
In case you were wondering, Johannesburg has a population of 4.4 million, Pretoria has a population 2.3 million, Durban has a population of 3.5 million, Cape Town has a population of 3.7 million and Port Elizabeth has a population of 1 million. Johannesburg is still the biggest city in Sub-Saharan Africa and Durban is still the biggest city on the East Coast of Africa. And yes, all these facts were obtained from Wikipedia.
Today I’m featuring the skylines of the world’s 10 biggest cities. And of course I’m including a few facts about each of them. I’m pretty sure that you’ll find this interesting.
#10 Kolkata, India: 14.4 million people call this city their home. Since 2003 the city has no official founder or founding date. Traditionally Job Charnock (an administrator working for the East India Company) was the credited as the founder of the city. The city’s name was changed from Culcutta to Kokata in 2001.
#9 Dhaka, Bangladesh: This city has a population of 15.39 million. More than 400,000 cycle rickshaws run on its streets every day – the reason why it’s known as the World’s Rickshaw capital. The area was first settled in the 7th Century and it was formally founded as a city in the 17th Century. It was the capital of East Pakistan (which became Bangladesh in 1971).
#8 Beijing, China: 15.59 million people call this city their home. Beijing has a rich history that dates back more than 3,000 years. It has been the political center of China for much of the past seven centuries. It’s also known as Peking and hosted the 2008 Olympic games. Beijing has been the capital of the country since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
#7 Mumbai, India: This city has a population of 19.74 million people. It was formerly known as Bombay. Mumbai is built on what was once an archipelago of seven islands: Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli and Old Woman’s Island. Today the city is the commercial and entertainment capital of India.
#6 São Paulo, Brazil 19.92 million people call this metropolis their home. São Paulo was founded in 1554. Today it’s the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere. The city is considered to be the financial capital of Brazil. The city is also one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
#5 Shanghai, China This magnificent city has a population of 20.21 million people. The town of Shanghai was founded in 751 and it officially became a city in 1927. The city has two nicknames: “Pearl of the Orient” and “Paris of the East”. Shanghai’s metro rail system has twelve metro lines, 273 stations and over 420 km of track. More than 7.5 million people make use of this system daily. Shanghai is also the home of the 2nd and 3rd highest skyscrapers in the world.
#4 New York City: This city has a population of 20.35 million. New York City was founded as New Amsterdam by the Dutch in 1624. In the 1664 it was renamed by the English to New York. The city is comprised of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. The city’s skyline is just amazing. New York City has the the seventh busiest rapid transit rail system in the world. The city has a population density of more than 10,000 people per square kilometer.
#3 Mexico City: 20.45 million people live in this city today. Mexico City was founded by the Mexica people (Aztecs) in 1325. The old city is now referred to as Tenochtitlan. The Spanish Conquistadors arrived in 1519 and eventually proclaimed the city as Ciudad de México in 1521. Mexico City is now the largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.
#2 Delhi, India: 22.65 million people live in this city which was probably inhabited before the second millennium BC. There is evidence of continuous inhabitation since at least the 6th century BC. The city is the capital of India. The walled city of Delhi originally had fourteen gates – five are still standing today. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and the Qutub complex.
#1 Tokyo, Japan: The biggest city in the world has a population of 37.22 million people and it has an amazing skyline. Tokyo was originally named Edo and was fortified in the 12th Century. Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century. Tokyo was given its name in 1867. Despite the fact that it has nearly been destroyed twice (in 1923 and 1947), the city has prevailed.
There you have it, a photo album featuring the skylines of the world’s 10 biggest cities. I trust that you’ve enjoyed viewing these photos and reading about them. Feel free to share this post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is caring.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Photography and Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant
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Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone