Get ready to feel the crush…
The Bangladeshi capital barely makes the top 20 of the world’s largest cities, but it does take the crown as the world’s most crowded. Its population is around 17 million, yet all those people are crammed into a relatively small area and the population density is 44,500 people per square kilometre. Much of this comes from the city’s huge and crowded slums, home to up to 40% of the population. Compare that to central Sydney, which has a population density of less than 1,300 people per square kilometre, and you’ll realise how crazy the numbers really are.
Manila comes in a very close second in the crowded city stakes, with around 41,500 people per square kilometre. That’s around twice the density of New York City. Once again, a huge proportion of its population is crammed into slums or makeshift communities where rickety structures house thousands of people in single room dwellings. But at the same time, Manila has a booming financial district, busy port and well-preserved historic area called the Intramuros.
Tokyo is a strange city. It is the world’s largest by population, home to an incredible 38 million people across the metropolitan area. That’s more people than live in Australia, New Zealand and all of the South Pacific combined, just in the one city. But at the same time, Tokyo always feels clean, orderly and well run. It’s obvious that there are lots of people around, but you don’t feel crowded in the same way as many other Asian cities.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
There’s a good reason Sao Paulo is known as a megacity. The population in the city itself is around 12 million, but add in all the other cities and towns that cling to its fringes and that jumps to over 21 million. It’s the largest city in South America and is just outside the top 10 in terms of global rankings. It also holds the title of the most crowded metro system in the world, packing in 11 passengers per square metre in rush hour.
The City of Light is Europe’s most densely populated city with around 25,000 people per square kilometre. That makes it five times as crowded as Melbourne and four times as crowded as Sydney. You only have to look at the Metro lines to see how much the French have managed to pack into the capital. There are more than 300 stations and 62 interchanges in a 10 kilometre area. At least that means you never have to walk far between stops!
Have you ever been to these cities?