related topics
{country, population, people}
{city, large, area}
{rate, high, increase}
{area, part, region}
{theory, work, human}
{city, population, household}
{disease, patient, cell}
{work, book, publish}

A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people.[1] Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density (at least 2,000 persons/square km).[citation needed] A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge. The terms conurbation, metropolis and metroplex are also applied to the latter. The terms megapolis and megalopolis are sometimes used synonymously with megacity.[citation needed]

In 2000, there were 18 megacities – conurbations such as Mumbai,[2] Tokyo, New York City, and Mexico City had populations in excess of 10 million inhabitants. Greater Tokyo already has 35 million, which is greater than the entire population of Australia and New Zealand combined.[3]



In 1800, only 3% of the world's population lived in cities, a figure that has risen to 47% by the end of the twentieth century. In 1950, there were 83 cities with populations exceeding one million; by 2007, this number had risen to 468.[4] If the trend continues, the world's urban population will double every 38 years. The UN forecasts that today's urban population of 3.2 billion will rise to nearly 5 billion by 2030, when three out of five people will live in cities.[5]

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