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Biggest Two-Word Cities

Name the biggest cities in the world whose names consist of two words.
Based on urban area population according to citypopulation.de
Using the common, English-language name of the city
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 21, 2016
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First submittedNovember 11, 2015
Times taken33,658
Average score55.0%
Rating4.71
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Population
Region
City
22.5 mil
North America
Mexico City
21.9 mil
North America
New York
21.8 mil
South America
São Paulo
17.5 mil
North America
Los Angeles
15.9 mil
South America
Buenos Aires
7.55 mil
North America
San Francisco
7.20 mil
East Asia
Hong Kong
6.95 mil
Southeast Asia
Kuala Lumpur
5.40 mil
Europe
St. Petersburg
4.93 mil
South America
Belo Horizonte
Population
Region
City
4.10 mil
Middle East
Kuwait City
4.08 ml
Africa
Cape Town
4.08 mil
South America
Porto Alegre
3.63 mil
Caribbean
Santo Domingo
3.40 mil
Africa
Addis Ababa
3.25 mil
North America
San Diego
3.10 mil
Central America
Guatemala City
2.48 mil
Middle East
Tel Aviv
2.40 mil
North America
St. Louis
2.15 mil
Caribbean
San Juan
+11
Level 77
Nov 11, 2015
Couple of pedantic complaints. One, why does the US get its own category? Shouldn't we be part of North America just like all the others. Also, Kuwait should be acceptable rather than typing out city like the others. Third, if US is it's own category, shouldn't San Juan be considered in that category? I mean technically it's in the Caribbean, but it's American soil.
+8
Level ∞
Nov 12, 2015
Changed all the USAs to North America
+4
Level 74
May 10, 2016
Thank you Quizmaster! Great quiz and appreciate the change.
+11
Level 30
Jan 17, 2020
new york is three words, NEW YORK CITY
+16
Level 94
Dec 11, 2020
That's incorrect, formally it is actually New York, NYC is a term we use colloquially for it. If you write a letter and send it there it should read New York, NY.
+3
Level 56
Jan 26, 2016
It was probably originally "USA" and not "North America" because everyone complains about over-representation of the US on this site. People would say, "I can't believe that of all the other cities in North America, you listed five United States cities. You should be ashamed of yourself." Or something like that.
+3
Level 51
Sep 26, 2017
Which always seems a bit silly, since the U.S. is third in world population whereas Mexico is eleventh and Canada is barely even in the top 40. Why not focus on the U.S.? Sure they're entitled, but aren't we all?
+5
Level 71
May 9, 2018
Well if you go by that, China and India should also be own categories (India doesnt appear on this quiz, so just China)
+3
Level 82
May 9, 2018
It just makes it easier. The US is a big place with a lot of very populous cities. It's helpful to know when you've eliminated all of those options. "The Caribbean" and the "Middle East" aren't continents in their own right, either.
+2
Level 77
Nov 11, 2015
Why do you need to write "City" for the first one, but not for the 3.10 mil one?
+3
Level ∞
Nov 12, 2015
Because of official JetPunk type-ins. Guatemala City is sometimes called simply Guatemala. For most major cities we have official type-ins that will be the same for every featured quiz.
+2
Level 71
May 9, 2018
Well on my map Kuwait City, is listed under Kuwait. You can also call it Kuwait.
+1
Level 76
Nov 12, 2015
San Antonio? Fort Worth?
+4
Level ∞
Nov 12, 2015
Fort Worth is part of the Dallas urban area. San Antonio has a high city proper population but a relatively low urban area population.
+1
Level 42
Jan 31, 2021
San Antonio has 2.36 million
+3
Level 93
Nov 12, 2015
What about New Delhi? (Is that just the name for the city proper, while Delhi is the name used for the urban area?)
+4
Level ∞
Nov 12, 2015
New Delhi is a district of Delhi
+4
Level 93
Nov 14, 2015
Roger roger.
+3
Level 90
Nov 15, 2015
What's your vector victor?
+4
Level 55
Jan 25, 2016
And quit calling me Shirley!
+4
Level 89
Jun 26, 2018
One person makes an Airplane reference and you all jump on Otto pilot.
+1
Level 40
Feb 24, 2020
And remember, we are all counting on you
+1
Level 63
Sep 3, 2023
I've taken many quizzes where Delhi and New Delhi were different answers, those might need to be fixed. Unfortunately I can't recall the exact quizzes.
+6
Level 74
Nov 19, 2015
New York is the state; New York City is three words. You can argue that saying New York implies the NYC, however, I don't think the people who live in the rest of the state would agree and, technically, it is incorrect.
+9
Level ∞
Nov 20, 2015
This was my position originally. After about 1,000 user comments saying that I was wrong, I changed it. The official name of New York City is New York.
+1
Level 82
Jan 25, 2016
The official name of "Mexico City" is Mexico, D.F.... it's a two name city as much as Washington, DC... or slightly more than Guatemala
+5
Level 82
Oct 12, 2016
But that's in Spanish, we have no official English name, so we use the common Mexico City
+1
Level 67
Dec 8, 2019
Good to know what the threshold is for the quizmaster to change things ;) just kidding. (I'm sure since 2015 it has gone up haha)
+3
Level 60
Aug 18, 2020
kalbahamut: No, it's not. Official name in spanish is Ciudad de México. So if you want to argue about something, at least argue about a right thing and complain that "de" should count as a third word. DF is short for Distrito Federal, and while you are right that it is an equivalent for D.C., it's refering to the let's say a "state" in which the city lies, not the city itself.
+3
Level 76
Jan 22, 2016
I wonder how come, of all Chinese cities, which are virtually all two syllables, the only one that is expressed in English as two "words" is Hong Kong?
+1
Level 82
Jan 25, 2016
yeah. kinda weird how some are accepted and some aren't. and some of these cities have "City" counted as part of their name and some don't. What about Cebu City? Urban area population 2.5 million.. but probably shows up on most lists simply as "Cebu"
+1
Level 75
May 9, 2018
I think Hong Kong in the Pinyin transliteration (used for all other Chinese cities - pardon me if there's an another outlier somewhere) is Xianggang.
+2
Level 89
Jun 26, 2018
I will never submit to calling it that unphonetic mess. They'll lose all identity if they do.
+1
Level 82
Jan 25, 2016
I missed 3 (think of Kuwait as a single word city same as Guatemala; forgot San Juan and Belo Horizonte), and finished 83rd percentile.. but only got 0 points? Is that right?
+1
Level 75
Jan 25, 2016
It must be about the timing. I missed six, got the 70th percentile, and scored three points.
+1
Level 71
Jan 25, 2016
Kuwait city has a population of 4.1 million? As of 2014 the whole country had a population of 4,044,500...
+2
Level ∞
Jan 25, 2016
Nearly the entire country lies within the conurbation. Take a look at the population density map of Kuwait.
+1
Level 58
Jan 25, 2016
I only got Belo Horizonte because one of my favorite bands of all time, Sepultura, is from there.
+1
Level 54
Jan 25, 2016
+1
+1
Level 69
Jan 25, 2016
Ummm... Rio de Janeiro? That is the English language version too.
+4
Level 88
Jan 26, 2016
It is the English name, but it's three words and this quiz is about two word city names.
+2
Level 74
Jan 25, 2016
Notwithstanding all the carping, this has been one of my favourite quizzes. 14/20 first time; then 19 untimed, and 20 when I semi-cheated. Can't say that about many quizzes on here
+1
Level 65
Jan 25, 2016
st louis has nowhere near 2.4 million people
+1
Level 72
Jan 28, 2016
According to the source it should be 2.15 M for urban area, so doesn't affect the quiz
+1
Level 35
Aug 31, 2017
Really ?? I lived in Hong Kong and didn't get it ?!?!?
+2
Level 37
Apr 9, 2018
So, Puerto Rico (San Juan) finally made it on a quiz. I guess when necessary to complete a category, we conveniently "forget" that it's

not a sovereign country, only a territory of the US.

+7
Level 86
Sep 20, 2018
Uhh . . . whether or not Puerto Rico is a sovereign country has nothing to do with San Juan being a city with two words in its name.
+1
Level 32
Sep 23, 2018
Accept Sankt Petersburg
+3
Level 79
Apr 10, 2021
But that's German. In Russian it's Санкт-Петербург (Sankt-Peterburg).
+1
Level 43
Nov 30, 2019
San Antonio is bigger than St. Louis
+1
Level 79
Apr 10, 2021
Not by urban area population.
+1
Level 60
Aug 18, 2020
You could have made it "more than one word" quiz instead, it could have saved a lot of comments. Not all of them unjustified, for example, Rio de Janeiro. Is "de" really a word, or just an article. Or Port-au-Prince. One, two or three words?
+2
Level 79
Apr 10, 2021
Both are three words.
+1
Level 56
Apr 6, 2021
Sao Paulo should be most populous city.
+1
Level 79
Apr 10, 2021
I got the last one (Porto Alegre) with 1 second remaining!!
+1
Level 65
May 30, 2021
New Delhi?
+1
Level 58
Jan 16, 2022
New Delhi is part of the city of Delhi. New Delhi itself is pretty small. Delhi is the big city of the area.
+1
Level 52
Jan 25, 2022
was about to post a comment asking about it
+1
Level 65
Oct 31, 2021
San Antonio and San Francisco and San Jose have bigger Urban areas than St louis??????
+1
Level 53
Mar 7, 2022
its technically called New York City not just new york btw
+1
Level 63
Aug 11, 2022
It's technically called New York. Sometimes people call it New York City to distinguish it from the state.
+2
Level 66
Aug 13, 2022
I think Phnom Penh should have been on the list.
+1
Level 58
Aug 15, 2022
"New York City refers to the entire city spanning all five boroughs since its consolidation in 1898. Prior to that the city was primarily on Manhattan Island. The city’s official name is New York but it is commonly referred to as New York City (NYC), the City of New York, or New York, New York (NY, NY), in order to distinguish it from the state of New York. " Wikipedia.

Wow I always thought New York City was the official name and New York was just and easier way to say it.

+1
Level 66
Nov 5, 2022
Cape Town is only four milliliters?
+1
Level 56
Dec 8, 2022
What about Bandar Lampung?
+3
Level 71
Jan 16, 2023
New Delhi?
+1
Level 66
Dec 16, 2023
Can anyone explain why Asian cities tend to be one word? I was surprised not to see more Chinese cities
+1
Level 32
Apr 15, 2024
since when did st. louis have 2.5m people? am i missing something, because st. louis missouri has 250k people, not 2.5m people