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First Cities in History to Reach 100,000 People

Can you name the cities that were the first to hit a population of 100,000 up to 1500 AD?
According to 4000 Years of Urban Growth by Tertius Chandler.
Some of these cities no longer exist.
Both historical and modern-day names accepted.
Quiz by Dekkie
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Last updated: October 15, 2023
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First submittedOctober 3, 2023
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Average score32.1%
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Year
Country
City
1650 BC
Egypt
Avaris
1375 BC
Egypt
Luxor
1000 BC
China
Luoyang
670 BC
Iraq
Nineveh
600 BC
Iraq
Babylon
550 BC
Egypt
Memphis
525 BC
Italy
Rome
500 BC
China
Xiadu
500 BC
Iran
Hamadan
475 BC
Greece
Athens
450 BC
Italy
Syracuse
350 BC
India
Patna
340 BC
Tunisia
Carthage
320 BC
Egypt
Alexandria
310 BC
Iraq
Seleucia / Ctesiphon
275 BC
Turkey
Antakya
220 BC
China
Xianyang
205 BC
China
Xi'an
200 BC
Sri Lanka
Anuradhapura
90 AD
Pakistan
Peshawar
320 AD
China
Nanjing
330 AD
Turkey
Istanbul
357 AD
China
Ye
450 AD
Mexico
Teotihuacán
600 AD
Myanmar
Pyay
620 AD
India
Kannauj
650 AD
Iraq
Basra
660 AD
Iraq
Kufa
Year
Country
City
670 AD
Syria
Damascus
750 AD
China
Lhasa
750 AD
Japan
Nara
763 AD
Iraq
Baghdad
765 AD
Spain
Córdoba
795 AD
Japan
Kyoto
800 AD
Egypt
Fustat
800 AD
Iran
Ray
845 AD
Iraq
Samarra
850 AD
Iran
Nishapur
865 AD
China
Dali
876 AD
Tunisia
Kairouan
900 AD
India
Malkheda
900 AD
Uzbekistan
Bukhara
910 AD
Cambodia
Angkor
920 AD
China
Kaifeng
940 AD
Saudi Arabia
Al-Ahsa
969 AD
Egypt
Cairo
975 AD
Iran
Isfahan
1000
India
Patan
1010
India
Thanjavur
1080
Morocco
Marrakech
1085
India
Kalyan
1090
Morocco
Fez
1090
Spain
Seville
1095
Egypt
Tennis
1100
Myanmar
Bagan
1100
Turkmenistan
Merv
Year
Country
City
1130
Italy
Palermo
1132
China
Hangzhou
1150
China
Beijing
1185
Japan
Kamakura
1185
China
Guangzhou
1190
France
Paris
1200
China
Yinchuan
1200
Egypt
Damietta
1218
Uzbekistan
Samarkand
1230
Turkey
Konya
1250
India
Cuttack
1275
Italy
Venice
1280
Russia
Sarai-Berke
1295
Iran
Tabriz
1300
India
Delhi
1300
India
Gauḍa
1313
Iran
Soltaniyeh
1350
India
Vijayanagara
1360
China
Suzhou
1400
South Korea
Seoul
1410
Spain
Granada
1435
Turkey
Bursa
1440
India
Jaunpur
1450
Thailand
Ayutthaya
1470
Turkey
Edirne
1490
Italy
Naples
1500
India
Ahmedabad
1500
Mexico
Tenochtitlan / Mexico City
5 Comments
+3
Level 80
Oct 4, 2023
Great quiz! Nominated
+1
Level 55
Oct 5, 2023
Thanks!
+2
Level 69
Oct 5, 2023
Surprised Tenochtitlan isn't on the list; did its population peak after 1500?
+2
Level 55
Oct 5, 2023
According to the source, it never seemed to have reached 100,000 in Aztec times, though Mexico City would hit that number of people in the 18th century.

I don't know what the general concensus is on its population at peak, but the range of estimates seem to be pretty wide depending on which historian you ask (20,000 - 400,000). Chandler seems to put Tenochtitlan at a population of 80,000 in 1500 AD.

+1
Level 55
Oct 12, 2023
Edit: Seems like modern concensus claims that 200,000 at peak was most likely the case for Tenochtitlan, which would put it on par with Paris and Constantinople at the time.

Chandler's book is likely using older and outdated research for Mesoamerican cities, since it's from the 1980s. I've decided to add Mexico City because of this, but I've given a rounded date of circa 1500 since it isn't exactly clear when the 100k mark was passed.