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Most Populous 2nd Cities

We made a list of the urban areas that are only the second most populous in their country. Among those, which ones have the largest population?
By URBAN AREA population, not city proper
According to citypopulation.de, January 2024
Not counting the "loosely-defined" areas of Germany's Rhine-Ruhr
Quiz by relessness
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Last updated: March 21, 2024
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First submittedOctober 14, 2014
Times taken48,399
Average score65.0%
Rating4.52
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Population
Continent
City
40.8 m
Asia
Shanghai
27.1 m
Asia
Mumbai
17.7 m
Asia
Osaka
17.2 m
Americas
Los Angeles
14.5 m
Asia
Lahore
12.5 m
Americas
Rio de Janeiro
7.15 m
Asia
Hanoi
6.95 m
Asia
Bandung
6.50 m
Europe
Saint Petersburg
6.20 m
Africa
Alexandria
Population
Continent
City
6.00 m
Americas
Monterrey
5.20 m
Africa
Kano
5.15 m
Asia
Ankara
5.00 m
Asia
Chittagong
4.98 m
Africa
Cape Town
4.98 m
Oceania
Sydney
4.88 m
Europe
Barcelona
4.43 m
Americas
Montreal
4.28 m
Americas
Medellin
4.05 m
Europe
Naples
56 Comments
+10
Level 90
Oct 14, 2014
Nice quiz. I'm amazed I got as many as I did.
+4
Level 63
Sep 5, 2016
I was surprised at the 10% for Chtitagong
+3
Level 71
Apr 18, 2018
I was surprised Kano 7%!
+2
Level 81
Sep 12, 2019
Chittagong is now officially known as Chattogram. But Chittagong will be in use for a while yet
+10
Level 76
May 26, 2020
Chattogram sounds like a weird type of anagram
+17
Level 81
May 26, 2020
or more like a snapchat / instagram hybrid
+1
Level 44
Nov 28, 2014
Excellent quiz.
+5
Level 49
Nov 28, 2014
Would be nice to have the country as a hint/clue
+27
Level 56
Nov 28, 2014
Please no, it's better without the countries given. We don't want it to be too easy, now do we?
+22
Level 47
Nov 28, 2014
I agree, otherwise it would just be a quiz on naming the second biggest cities.
+3
Level 85
Mar 22, 2024
Agree. Giving continents is a "just right" amount of a boost.
+1
Level 71
Nov 28, 2014
I thought Berlin would be in the list because according to Citypopulation it's the second biggest urban area of Germany, with 4.35 million inhabitants.

Please also allow the spelling Jidda(h).

+4
Level 58
Dec 4, 2014
When I check, citypopulation gives Berlin as the largest with 'only' 3.4 million.
+3
Level 66
Apr 5, 2017
That's city proper though. The largest urban area in Germany is the Rhine-Ruhr area.
+3
Level 63
Aug 30, 2017
If you ask me Hamburg should be on the list. It has the second largest urban area when looking at a single big city + its urban area and not a few major ones in a combined urban area like Duisburg/Essen/Bochum/Dortmund (Ruhr) or Cologne/Düsseldorf. No German will ever say that Berlin is not the biggest city. Then again I'm sure some of the other cities urban Areas include other major cities but don't get to be mentioned.
+5
Level 67
Nov 28, 2014
I thought that Milan was the second city in Italy.
+4
Level 67
Jan 3, 2015
Infact, Milan is 7,4 metro and 5,3 urban population which makes it the largest in Italy.
+8
Level 47
Jan 3, 2015
Yeah, Rome's actually third according to metropolitan populations.
+1
Level 28
Nov 28, 2014
Had to think hard about this one. got 13 in the end.
+1
Level 21
Nov 29, 2014
This was really more a spelling test.
+1
Level 67
Jun 6, 2017
Really? Ummm... Canoe? Never mind, you know nothing.
+1
Level 77
May 25, 2020
And I can spell non sequitur.
+1
Level 66
Jan 22, 2016
Where is Bandung?

Oh well...I guess I'll try again.

+6
Level 32
Feb 17, 2016
Indonesia
+2
Level 31
May 11, 2024
I thought Bandung was the third most populous city, and the second was actually Surabaya.
+1
Level 55
Apr 5, 2017
nice quiz!
+4
Level 39
Dec 26, 2019
naples isn't the second biggest city of Italy...
+3
Level 66
Oct 26, 2023
It is...
+2
Level 82
Feb 11, 2020
Got 'em all, but it took me a while to get Montreal, because my head was stuck in South America.
+1
Level 68
Feb 20, 2020
This was tough. Maybe itwould have helped if I did biggest cities first.
+1
Level 47
May 22, 2020
What does "loosely-defined" areas of Germany exactly mean?
+6
Level 60
May 25, 2020
The Ruhr area, Cologne/Dusseldorf. Just some suggestions.
+1
Level 43
May 25, 2020
Alright, no loosely-defined regions in Germany. Fine. But even then the very definite Hamburg metropole (5.3 mio) as a second place after Berlin (6.1 mio) should make the cut.
+2
Level ∞
Mar 21, 2024
According to our source:

Berlin: 4.85

Frankfurt: 3.30

Hamburg: 2.93

+1
Level 37
May 25, 2020
I thought Shanghai is the most populous in China and not the second.
+6
Level 62
May 25, 2020
Guangzhou is the most populous by urban area.
+3
Level ∞
Mar 21, 2024
And of course, the most populous municipality in China is actually Chongqing (which spans an area the size of Belgium).
+2
Level 74
Mar 21, 2024
Ew Belgium
+2
Level 71
Mar 21, 2024
I found it surprising that Guadalajara isn’t the second biggest urban area in Mexico.
+3
Level ∞
Mar 21, 2024
It used to be. Now surpassed by Monterrey
+1
Level 84
Mar 23, 2024
Even though both have seen their populations increased, Monterrey has concentrated more of the new economic opportunities of its region (like Tesla), while the Bajío region (where Guadalajara is) has had its opportunities spreaded across the region, making the population spread too.
+3
Level 67
Mar 21, 2024
The second biggest in Australia is Sydney.
+2
Level 81
Mar 21, 2024
Agreed. That’s how it’s listed in the source.
+3
Level ∞
Mar 21, 2024
Fixed!
+2
Level 82
May 11, 2024
isnt it the biggest?
+2
Level 89
May 11, 2024
It is by city proper, but in terms of urban area Melbourne is larger.
+1
Level 57
May 12, 2024
By City Proper, Brisbane is the biggest (five times bigger than Sydney even), hence why it's not really used in Australia. Sydney has a slightly larger "urban centre" population, whereas Melbourne has recently overtaken Sydney in "significant urban area" by sprawling out to encompass other cities (mainly Melton).
+1
Level 77
Mar 25, 2024
Since when is "Americas" a continent?
+1
Level 60
May 11, 2024
+1
Level 75
Mar 25, 2024
Easy to begin with, difficult to finish.
+1
Level 80
May 4, 2024
I kept typing in Rome and Milan. Hard to believe Naples has a larger urban area population than rome.
+2
Level 81
May 11, 2024
What in the world is the thumbnail?
+1
Level 28
May 11, 2024
I’m guessing a mosaic by Gaudí (architect and artist whose work is all over Barcelona).
+1
Level 81
May 11, 2024
That actually makes a lot of sense. I thought it was nonsense generated by ChatGPT. The angle is really weird. I found the sculpture though.
+1
Level 18
May 13, 2024
Milan has more than naples
+1
Level 90
May 13, 2024
You'd think that at some point I'd learn how to spell Medellin and not waste 30 seconds trying to get it correct. But then again I waste 20 seconds every time I have to go back a remove the second "L" in Brasilia.