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Biggest Cities with Exceptions

Most of the world's biggest cities are in Asia. Try to name the biggest cities in the world that AREN'T.
Includes cities that are transcontinental
Urban area population, according to citypopulation.de - January 2020
Two loosely-defined areas have been filled in by default
Quiz by relessness
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Last updated: February 10, 2020
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First submittedMarch 31, 2016
Times taken43,860
Average score68.8%
Rating4.89
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Population
Urban Area
23.0 mil
Mexico City
22.4 mil
São Paulo
22.1 mil
New York City
21.0 mil
Cairo
19.4 mil
Lagos
17.7 mil
Los Angeles
17.3 mil
Moscow
16.4 mil
Buenos Aires
16.0 mil
Istanbul
14.8 mil
London
13.9 mil
Johannesburg
13.2 mil
Rio de Janeiro
12.4 mil
Kinshasa
11.4 mil
Paris
10.1 mil
Lima
9.75 mil
Chicago
9.60 mil
Bogotá
Population
Urban Area
8.55 mil
Washington, DC /
Baltimore
8.15 mil
Luanda
7.85 mil
San Francisco
7.75 mil
Boston
7.45 mil
Toronto
7.35 mil
Philadelphia
7.25 mil
Santiago
7.20 mil
Dallas
6.75 mil
Houston
6.55 mil
Madrid
6.45 mil
Dar es Salaam
6.40 mil
Miami
6.30 mil
Khartoum
6.20 mil
Milan
5.90 mil
Nairobi
5.85 mil
Atlanta
5.80 mil
Alexandria
Population
Urban Area
5.75 mil
Detroit
5.70 mil
The Ruhr
5.65 mil
Saint Petersburg
5.60 mil
Abidjan
5.35 mil
Guadalajara
5.30 mil
Sydney
5.10 mil
Accra
5.00 mil
Belo Horizonte
5.00 mil
Cologne / Dusseldorf
5.00 mil
Monterrey
4.95 mil
Melbourne
4.78 mil
Barcelona
4.73 mil
Berlin
4.70 mil
Phoenix
4.48 mil
Casablanca
4.43 mil
Seattle
69 Comments
+18
Level 82
Mar 31, 2016
Forgot about Australia...
+31
Level 82
Oct 21, 2016
Forgot them again
+3
Level 62
Apr 26, 2017
I'm amazed that two Australian cities made the list since their overall population is so low. I've never been there, but I suspect that the population is heavily compacted into the capital cities (Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne etc), with almost nobody living outside these cities.
+15
Level 73
May 8, 2017
Pretty much...around half of the population lives within 100 km of the three main centres. Despite the stereotypes, Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world
+4
Level 70
Feb 26, 2020
Yea, Australia is more than 186 times larger than the Netherlands for instance, but the population comes pretty close, only 1,4 times larger.
+5
Level 70
Feb 26, 2020
If you go just by land area Australia is actually 225 times bigger. If Australia would have the same population density, they would need more than 3900 million more inhabitants than they currently have! (Yes that is the correct amount of zero's)
+2
Level 66
Feb 6, 2024
Just put it in billions
+1
Level 74
Feb 13, 2024
Took three attempts but I finally remembered Australia
+8
Level 83
Aug 1, 2016
Why can I never remember Atlanta exists? :-\
+4
Level 83
Sep 4, 2016
I do that, and also forget about Phoenix. It's really annoying.
+3
Level 83
Oct 12, 2016
I do that about Toronto ...
+1
Level 51
Mar 12, 2018
Well now, at least in America, we're unforgettable. Not in a good way, though...
+1
Level 89
Jun 26, 2018
Because it's quasi-urban at best, very, very spread out.
+2
Level 93
Aug 1, 2016
Very fun quiz. Small typo - Belo Horizonte is showing as 1.93 instead of 4.93 which I assume is the correct figure.
+2
Level 70
Aug 2, 2016
If you have The Ruhr already filled in, why is Cologne/Dusseldorf listed separately?

Good to learn a few of the biggest African cities that rarely make the lists (Luanda, Abidjan...)

+3
Level 91
Aug 3, 2016
+1. I would definitely have tried Dusseldorf if not for the Ruhr already being filled in. Very misleading.
+3
Level ∞
Aug 3, 2016
Yeah, that's confusing. I don't know why citypopulation.de doesn't include Dusseldorf in the Ruhr. But even so they are good source, and much better than the alternatives.
+3
Level 75
Oct 25, 2016
The Ruhr is a river and the cities along the Ruhr (and Lippe) are an urban area referred to as "Ruhr-area", when Düsseldorf is included, it's usually referred to as Rhein-Ruhr, to indicate you go beyond the Ruhr-area. Hope this helps :)
+6
Level 78
Mar 13, 2020
I've been ranting about this on other quizzes but this concept continues to confuse people from far away. The Ruhr Area and Rhine Area are very distinctive. Tell someone from Düsseldorf or Cologne that they're from the Ruhr Area and you get crazy looks. However, since they are so close to each other and actually overlap in small parts, it makes sense to combine them into the Rhine-Ruhr mega region. Düsseldorf/Cologne = Rhine-Ruhr, but never ever =Ruhr.
+2
Level 42
Oct 21, 2016
Great quiz, surprised I forgot Phoenix (among a few others of course)
+3
Level 48
Oct 21, 2016
Might have done better had I remembered the 17 million person metro area I used to live in.
+1
Level 65
Oct 21, 2016
Istanbul is in Turkey (Asia).
+12
Level 84
Oct 21, 2016
Here we go
+11
Level 75
Oct 21, 2016
"Includes cities that are transcontinental" - Istanbul fits that caveat since it is in both Europe and Asia.
+3
Level 82
Feb 11, 2020
According to the Turkish Government, more than 8 million of Istanbul's population lived on the European side in 2010, meaning even just counting the part not in Asia, it easily made this list (and it has grown considerably since then). Then of course there's the caveat about transcontinental cities.
+1
Level 86
Apr 7, 2024
I have sat in a restaurant on the European side of Istanbul and LOOKED at the bridge that crosses the Bosphorus into Asia. It's always funny when people imply that this experience doesn't exist.
+14
Level 47
Oct 21, 2016
33/50 I made this quiz... what on earth :(
+7
Level 83
Oct 21, 2016
Ha! Too busy makin' 'em and not enough time takin' 'em! :-)
+1
Level 70
Feb 26, 2020
Maybe you do better on "not on earth" ;) I agree, earth geography can be tricky :)
+1
Level 65
Oct 21, 2016
40/50, new record for me!
+2
Level 84
Oct 21, 2016
Nice pic of Mexico, and it was also nice that you accept just "Mexico" as a valid answer.
+1
Level 66
Oct 21, 2016
41/50
+1
Level 72
Oct 23, 2016
Great quiz. Could do with a bit more time though. I still had about a dozen to type in when I ran out of time and I hadn't reached the stage of 'name any remotely big/famous city and hope'.
+1
Level 51
Mar 12, 2018
Would that have got you Casablanca?
+1
Level ∞
Feb 10, 2020
Added one more minute
+1
Level 43
Oct 24, 2016
Forgot Mexico City.... :\
+2
Level 64
Dec 1, 2016
47/50 but could have done it with more time. It is amazing how many cities disappear from this list when Asia is not included!
+1
Level 44
Feb 16, 2017
Mexico City is bigger than New York City? Didn't expect that!
+3
Level 82
Feb 11, 2020
Depends on the source. Depending on what you consult NYC, Mexico City or Sao Paulo will be given as the largest city in the Americas. Defining metro areas is a messy business
+1
Level 68
Jun 8, 2017
Missed one. One. I thought: start with U.S., leave Canada 'til later. Arrgh!
+2
Level 62
May 23, 2019
Shouldn't Rome be on here?
+6
Level ∞
Feb 10, 2020
No.
+1
Level 57
Dec 17, 2019
47/50 and I forgot Cairo and St Petersburg, lmao
+1
Level 82
Feb 11, 2020
>_< grrr ... after the update I only missed Alexandria. I started with Africa and even with Egypt. I think Cairo was the first one I got. I was sure I had typed it in already.
+1
Level 70
Feb 12, 2020
Good quiz......... with 3 seconds to go I tried to type Buenos Aires ........ didn't.
+1
Level 72
Feb 13, 2020
Would've got an extra one if I hadn't misspelt Abidjan :P
+1
Level 50
Feb 22, 2020
Missed St. Petersburg, Alexandria, Detroit, Phoenix, and belo Horizonte. Never heard of the last one
+2
Level 70
Mar 13, 2020
You will, as you do more quizzes on here. Last year I hadnt heard of it either.
+5
Level 65
Mar 1, 2020
Kind of surprised that Addis Ababa isn't on here
+1
Level 63
Mar 3, 2020
Half of Istanbul is in Asia though
+1
Level 86
Aug 4, 2022
Nowhere near half.
+1
Level 47
Mar 13, 2020
Seattle definitely shouldn't be on this list lol the population isn't even over 1 million let alone 4.5.
+2
Level 68
Mar 13, 2020
Metro population, not city proper
+2
Level 4
Mar 13, 2020
Man, really, go and solve that unjoyful pairing of Köln and Düsseldorf immediately!

No one of either city would ever build a sum of the two population figures.

The Ruhr Area, fine. Köln or Düsseldorf - no way for any of them to end up in this list.

+1
Level 67
Mar 13, 2020
Missed my hometown. Had no idea it would be on this list.
+2
Level 45
May 2, 2020
Istanbul is cheating!!! ;) :P
+1
Level 86
May 11, 2023
They were all very honest with me when I was there.
+1
Level 77
May 26, 2020
I'm an American and I missed five US cities. I'm so ashamed.
+1
Level 56
Jun 10, 2020
very inaccurate, Sao Paulo is larger then Mexico City and how is San Francisco larger then Houston and Phoenix?
+1
Level 56
Jun 10, 2020
Why isn't Kiev on the list?
+1
Level 79
Jul 21, 2020
Got all but Toronto and Philadelphia! (Forgot about Canada)
+1
Level 58
Dec 23, 2020
San Antonio by all accounts is larger than many of the cities on this list.
+1
Level 73
Aug 14, 2021
Got all but... Berlin.
+1
Level 73
Feb 13, 2022
Fun quiz. I basically just went through as many NFL or MLB locations as I could think, then big UEFA teams, the two from Oz and as many African places as I could think. Enjoyed this. Thank you.
+1
Level 59
Jun 29, 2022
Noooo just one was left.. Accra?
+1
Level 56
Dec 21, 2022
Milan has 3.25M people in the whole metropolitan area, just mthe city is 1.5M (Rome metropolitan area has 4.5M)
+1
Level 61
Apr 12, 2023
How did I remember Abidjan, but not Miami or Philadelphia....
+1
Level 66
Sep 14, 2023
It’s finally fun without 20 Chinese, 15 Indian and 10 South East Asian cities
+1
Level 60
Nov 29, 2023
47/48, forgot about Atlanta... :((