List of urban areas in the European Union

This is a list of urban areas in the European Union with over 500,000 inhabitants as of 2014. The data comes from Demographia and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.[1][2][3] Demographia provides figures for urban areas (including conurbations),[2] while the UN DESA figures are for agglomerations only.[3] For comparison, Function Urban Area (FUA) population figures by Eurostat are also provided, however, these measure the wider metropolitan areas.

Important notes

  • This is a list of urban areas, not a list of metropolitan areas. Urban areas are contiguous built-up areas where houses are typically not more than 200 m apart, not including rivers, parks, roads, industrial fields, etc. A metropolitan area is an urban area plus any satellite cities around it and any agricultural land in between. For instance London is sometimes listed with 14 million inhabitants, Stuttgart is frequently listed with 2.2 million inhabitants, Munich with 2 million or more, etc., indicating the wider metropolitan area of those places. Metropolitan areas, which imply much more complicated definitions (such as the proportion of people in satellite cities working in the core of the metropolitan area), can be accurately computed only by statistical offices, after they have chosen a definition for metropolitan areas, whereas urban areas can be computed by any institution or person with the study of maps, satellite imagery and other geographical data in order to determine the outer limits of a continuous built-up area with one or more neighbouring cities. Furthermore, the list does not make a difference between cities that have multiple satellites and cities that do not. Therefore, two cities with the same demographics for their urban area will have an equal ranking on this list, even if one of the two cities may be much larger as it is the core of a number of satellites.
  • This is a list of urban areas, not a list of administrative cities. For example, the list of conurbations contains the urban area of Lille-Kortrijk. Lille and Kortrijk remain two very distinct cities, each belonging to a different country, culture and language area. For a list of the largest cities of the European Union by population, please see List of cities in the European Union by population within city limits.
  • The study of urban areas is useful to analyse how cities develop, which in turn can be used to define transportation, planning and environmental policies, to adjust administrative boundaries etc. At the same time its limitations have to be acknowledged. It is a purely geographic study and disregards all other factors that contribute to the analysis of the functional city. For instance, several cities in the European Union such as Brussels and London have reserved green belts in the outskirts which impacts the size of urban areas but not the "perceived city" as these green belts have now become integrated in what people consider to be the functional city.

Urban areas over 500,000 inhabitants (2015-2017)

Rank Urban area Image State Population (urban areas; Demographia)[2] Population (agglomerations; UN WUP)[3] FUA population (metropolitan areas; Eurostat)[1] Density
(per km2;
Demographia)
Annual growth
rate (%;

Demographia)
1 Paris  France 10,950,000 10,843,285 11,800,000 3,800 0.83
2 London  United Kingdom 10,470,000 10,313,307 12,200,000 5,900 0.07
3 Ruhr  Germany 6,670,000 N/A 11,300,000 2,800 0.01
4 Madrid  Spain 6,610,000 6,729,254 7,100,000 4,600 0.27
5 Milan  Italy 5,280,000 3,098,974 n/a 2,800 −0.16
6 Barcelona  Spain 5,260,000 5,658,319 5,900,000 4,300 0.12
7 Berlin  Germany 4,105,000 3,863,194 n/a 2,900 0.01
8 Rome  Italy 3,950,000 3,717,956 n/a 3,400 0.89
9 Naples  Italy 3,700,000 2,201,789 n/a 3,600 0.01
10 Athens  Greece 3,475,000 3,051,899 n/a 5,000 0.29
11 Lisbon  Portugal 2,700,000 2,884,297 n/a 2,800 0.39
12 Katowice (Katowice urban area)  Poland 2,700,000 N/A n/a 3,300 0.11
13 Manchester  United Kingdom 2,685,000 2,645,598 n/a 4,200 −0.03
14 RotterdamThe Hague
 Netherlands 2,670,000 N/A n/a 2,700 0.39
15 Birmingham  United Kingdom 2,550,000 2,514,596 n/a 4,200 −0.03
16 Budapest  Hungary 2,500,000 1,713,903 3,100,000 1,900 −0.19
17 Prague  Czech Republic 2,300,000 2,156,809 2,620,000 4,600 −0.07[4]
18 Warsaw  Poland 2,200,000 1,722,310 3,000,000 3,200 0.67
19 Cologne-Bonn  Germany 2,165,000 N/A n/a 2,300 0.50
20 Brussels  Belgium 2,120,000 2,044,993 n/a 2,600 0.02[4]
21 Bucharest  Romania 2,115,000 1,867,724 n/a 6,500 0.10[4]
22 Hamburg  Germany 2,105,000 1,830,673 n/a 2,700 0.43[4]
23 Munich  Germany 2,025,000 1,437,900 n/a 4,200 0.72[4]
24 Leeds-Bradford  United Kingdom 1,955,000 1,912,493 n/a 3,900 0.24[4]
25 Frankfurt  Germany 1,950,000 n/a n/a 3,000 0.50
26 Vienna  Austria 1,785,000 1,752,845 n/a 3,900 1.04[4]
27 Kraków  Poland 1,726,000 1,725,894 n/a 3,500
28 Amsterdam  Netherlands 1,650,000 1,090,772 n/a 3,200 0.41[4]
29 Lyon  France 1,650,000 1,608,712 n/a 1,300 0.50[4]
30 Marseille  France 1,620,000 1,605,046 n/a 3,100 0.46[4]
31 Valencia  Spain 1,585,000 n/a 5,700 0.29[4]
32 Stockholm  Sweden 1,565,000 1,485,680 n/a 4,300 0.58[4]
33 Turin  Italy 1,530,000 1,764,868 n/a 4,100 −0.16[4]
34 Porto  Portugal 1,485,000 1,299,437 n/a 1,900
35 Poznań  Poland 1,400,000 n/a 2,700
36 Stuttgart  Germany 1,395,000 n/a 2,900
37 Sofia  Bulgaria 1,325,000 1,226,155 1,543,377 5,700 0.78[4]
38 Copenhagen  Denmark 1,290,000 1,268,052 1,900,000 2,700 0.04[4]
39 Helsinki  Finland 1,280,000 1,179,916 n/a 2,400 0.81[4]
40 Glasgow  United Kingdom 1,235,000 1,222,955 n/a 3,300 0.07[4]
41 Antwerp  Belgium 1,200,000 n/a 1,500 0.05[4]
42 Wrocław  Poland 1,165,000 n/a 4,800
43 Dublin  Ireland 1,158,000 1,169,371 n/a 2,500 1.14[4]
44 Seville  Spain 1,110,000 n/a 5,600
45 Łódź  Poland 1,100,000 n/a 5,000 −0.67[4]
46 Gdańsk (Tricity)  Poland 1,080,700 n/a 5,000
47 Lille  France,  Belgium 1,065,000 1,027,178 n/a 2,200 0.50[4]
48 Nice  France 975,000 n/a 1,300 0.52[4]
49 Toulouse  France 965,000 n/a 1,100 0.72[4]
50 Bordeaux  France 960,000 n/a 700 0.60[4]
51 Nantes  France 900,000 n/a 1,100
52 South Hampshire  United Kingdom 895,000 n/a
53 Liverpool  United Kingdom 880,000 n/a 4,400 0.11[4]
54 Bergamo  Italy 860,000 n/a 3,300
55 Florence  Italy 835,000 n/a 3,700
56 Thessaloniki  Greece 825,000 n/a 4,300 0.39[4]
57 Newcastle upon Tyne (Tyneside)  United Kingdom 800,000 n/a 4,200 0.16[4]
58 Bilbao  Spain 780,000 n/a 5,800
59 Nottingham  United Kingdom 765,000 n/a 4,200
60 Dresden  Germany 740,000 n/a 2,200
61 Zaragoza  Spain 735,000 n/a 5,700
62 Catania  Italy 730,000 n/a 2,900
63 Palermo  Italy 730,000 n/a 6,000 0.12[4]
64 Málaga  Spain 725,000 n/a 3,600
65 Hanover  Germany 715,000 n/a 2,500
66 Sheffield  United Kingdom 715,000 n/a 4,000
67 Zagreb  Croatia 705,000 n/a 4,400
68 Utrecht  Netherlands 690,000 n/a 3,900
69 Las Palmas  Spain 675,000 n/a 6,800
70 Nuremberg  Germany 675,000 n/a 3,000
71 Bristol  United Kingdom 660,000 n/a 3,900
72 Bremen  Germany 635,000 n/a 2,400
73 Genoa  Italy 615,000 1,500,000 n/a 7,900
74 Belfast  United Kingdom 615,000 n/a 3,500
75 Padua  Italy 610,000 n/a 3,200
76 Leipzig  Germany 605,000 n/a 2,000
77 Riga  Latvia 605,000 n/a 2,900
78 Gothenburg  Sweden 590,000 n/a 2,700
79 Toulon  France 585,000 n/a 700
80 Mannheim  Germany 565,000 n/a 3,500
81 Liège  Belgium 560,000 n/a 1,900
82 Palma, Majorca  Spain 550,000
83 Vilnius  Lithuania 550,000 649,000 n/a 2,500
84 Santa Cruz de Tenerife  Spain 545,000
85 Aachen  Germany 545,000 n/a 1,500
86 Leicester  United Kingdom 545,000 n/a
87 Plovdiv Plovdiv  Bulgaria 544,628 n/a
88 Murcia  Spain 515,000
89 Grenoble  France 515,000 n/a 985
90 Saarbrücken  Germany 510,000 n/a 2,200
91 Douai-Lens  France 510,000 n/a 1,100
92 Edinburgh  United Kingdom 500,000

Top 20 urban areas by population

See also

References

  1. Eurostat: Statistics on European cities. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  2. Demographia: World Urban Areas. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  3. Annual Population of Urban Agglomerations with 300,000 Inhabitants or More in 2014, by Country, 1950-2030 (thousands), World Urbanization Prospects, the 2014 revision, Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved 6 September 2015. Note: List based on estimates for 2015, from 2014.
  4. United Nations: World Urbanization Prospects Archived 10 March 2007 at Archive.today
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