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Biggest World Cities in 1850

Can you name the 20 most populous cities in the year 1850?
Last updated: July 22, 2016
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Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
Population
City
2.3 mil
London
1.6 mil
Peking
1.3 mil
Paris
800 k
Canton
800 k
Constantinople
700 k
Hangchow
700 k
New York City
600 k
Bombay
600 k
Edo
500 k
Soochow
Population
City
500 k
Saint Petersburg
500 k
Berlin
400 k
Philadelphia
400 k
Vienna
400 k
Liverpool
400 k
Naples
400 k
Calcutta
400 k
Manchester
400 k
Moscow
300 k
Glasgow
+1
level ∞
Jul 21, 2016
Based on the numbers for American cities, this data probably uses a simple estimate of urban area population.
+1
level 81
Jul 21, 2016
Why is Beijing not shown as Peking, since the other cities whose name in English has changed, such as Bombay, Calcutta, Constantinople, show the old name?
+1
level 57
Jul 21, 2016
I'll change that.
+1
level ∞
Jul 21, 2016
Thanks. That was my mistake.
+1
level 70
Aug 3, 2016
I wonder if this makes sense. Peking hasn't changed its name to Beijing, we've just now got a better transliteration of the name into English. It was as much Beijing in 1850 as it is now. I agree with using Ezo instead of Tokyo, because that is a case where the name has actually changed since then.
+1
level 80
Sep 20, 2016
200 years ago, China's position on the world stage was more heavily influenced by the Cantonese ports (Guangzhou and Hong Kong), and so the name of the city was transliterated from the Cantonese instead of the Mandarin. I think it's the answer that should be displayed, as it was the standard spelling at the time.
+1
level 64
Jul 21, 2016
I guess it was good enough to be featured
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level 57
Jul 21, 2016
Thanks
+1
level 68
Jul 21, 2016
Please accept Edo for Tokyo
+1
level ∞
Jul 22, 2016
Changed Tokyo to Edo
+1
level 73
Jul 21, 2016
Have Hangchow and Soochow graduated into modern Chinese cities with different names or have they just fallen by the wayside?
+2
level 57
Jul 21, 2016
They have: Hangzhou and Suzhou I believe.
+1
level 68
Sep 24, 2016
All Chinese cities "updated" there names when pinyin was adopted as the official method of romanisation for mainland China, so even tiny villages have different names now when written in English.
+1
level 54
Jul 29, 2016
Crazy to think that my "small market" town (Dayton) would be ranked fourth on this list.
+1
level 57
Aug 4, 2016
*Canton
+1
level 69
Aug 28, 2016
Love these quizzes. Even though I don't do that well, the answers are so interesting. Thanks.
+1
level 68
Sep 24, 2016
Incredible how much bigger cities have gotten in the past 150 years. A city of 1 million people nowadays is nothing.
+1
level 69
Sep 24, 2016
Some time in the last twenty years we passed the threshold in which more than half of the world population lives in cities. In 1850, by contrast, only England (but not the U.K.) and some other European countries were that urbanized; we did not cross that line in the U.S. until about 100 years ago.
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level 74
Sep 24, 2016
Got everything except Glasgow. Having taken my biggest cities in 1950/1900/1800/1500/1000/100 quiz multiple times helped a lot. Mostly the same answers.
+1
level 28
Sep 24, 2016
Manchester didn't exist until 1853.
+1
level 62
Sep 24, 2016
My apologies if I'm missing a joke but 1853 was when it acquired city status. There has been human settlement in the same area since pre-Roman times.
+1
level 51
Sep 24, 2016
No offense, but if we're doing historical names from 1850, then shouldn't Constantinople be Istanbul? Unless people were still referring to it as Constantinople at the time, in spite of the Turkish renaming of the city about 400 years earlier
+1
level 52
Sep 24, 2016
"Konstantiniyye," the Turkish transliteration of Constantinople was used by the Ottomans until their decimation in WW1. Ataturk later standardized Latin Turkish names for all their cities.
+1
level 57
Sep 24, 2016
Very interesting. Had no idea Hangzhou and Suzhou were ever that large, (in comparison to other Chinese cities).
+1
level 26
Sep 24, 2016
Could u make kolkatta exeptable for calcutta as that is how it is spelt now?
+1
level 64
Sep 24, 2016
But, it's spelt with only one t, not two.
+1
level 21
Sep 25, 2016
Good Quiz!
+1
level 39
Sep 26, 2016
Please accept St Petersburg
+1
level 57
Sep 26, 2016
I did...Maybe QM changed that.
+1
level 58
Aug 29, 2017
Wasn't Baghdad the first city to reach 1 million?
+1
level 58
Nov 23, 2017
Rome was, but that was long LONG before 1850.
+1
level 43
Jan 22, 2018
I got hongchow and canton but yet somehow forgot london