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Biggest Cities in the World - 2100

What are projected to be the world's most populous urban areas in the year 2100?
According to this source
The linked source groups urban areas differently than most of our other quizzes
Quiz by OskarRB
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Last updated: May 6, 2019
First submittedMarch 15, 2019
Times taken14,416
Rating4.13
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Continent
Population
City
Africa
88.3 m
Lagos
Africa
83.5 m
Kinshasa
Africa
73.7 m
Dar Es Salaam
Asia
67.2 m
Mumbai
Asia
57.3 m
Delhi
Africa
56.7 m
Khartoum
Africa
56.1 m
Niamey
Asia
54.2 m
Dhaka
Asia
52.4 m
Kolkata
Asia
50.3 m
Kabul
Asia
49.1 m
Karachi
Africa
46.7 m
Nairobi
Africa
41.4 m
Lilongwe
Africa
40.9 m
Blantyre
Africa
40.5 m
Cairo
Continent
Population
City
Africa
40.2 m
Kampala
Asia
40.0 m
Manila
Africa
37.7 m
Lusaka
Africa
36.4 m
Mogadishu
Africa
35.8 m
Addis Ababa
Asia
34.1 m
Baghdad
North America
30.2 m
New York City
Africa
28.8 m
N'Djamena
Africa
28.3 m
Kano
Asia
27.2 m
Sana'a
Asia
27.0 m
Lahore
Asia
25.8 m
Chennai
Asia
25.6 m
Tokyo
Asia
24.8 m
Bangalore
Africa
23.7 m
Ibadan
+12
level 51
Mar 15, 2019
It would be interesting to get this quiz with more science around. For example, there is simply no way Sana'a can support more than the population that it currently has.
+6
level 40
Mar 15, 2019
I know. But it's hard to really calculate what's really going to happen, other than using the current fertility rate ect
+4
level ∞
May 6, 2019
I'm not as skeptical as icazares. The percent of world GDP that is spent on food production is at all-time lows. As the population has increased, our ability to grow food has increased even more rapidly. The amount of people dying from famine has decreased by huge amounts.
+6
level ∞
May 6, 2019
Since 1970 the population of Africa has more than tripled. In the same time, life expectancy has increased by 15 years. And there is no end in site to either trend. There is obviously a limit to how many people the continent can support. We are not even close to reaching that limit.
+7
level 84
May 6, 2019
It's hard to imagine the ecosystem in places like Sana'a, N'Djamena, Baghdad, or Cairo supporting these massive megacities. Natural resources (water supply, fertile soil) are limited, and the ability to throw money and energy at the problem (like Dubai is currently doing) is not necessarily going to be sustainable in the long-term. The much more likely outcome is that population will spike and then flatten as the natural resource and infrastructure limitations result in out-of-control poverty and/or hunger. TL;DR - Impossible to project population out 50 years in the third-world.
+1
level ∞
May 6, 2019
You don't have to grow food near where it is consumed. As long as the people make enough money to buy imported food, it works out. If food shortages were just around the corner, we'd already be seeing higher food prices and lower life expectancies (we aren't). But yes, 80 years is really far out. It's fairly likely that we'll invent strong AI by then which would change everything, and render population projections like these completely meaningless.
+1
level 84
May 7, 2019
It's not having to grow food or have water near where it's consumed. It's being able to pay the increasing costs in infrastructure and energy consumption required to do so. For example, getting drinking water to the public is easy when you're drawing from a lake or groundwater. Importing or desalinating enough water for a population 10, 20, or 30 million in excess of what the area can naturally support, though, is a very expensive proposition.
+1
level 78
Nov 27, 2019
Maybe we grow much food now, but we need a huge amount of oil to do that. I don't think it will be sustainable for 80 more years. I am almost certain that the world population will have to decrease one way or another until 2100, and I'm afraid that's not good for Asia and Africa. Anyway, it's presumptuous to believe to be able to predict anything so far in time. That's why I think it's a bad, stupid, utterly useless quiz (sorry if this seems rude towards the quiz maker, it's nothing personal of course).
+8
level ∞
May 6, 2019
A few notes about this quiz.

1) The source doesn't combine Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and surrounding cities like citypopualtion.de does. Otherwise Guangzhou would be here.

2) We can be pretty confident about projections made for the next 30 years.

3) However, on this time scale, projections will probably be very inaccurate. 80 years out, population growth matters a lot. Blantyre currently has a population of around 1 million, and is projected to grow to 40 million.

+5
level 60
May 6, 2019
Well we can be pretty sure for the next 30 years barring any major disasters or wars. So this quiz is assuming that in the next 81 years Tanzania won’t separate from the rest of Africa and sink into the ocean
+1
level 64
May 6, 2019
But is it more probable or not that there will be a major disaster in the next 30 years? Climate disasters? Wars for (e.g. Himalayan) water supply? Wars in the South China sea for hegemony over the global trade routes? Continent-size proxy wars for resources in Africa, followed by subsequent civil wars?
+1
level ∞
May 7, 2019
@TheLastFish. It's hard to estimate, but I would say the chance of a major conflict in the next 30 years is lower than in any other 30 year period in human history. We are living in by far the most peaceful, prosperous time there has ever been. And it's not even close.
+1
level 44
Oct 22, 2019
Nah, I say we are pretty sure things won't go as smoothly as everybody here seems to think. For once, the global warming is not going to disappear and lots of land are going to get flooded (Also there is a risk for densely populated regions depending on mountains for their water supply in the dry season). This will lead to massive exodus and global political destabilization, in turn leading to war, diseases, starvation... The second big aspect is the oil supply : even optimistic estimates don't think the supplies will last for more than 50 years (and it is probable we are currently nearing peak oil). Without more oil supply global trade will diminish (or even collapse) thus leading to stravation and wars for resources. I'd say we can go on with business as usual for 10 years but after that nothing's too certain. But a population of 20B people is just impossible, whatever happens something will stop us to grow that big (be it ourselves, shortage on food or diseases)...
+4
level 70
May 17, 2019
It's an interesting exercise (both the quiz and the underlying research), but even the paper the source list is based on recognizes that the projections about Sub-Saharan Africa in particular are implausible: "Projecting city growth, typified by Lagos growing from 10.6 million in 2010 to 88.3 million in 2100, calls for a healthy measure of scepticism; many variables could change. Projections used here are linked to the 2050 WUP city estimates that, especially in Africa, are suspect, and here these projections are extended for yet another 50 years, suggesting caution in their use. . . . Niamey, Niger for example is projected to grow from under 1 million inhabitants today to 56 million in 2100. Growth rates like these appear overstated, especially in one of the world’s poorest countries with an insufficient economic base to support this rate of urbanization." (The updated paper is here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956247816663557)
+1
level ∞
May 17, 2019
Go back 50 years and predict "Lagos will have 18 million people by 2019". No doubt the same objections would be raised and yet, here were we. While the future will likely be different in unfathomable ways, the null hypothesis is to assume that current trends will continue.
+1
level 44
Oct 22, 2019
Sure, but it's unrealistic. When a car goes at maximum speed into a wall, the null hypothesis says that the car is going to continue going at full speed, but in reality the car is going to crash against the wall...
+5
level 74
May 6, 2019
For Lilongwe in geographically tiny, landlocked Malawi to reach 40 million people it would require political union with a larger country or development into a trading dynamo like strategically situated Hong Kong and Singapore.
I mean seriously these numbers must assume political or economic changes, with which would probably come reduced natural increase.
+5
level 76
May 8, 2019
And that's only considering Lilongwe. Now add Blantyre (also in Malawi) to the mix...
+11
level 74
May 8, 2019
I didn't even know what Blantyre was. Sounds like an Irish coastal town.
+1
level 45
Jun 19, 2019
That's what I thought! They got it from this wikipedia article in the 2100 cities population column: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projections_of_population_growth
+1
level 64
May 6, 2019
Looks like the source loves business as usual scenarios...But then they have to take at the very least the devasting consequences of climate change into account. A more plausible estimation for Lagos, Dhaka, and alike is then < 1 Mio except we start to contruct submarine cities.
+2
level ∞
May 7, 2019
Maybe in the year 2500. Worst case scenarios call for a 3 foot rise in sea levels by 2100. Climate change is bad, but humans will adapt. Pity the other species who won't be so fortunate.
+3
level 70
May 12, 2019
Humankind will adapt, but many humans won't be so fortunate. Many cities, too. Climate change is not just sea level rise.
+4
level 52
Jun 17, 2019
You discount the degree to which we rely on all those other species in ways we haven't begun to understand. Homo Sapiens is part of the planetary ecosystem and less able, imo, to exist separately than we like to think. Some part of us may well become a new species, but h. Sapiens will not survive unless we can preserve a substantial portion of the biological world in which we evolved.
+7
level 80
May 7, 2019
The idea of Malawi having 2 cities bigger than Shanghai seems kind of ridiculous.
+4
level 80
May 7, 2019
What about New Mombasa? It seemed pretty populous untill the aliens blew out that space elevator.
+1
level 40
May 7, 2019
He he :)
+2
level 61
May 8, 2019
R.I.P China
+5
level 65
May 9, 2019
How is it possible that no Chinese cities are on this list? Where is Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou (even without citypopulation.de's stupid combination)? And how are none of these larger than Saigon?
+3
level ∞
May 9, 2019
The population of China is projected to fall significantly by 2100.
+1
level 61
May 10, 2019
That is if we make it before the Earth die
+2
level 80
May 20, 2019
Can I short whoever made this Quiz? The idea of not one, but two megacities in Malawi suggests analysis gone awry. I have a bridge to sell them ...
+6
level 52
Jun 6, 2019
Dhaka, Kolkata, Mumbai, Tokyo, Dar Es Salaam, Karachi, New York will all be underwater by 2100 with with a population of 0 inhabitants
+5
level ∞
Jun 6, 2019
What? No they won't. As mentioned above, worst-case scenarios call for a 3 foot rise in sea levels by 2100.
+3
level 71
Jun 17, 2019
But isn't that just the average sea level rise, with many places being affected more severely?
+1
level 67
Jun 17, 2019
That may be true and may not. While sea level rise is clearly on the horizon, it's very uncertain how fast it will happen (and thus how much land will be inundated by whatever time). The main point, though, is correct in that it challenges the apparent clarity of these projections. It's pretty ridiculous to project Dhaka's population with any certainty. Zero might be as good a guess as any.
+3
level 45
Jun 17, 2019
Curious how these cities would be able to support that many people
+1
level 24
Jun 17, 2019
and Jakarta is not included in the list? inaccurate!
+4
level 40
Jun 17, 2019
Jakarta is in danger of flooding and it's already visible every year when the rain comes, which varies from 70 to 125 inches a year throughout the country’s lowlands, the floodwaters have nowhere to go. And the city floods every year; 13 rivers run through it, and best believe they fill up with water. This is also the reason why they've plans on moving their capital to Palangkaraya on Borneo.
+2
level 65
Jun 17, 2019
The source doesn't even take into account the creation of skynet...
+1
level ∞
Jun 18, 2019
Finally someone gets it. Although, in my opinion existential risk due to the creation of strong AI is probably greater than that due to climate change. We already know how to stop climate change (we just lack the will). If we create strong AI, there will be no way to stop it except to hope that is is nice to us.
+4
level 67
Jun 17, 2019
What ridiculous methodology. Demography reduced to mathematics. They do nothing but take past trends, map them onto current populations, and do the calculations. It reminds me of projections for the population of Mexico City back in the late '70s and early '80s. But why believe me - from the brief article itself: "Projecting city growths typified by Lagos growing form 10.6 million in 2010 to 88.3 million in 2100 obviously call for a fulsome measure of skepticism; many variables could change."
+2
level 54
Jun 17, 2019
Almost 90 million people in an area that is about 3 feet above sea level, at low tide. I doubt it, but ...
+3
level 77
Jun 20, 2019
Invest now in companies that sell life preservers
+4
level 52
Jun 17, 2019
I read the U of Ontairo's list very carefully and I wonder how Kongo should support a 80m metropolis and Malawi two 40m mega cities... It reminds me of end of 19th century predictions of the amount of horse manure for the upcoming 20th century...
+1
level 41
Jun 18, 2019
I dont think that Niamey in Niger(currently under 1 million population) and N'Djamena in Chad (1,2 million) will have that many people living in there
+1
level 46
Jun 18, 2019
Scary...so may ppl will be born into a world with few rights and no assets. It is hard to believe that we can maintain a decent life with clean water and food. What will happen to the forests and the oceans? Plus soil erosion...
+1
level 67
Jun 18, 2019
A much bigger cause of ecological destruction than billions of poor people: millions of rich people.
+1
level 54
Jun 20, 2019
Yes, but ... I used to live in rural Sichuan in China about 20 years ago. People in general were subsistence farmers, whose average income per year was about $100 US. Nevertheless, the pollution was mind-boggling. There were days when you could not see across the street. Rivers ran some pretty strange and unnatural colours. I would wonder how they were getting that level of pollution when the average person had nothing.
+1
level 49
Oct 24, 2019
Two biggest cities of Malawi (Lilongwe and Blantyre) with population rising from 1M to 40M. What a projection!
+1
level 33
Nov 3, 2019
Dhaka probably won’t exist by then
+1
level 72
Nov 11, 2019
Shanghai, Jakarta and Seoul are bigger than 23.7 million right now, let alone in 80 years time.