50 Biggest Cities in 1920 on a World Map

With the help of a map, can you guess the 50 largest cities in the world in 1920?
Source: United Nations, 1969 publication, Urban area.
As usual, cities around the Ruhr have been filled in by default
Quiz by IAB
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Last updated: September 29, 2020
First submittedJuly 30, 2020
Times taken14,291
Rating4.96
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Population
City
8,047,000
New York City
7,236,000
London
4,965,000
Paris
4,168,000
Tokyo
4,025,000
Berlin
3,730,000
Ruhr
3,315,000
Chicago
2,306,000
Manchester
2,302,000
Philadelphia
2,275,000
Buenos Aires
2,210,000
Boston
1,889,000
Osaka
1,845,000
Vienna
Population
City
1,820,000
Calcutta
1,700,000
Shanghai
1,694,000
Birmingham
1,630,000
Glasgow
1,545,000
Hamburg
1,445,000
Leeds
1,325,000
Rio de Janeiro
1,275,000
Bombay
1,261,000
Pittsburgh
1,225,000
Budapest
1,201,000
Liverpool
1,199,000
Detroit
1,070,000
Brussels
Population
City
1,000,000
Constantinople
978,000
St. Louis
950,000
Moscow
924,000
Cleveland
920,000
Warsaw
910,000
Sydney
905,000
San Francisco
900,000
Peking
865,000
Cairo
855,000
Cologne
839,000
Los Angeles
810,000
Frankfurt
Population
City
800,000
Tientsin
800,000
Wuhan
800,000
Canton
798,000
Newcastle
775,000
Melbourne
762,000
Naples
747,000
Baltimore
742,000
Madrid
741,000
Montreal
725,000
Barmen-Elberfeld
720,000
Petrograd
704,000
Copenhagen
+3
Level 48
Jul 30, 2020
Good quiz!
+11
Level 76
Jul 30, 2020
First time I got all the Chinese cities on a quiz, but I spent so much time on it I missed some easy ones in Europe.
+2
Level 59
Jul 30, 2020
What happened to Wuppertal to lost more than 50% of its population?
+4
Level 70
Jul 30, 2020
I don't know, Wuppertal was funded in 1929
+3
Level 54
Jul 30, 2020
I now changed the name to Barmen-Elberfeld.
+3
Level 76
Sep 28, 2020
I don't know for sure, but from what I could find it should be due to the method of counting. Back in 1920 the area that is now Wuppertal was much more important and bigger than other nearby cities such as Düsseldorf or Dortmund, so the source probably counted a large urban area. By now with growing cities around Wuppertal some of the further suburbs are probably counted within Düsseldorf or as their own cities.

I found a german wikipedia article about the population that only accounts for people in the city limits and it shows just over 400.000 inhabitants in 1930, then a significant drop due to the war and after a period of growth there's a steady but small decline up to today's ca. 350.000. It doesn't look like Wuppertal lost a lot of population, just a bit due to decreasing importance.

Here's the article if you want to look at it:

https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einwohnerentwicklung_von_Wuppertal

+2
Level 54
Sep 28, 2020
The source counted the population of Wuppertal (Barmen-Elberfeld) to include Solingen and Remscheid, Düsseldorf was included as a different Urban Area (with a population of 560k) and Dortmund was most likely included in the population of The Ruhr.
+4
Level 68
Sep 28, 2020
missed Wuhan and Newcastle
+4
Level 54
Sep 28, 2020
missed Leeds and Osaka, great quiz!
+6
Level 84
Sep 28, 2020
Shouldn't Istanbul appear as Constantinople to follow the rest of the quiz?
+5
Level 54
Sep 29, 2020
It has been fixed.
+6
Level 84
Sep 30, 2020
Thanks, it's a really nice touch.
+11
Level 83
Sep 28, 2020
Just a bit freaky that Newcastle is here but Delhi isn't. Bit of a change from nowadays.
+8
Level 69
Sep 28, 2020
Yeah, and Pittsburgh bigger than any city in Africa except Cairo!
+2
Level 46
Nov 18, 2020
According to the stats, even bigger! Wow
+8
Level 82
Sep 28, 2020
I love quizzes like this, always so fascinating. Thanks!
+3
Level 56
Sep 28, 2020
Great quiz! Missed Newcastle, a bit surprised Toronto wasn't here
+3
Level 62
Nov 18, 2020
Where Toronto is now used to be a collection of many smaller cities. They later merged together, making Toronto much larger.
+7
Level 67
Sep 29, 2020
Can't believe my city, Copenhagen, made this list..
+4
Level 79
Sep 29, 2020
Interesting how only one of these is in Africa
+4
Level 69
Sep 29, 2020
65% of people knew Tientsin!? Hhhmmmmmm.
+17
Level 84
Sep 30, 2020
You can enter Tianjin to get it, so it's not particularly strange.
+5
Level 73
Oct 1, 2020
Fun quiz. There's definitely been an eastward shift in the past hundred years. In the next hundred it will be more southward. Some cities here are hard to imagine being amongst the biggest on Earth - Newcastle, for example - but some of those that would crop up on the 2120 list are even more so - Blantyre, Malawi, for example. Still, there's a lot of time yet for history to intervene and shake up the 2120 list.
+3
Level 56
Oct 9, 2020
Right? The USA has 11 cities, the UK has 7, and Germany has 6 of the largest cities. China only has five, and India only has two.
+1
Level 62
Nov 17, 2020
Yeah, interesting that growth in US cities has basically stagnated (and in some cities like Pittsburgh and Detroit has even decreased) while China, India, and other parts of Asia have absolutely exploded. Not necessarily a surprise, it just really puts into perspective how the world (especially Asia) has changed.
+2
Level 45
Nov 17, 2020
China and India even at this point of time had lots of people. Urbanization just hasn't hit them as it did in the west for at this point over a century. As we speak both countries are seeing a large migration from the country to the cities.
+8
Level 54
Oct 1, 2020
Would think that after all this more people would guess Wuhan, but I guess not?
+1
Level 46
Nov 18, 2020
yeah, one of only three I missed this time around. Felt kinda bad about it
+5
Level 72
Oct 6, 2020
I'm not sure what I'm more surprised about...that Cleveland was one of the biggest cities in the entire world only 100 years ago, or that Istanbul was still called Constantinople. I could have sworn that name change was like hundreds of years ago.
+6
Level 56
Oct 9, 2020
The Ottomans didn't actually change the name when they took it. They even thought of themselves as the successor of the Roman Empire.
+1
Level 72
Nov 17, 2020
Cleveland is now something like 63rd largest in the US alone behind cities like Tulsa, Long Beach, Norfolk, Columbus (OH), Oklahoma City, El Paso, Albuquerque, Portland (OR), and Fresno among others. Cleveland is now the second or third largest in its own state.
+3
Level 56
Oct 9, 2020
Wow, pulled a random uk city name out of my head and it was the last one I needed, first try.
+6
Level 76
Oct 9, 2020
Why is whatever Saudi Arabia was then (mainly) greyed out pls?
+5
Level 61
Nov 17, 2020
Arabia was split between various tribal groups, that were before the war nominally loyal to the Ottoman Sultan, but which in effect governed themselves. With the fall of the empire there was a power vacuum in the peninsula between these tribes. None were really a government, and there weren't any defined borders between them. None of the European powers had claimed the area either, so although it wasn't cut off from the world, it was essentially unrecognised until the Saudis conquered the area.
+1
Level 67
Nov 17, 2020
I typed in every city I could remember in Ohio, and forgot Cleveland. 🤦‍♂️
+1
Level 59
Nov 17, 2020
Same I thought it was Buffalo, I mixed Lake Erie up with Ontario
+3
Level 66
Nov 17, 2020
I get why the Ruhr Gebiet und Barmen-Elberfeld are already given, but why Cologne?? It's an easy city to find and not really in the Ruhrgebiet
+2
Level 59
Nov 17, 2020
But the populatio given for Cologne is not Cologne's population but that of Cologne, Bonn and a few more cities.
+1
Level 60
Nov 17, 2020
Jet Punk quizzes should stop marking Ruhr cities by default.
+1
Level 65
Nov 17, 2020
Great quiz!
+2
Level 36
Nov 17, 2020
Got most of them, but missed Leeds, Liverpool, and Frankfurt. I have no excuse for the first two, but I kept on thinking Frankfurt was Bonn.
+1
Level 54
Nov 17, 2020
Bonn is surprisingly small. Even today, it's only barely in Germany's top 20 with about 320.000 people, and much of that is growth from its time as West German capital. According to Wikipedia, it had 90.000 inhabitants in 1920. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonn#Demographics
+2
Level 47
Nov 17, 2020
I know PittsburgH is spelled with an H, but could you accept Pittsburg as well?
+2
Level 61
Nov 17, 2020
Quizmaster specifically said no.
+1
Level 70
Nov 19, 2020
Teachers pet
+1
Level 48
Nov 17, 2020
Nice quiz! Is it ok if I use this map for a country version of this quiz? If not, then just a suggestion, could you make a country version of this quiz? Because I haven't ever seen one of those quizzes that take place in 1920. I find it kind of interesting to see the world in a post-war status where so many governments were toppled, so much territory changed hands, etc.
+3
Level 48
Nov 17, 2020
Also, please make Tibet a separate entity on the map.
+1
Level 72
Nov 17, 2020
Cleveland now has like 350,000 in city-proper and is like the 63rd largest in the US and second largest in Ohio. In 1920, Cleveland's population made up over 90% of Cuyahoga County's. Now, Cleveland has ~350,000 people and Cuyahoga County has 1.2 million. The suburbs have really taken off.
+1
Level 45
Nov 17, 2020
The USA and Europe are just ending their industrial age at this point. In a few decades Asian and African cities will only start to begin those. The contemporary list of cities is definitely a lot more diverse. The fact that Cleveland, St. Louis, Baltimore is on here is pretty telling of how fast the rest of the world grew since.
+1
Level 45
Nov 18, 2020
missed only brisbane
+1
Level 61
Nov 19, 2020
Brisbane isn’t on this quiz...
+1
Level 48
Nov 20, 2020
There is a glitch in the Matrix...
+1
Level 48
Nov 21, 2020
I know I've asked before, but is it ok for me to use this map for a quiz I want to make?