- Largest urban areas of the European Union
This is a list of all the
urban areas of the European Unionwhich have more than 750,000 inhabitants in 2005.
This list is an attempt to present a consistent list of population figures for
urban areasin the European Union. All the figures here have been compiled by Demographia.
* 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 metres apart (discounting rivers, parks, roads, industrial fields, etc.). A metropolitan area is an urban area plus the satellitecities around the urban area and the agricultural land in between.
* This is a list of urban areas, not a list of administrative cities. The list below contains for instance 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
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits.
* The study of urban areas is useful to analyze 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 analyzis of the functional city. For instance, several cities in the European Union such as Brussels and London have introduced
green beltswhich impacts the urban area but not the "perceived city" as these green belts have now become integrated in what people consider to be the functional city. 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.
* Please do not be surprised if you are used to higher figures for the cities listed below.
Londonis sometimes listed with 14 million inhabitants, Stuttgartis frequently listed with 2.2 million inhabitants, Munichwith 2 million or more, etc. This is because figures here are only for urban areas, which are typically smaller than metropolitan areas. Urban areas can be computed by private people or institutions using maps and looking where the built-up area stops. 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.
* Several large urban areas in Europe are not listed since they are not part of an EU member state. These include
Moscow(14,150,000), Saint Petersburg(4,570,000), and Istanbul(10,970,000).
Urban areas over 750,000 inhabitants
European Free Trade Associationcountries have urban areas that would be included in the list if they were EU member states.
Figures without citations are from [http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf Demographia: World Urban Areas]
Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits
Largest European metropolitan areas
Larger Urban Zones in the European Union
List of urban areas by population
* [http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/chifcle_fiche.asp?ref_id=CMPTEF01103&tab_id=18 Geopolis list of urban areas] (as tabulated by INSEE).
* [http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/ssdataset.asp?vlnk=8271&More=Y Population of urban areas provided by UK National Statistics] for UK urban areas
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