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China Population by City: List of 50 Most Populated Cities

With more than 1.4 billion people, China is one of the most populated areas in the world, and nearly 848 million Chinese live in cities. By 2017, there are 298 prefecture-level cities in China, and the urban population density reaches 2,477 people per square kilometer. Generally, most populated places in China cluster in southeastern area, whereas northwestern places lag behind in China city population ranking.
 
If we subdivide those most populous cities in China, we will have 19 cities each with more than 4 million people in municipal districts, 42 cities with 2 to 4 million people, 86 cities with 0.5 to 1 million people, 42 cities with 200 to 500 thousand people, and 9 cities with no less than 200 thousand people. Top 10 most populated cities in China are Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Harbin and Suzhou. More details about China population by city are given below.
 

Most Populated Cities in China – Top 3

Which city in China has the largest population? Top 3 megacities are Chongqing, Shanghai and Beijing, each accommodating over 20 million people.
 
Chongqing, with more than 31 million permanent residents, is undoubtedly the most populous city in China. Despite the inland location and the mountainous terrain, dozens of highways, railways, five civil airports and several large river ports together bring great convenience for Chongqing to develop manufacturing industry. Now, it is the economic center in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and a transportation hub in southwestern China. Urban amenities including metro, bus, ferry, cableway, light rail and large size elevator solve the traffic problem and support such a huge population of this China’s large city.
Local Chongqing People
Local Chongqing People
Shanghai
Shanghai
Beijing
Beijing
The second most populated city of China is Shanghai, and more than 24 million people live here. Situated in the Yangtze River Delta, eastern China, Shanghai has brought its geographical convenience into full play ever since 1980s. Up till now, Shanghai ports handle import and export business with more than 200 countries. The railway, highway and airport construction also contribute to its high-tech industry and financial development. Moreover, this city in China with largest population sets the pace for the development of its neighboring cities, such as Suzhou, Hangzhou and Ningbo.
 

Beijing, the capital of China, is ranked the third highest population city in China with about 21 million permanent residents. This city has been witnessing China’s development in political reform, finance, technological innovation, sports, medical care, etc. Its 2019 GDP reached 3.5 trillion RMB (550 billion USD), showing great potential of this biggest population city in China. Five large railway stations and two international airports provide easier access for competent people at home and abroad. 
 

List of Cities in China by Population

City Name Chinese Population (million) Area
1 Chongqing 重庆 31.24 82,400 sq. km / 31,820 sq. mi
2 Shanghai 上海 24.28 6,340 sq. km / 2,450 sq. mi
3 Beijing 北京 21.54 16,410 sq. km / 6,340 sq. mi
4 Chengdu 成都 16.58 14,335 sq. km / 5,535 sq. mi
5 Tianjin 天津 15.62 11,970 sq. km / 4,620 sq. mi
6 Guangzhou/Canton 广州 15.31 7,435 sq. km / 2,870 sq. mi
7 Shenzhen 深圳 13.44 2,000 sq. km / 770 sq. mi
8 Wuhan 武汉 11.21 8,570 sq. km / 3,310 sq. mi
9 Harbin 哈尔滨 10.76 53,100 sq. km / 20,500 sq. mi
10 Suzhou 苏州 10.75 8,660 sq. km / 3,345 sq. mi
11 Linyi 临沂 10.67 17,190 sq. km / 6,640 sq. mi
12 Shijiazhuang 石家庄 10.40 14,465 sq. km / 5,590 sq. mi
13 Hangzhou 杭州 10.36 16,855 sq. km / 6,510 sq. mi
14 Zhengzhou 郑州 10.35 7,450 sq. km / 2,875 sq. mi
15 Xi'an 西安 10.20 10,750 sq. km / 4,150 sq. mi
16 Nanyang 南阳 10.01 26,510 sq. km / 10,235 sq. mi
17 Ganzhou 赣州 9.83 39,380 sq. km / 15,205 sq. mi
18 Handan 邯郸 9.55 12,075 sq. km / 4,660 sq. mi
19 Qingdao 青岛 9.50 11,300 sq. km / 4,360 sq. mi
20 Baoding 保定 9.40 22,135 sq. km / 8,550 sq. mi
21 Weifang 潍坊 9.35 15,860 sq. km / 6,125 sq. mi
22 Wenzhou 温州 9.30 11,610 sq. km / 4,485 sq. mi
23 Jinan 济南 8.91 10,244 sq. km / 3,955 sq. mi
24 Xuzhou 徐州 8.83 11,260 sq. km / 4,350 sq. mi
25 Heze 菏泽 8.78 12,240 sq. km / 4,730 sq. mi
26 Quanzhou 泉州 8.74 11,015 sq. km / 4,250 sq. mi
27 Zhoukou 周口 8.66 11,960 sq. km / 4,620 sq. mi
28 Changchun 长春 8.54 24,660 sq. km / 9,520 sq. mi
29 Ningbo 宁波 8.54 345 sq. km / 133 sq. mi
30 Nanjing 南京 8.50 6,590 sq. km / 2,545 sq. mi
31 Donguan 东莞 8.46 2,460 sq. km / 950 sq. mi
32 Changsha 长沙 8.39 11,820 sq. km / 4,565 sq. mi
33 Jining 济宁 8.37 11,190 sq. km / 4,320 sq. mi
34 Shenyang 沈阳 8.32 12,950 sq. km / 5,000 sq, mi
35 Shaoyang 邵阳 8.28 20,825 sq. km / 8,040 sq. mi
36 Fuyang 阜阳 8.26 10,120 sq. km / 3,910 sq. mi
37 Hefei 合肥 8.19 11,445 sq. km / 4,420 sq. mi
38 Foshan 佛山 8.16 3,780 sq. km / 1,465 sq. mi
39 Zhumadian 驻马店 8.05 15,083 sq. km / 5,825 sq. mi
40 Tangshan 唐山 7.96 13,472 sq. km / 5,200 sq. mi
41 Fuzhou 福州 7.80 11,970 sq. km / 4,620 sq. mi
42 Cangzhou 沧州 7.54 14,000 sq. km / 5,405 sq. mi
43 Huanggang 黄冈 7.50 17,453 sq. km / 6,740 sq. mi
44 Xingtai 邢台 7.40 12,400 sq. km / 4,790 sq. mi
45 Yulin 玉林 7.37 12,800 sq. km / 4,940 sq. mi
46 Zhanjiang 湛江 7.36 13,225 sq. km / 5,105 sq. mi
47 Shangqiu 商丘 7.33 10,704 sq. km / 4,130 sq. mi
48 Nantong 南通 7.32 8,000 sq. km / 3,090 sq. mi
49 Nanning 南宁 7.25 22,112 sq. km / 8,540 sq. mi
50 Hengyang 衡阳 7.24 15,310 sq. km / 5,910 sq. mi
 
Notice: The list of most populated cities in China is on the basis of the permanent resident number of each city in 2019.
 
Further Reading
Chinese People

Top 10 Largest Cities in China by Population

Top 10 Biggest Cities in China by Area

- Last modified on Apr. 14, 2021 -
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