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Largest Cities in India – By Population and Size

Largest Cities in India – By Population and Size

Want to know which is the biggest city in India? Here’s an updated list of the largest cities in India by population and size in 2019.

India performs a census every 10 years, and the latest national census was made in 2011. Since then, a lot of Indian cities have grown rapidly with millions of more people moving into the major cities in India. 

Luckily, there are some estimated numbers that give a fairly accurate view of the most populated cities in India this year.  

Mumbai

Mumbai is the most populated city in India with a total population of 12,442,373 residents according to the latest census. However, more recent numbers suggest that the population of Mumbai is currently somewhere around 13 million within the city limits, and a total of 23 million people in the Mumbai metropolitan area. 

Mumbai was formerly known as Bombay, until 1995 when the city was renamed. It’s the commercial center of India and it is also here that you’ll find the famous Bollywood, which is one of the largest movie industries in the world. 

It’s a densely populated city in India that is expanding its metro area for every year that goes by. A large number of residents are currently living in slums due to poverty and lack of accommodation. The population density in Mumbai is estimated to be 26,453 people per square kilometer. 

Estimated Population of Mumbai in 2019:  12,967,483
Largest city in India

Photo: sladkozaponi / Shutterstock.com

New Delhi

New Delhi is the capital of India and has a population of 11,007,835 residents according to the latest census. It’s the biggest city in India in terms of size, and the second-largest Indian city by population.

Current estimates are about 19.8 million people in its urban territory and at least 26.4 million people in the New Delhi metro area. The official name of the city is the National Capital Territory of Delhi, which is often shortened as Delhi NCR. 

Just like Mumbai, New Delhi has seen tremendous growth in the last 10 years, both in population and economic activity. 

Estimated Population of New Delhi in 2019:  19,861,488
New Delhi skyline

Photo: Shutterstock

Bangalore

Bangalore (also known as Bengaluru) is a major IT hub in south India. It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in India when it comes to the annual growth percentage of GDP. 

People from all over the country come here to work within the IT sector. Additionally, the standard of living and infrastructure is higher here than in many other Indian cities.

Estimated Population of Bangalore in 2019:  13,958,256
Bengaluru

Photo: Preju Suresh / Shutterstock.com

Hyderabad

Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana in the central parts of the country. It’s a well-developed city and a major center of the tech industry. 

Hyderabad has seen massive population growth in the last couple of decades and continues to attract more people due to a better standard of living and better work opportunities. Since the latest census, the number of residents in Hyderabad has almost doubled. 

Estimated Population of Hyderabad in 2019:  12,217,956
Hyderabad

Photo: SNEHIT / Shutterstock.com

Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. Since 2017, the historic city of Ahmadabad has been designated the status of a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage City. 

It’s an important industrial and economic hub of India. Ahmedabad is currently the second-largest producer of cotton in the country, and it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in India.

Estimated Population of Ahmedabad in 2019:  7,868,633
Major cities in India

Photo: Spartan610 / Shutterstock.com

Chennai

According to the latest census, 4,681,087 were living in Chennai 2011. New estimated numbers put the population at 9.1 million in 2019.

Chennai is the largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu and is particularly known for its manufacturing and retail. It has also become somewhat of an IT hub.

In 1998, the city changed its name from Madras to Chennai. In the future, it will likely expand even more. The expected growth rate of 8.17% in GDP every year between 2019-2035, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in India.

Estimated Population of Chennai in 2019:  9,118,623
Chennai

Photo: Shutterstock

Kolkata

Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) is the administrative capital of West Bengal, and one of the cultural capitals of India. The latest census recorded a population of 4,486,679 in its urban area.

The current population of Kolkata is estimated to be 5.8 million people and 15.3 million in the metropolitan area. Kolkata represents a mix of traditional and modern styles. Furthermore, the city holds an important status when it comes to military and economic activities in the eastern part of the country. 

Estimated Population of Kolkata in 2019:  5,856,387
Kolkata india

Photo: Radiokafka / Shutterstock.com

Surat

Surat is relatively unknown for many foreigners, but to Indians, it’s a rapidly growing city in the western part of the country. The city is located between Ahmedabad and Mumbai and is especially famous for its textile and diamond business.

It’s the second-largest city in the state of Gujarat, and according to the latest census the city had a population of 4,467,797 residents. However, more recent numbers estimate that 7 million people are living in the urban area of Surat. 

Estimated Population of Surat in 2019:  7,007,525
Surat city in India

Photo: Tudoran Andrei/Shutterstock

Pune

Pune is a vibrant city in the state of Maharashtra. Since the latest census, the city has doubled the number of residents. The city attracts many students, and about 50% of all international students in India studies at one of the universities in Pune.

Furthermore, both the research and industrial sectors have grown exponentially in recent years, which has led to an increase in job opportunities.

Estimated Population of Pune in 2019:  6,441,645
Pune

Photo: Shutterstock

Jaipur

Jaipur is one of the most popular places to visit in India due to a large number of historic sites, such as the Hawa Mahal and Amer fort. The city is also home to some of the most beautiful palaces in India.

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and had a population of 3,046,163 according to the latest census. Current estimates are set to 3.8 million people. Many Indians from rural villages and nearby towns have been moving into Jaipur in recent years, in search of better education and job opportunities. 

Estimated Population of Jaipur:  3,866,822
Jaipur

Photo: Saurav022 / Shutterstock.com

List of the most populated cities in India

These are the 25 largest cities in India by population according to the latest census in 2011. The next census will be made in 2021. 

 
Rank City Population State or union territory
1 Mumbai 12,442,373 Maharashtra
2 Delhi 11,007,835 Delhi
3 Bangalore 8,436,675 Karnataka
4 Hyderabad 6,809,970 Telangana
5 Ahmedabad 5,570,585 Gujarat
6 Chennai 4,681,087 Tamil Nadu
7 Kolkata 4,486,679 West Bengal
8 Surat 4,467,797 Gujarat
9 Pune 3,124,458 Maharashtra
10 Jaipur 3,046,163 Rajasthan
11 Lucknow 2,817,105 Uttar Pradesh
12 Kanpur 2,765,348 Uttar Pradesh
13 Nagpur 2,405,665 Maharashtra
14 Indore 1,964,086 Madhya Pradesh
15 Thane 1,841,488 Maharashtra
16 Bhopal 1,798,218 Madhya Pradesh
17 Visakhapatnam 1,728,128 Andhra Pradesh
18 Pimpri-Chinchwad 1,727,692 Maharashtra
19 Patna 1,684,222 Bihar
20 Vadodara 1,670,806 Gujarat
21 Ghaziabad 1,648,643 Uttar Pradesh
22 Ludhiana 1,618,879 Punjab
23 Agra 1,585,704 Uttar Pradesh
24 Nashik 1,486,053 Maharashtra
25 Faridabad 1,414,050 Haryana
 
Most populated cities in India

Photo. Filip Jedraszak / Shutterstock.com

List of the biggest cities in India by area

Delhi NCR has the largest urban area in India with a total area of 1484 square kilometers, which makes it the biggest city in India by size.

City State / UT Area (km2)
Delhi NCR Delhi NCR 1484
Bangalore Karnataka 709
Ranchi Jharkhand 652
Hyderabad Telangana 650
Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh 642
Mumbai Maharashtra 603
Indore Madhya Pradesh 530
Jaipur Rajasthan 485
Ahmedabad Gujarat 464
Chennai Tamil Nadu 426
Bhubaneswar Odisha 422
Kanpur Uttar Pradesh 403
Pune Maharashtra 331
Surat Gujarat 326.5
 
Biggest city in India

Photo: Noppasin Wongchum/Shutterstock

The future of Indian cities

India is one of the most populated countries in the world with an ever-growing population, currently at 1.3 billion people.

The number of inhabitants has increased rapidly in recent decades, and in just a few years, India is expected to overtake China’s position as the most populated country on Earth.

Just like in other countries worldwide, there’s a surge in people moving from the countryside to the major cities, where education and job opportunities are more prominent.

The population is quite spread out across the country, but that’s slowly changing as the biggest cities in India are continuing to expand their metro areas and number of residents. The future of Indian cities will likely see a huge expansion as well as the creation of new megacities. 

The future of Indian cities

Photo: KishoreJ/Shutterstock

Which is the most developed city in India?

Mumbai is the economic center of India and also the country’s most modern city. 

Which city is the fastest growing city in India?

Surat is the fastest growing city in India at the moment together with Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Agra. They have the highest expected growth in GDP from 2019 to 2035.


How many of the largest cities in India did you know about? Leave a comment below!

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