Friday, 3 October 2008

Well I Never

If anyone had asked me how Madrid ranks in size of European cities, I'd have guessed about tenth. And I'd have been wrong. I only mention this because MamaDuck read something on the topic a few days ago. In fact, Madrid is Europe's third-largest city.

London is number one, obviously, followed by Berlin. But what about Paris? Surely that's the second-biggest? Mais non, it's fifth, with just a bit over 2 million peeps.

Here's the full top 100, and it contains lots of surprises. I should point out that the figures are city administrative areas, not 'greater' or metropolitan areas.

You learn something new every day.


Bill said...

Quite an interesting little snippet of information indeed, but whilst the parameters of how the populations of the various cities are established are clear, I think in the case of Paris it is a little mis-leading. The administrative area of Paris is relatively small (basically the area within the Périphérique motorway, much closer to the centre than the M25 is in London) and it is almost impossible to consider Paris in isolation from the Île-de-France of which it is the centre: the wikipedia article on that is here:

The vast bulk of people who work in Paris commute daily into the city from the Île-de-France; those who live inside the Périphérique basically fall into two categories, in my view, a largish number of poorish people who live in cramped conditions and a much smaller number of relatively wealthy people; the 'middle classes' generally don't live there. I spent 4 years there and lived in one of the best parts of Paris (the 16th) not because I am particularly wealthy, but I had an 'apartement de fonction' from my employer which was as much property investment as accommodation and furnished/equipped accordingly and in keeping with its location.

On this basis the 'real' populations of both London and Paris should be considered as considerably higher than the raw administrative data would imply. I don't get the impression that Madrid or Berlin are so disproportionately large in terms of their total populations as there are many quite large cities dotted around the two countries, whereas in France and the UK there are fewer very large cities outside the capitals, or that is my impression anyway.

dubaibilly said...

I'm surprised that Leeds has a greater population than Manchester - and how did Wakefield get into that list?

Keefieboy said...

Yeah, I think it is a bit misleading: Wakefield?! Piddly little place. And Manchester is definitely bigger than Leeds. And Paris is bigger than Madrid.

Troy said...

But remember that Madrid, like other cities, sprawls southward and creeps northward up the mountain. Technically Getafe, Mostoles, Leganes etc in the south are their own cities, but now fall under Metro Madrid. While to the north, dormitory communities now reach all the way up to El Escorial and beyond.

It would be interesting to compare the populations of the Ile-de-France and the Comunidad de Madrid.

Anonymous said...

Those stats are about as meaningless as the "classic" comparing countries by their TOEIC or TOEFL scores, imo. A case for that BBC Radio 4 programme about statistics whose name I've forgotten?

TEFLtastic blog-