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Interesting Bit: Tokyo is The Largest City in the World

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Tokyo is the Largest City in the World 

Tokyo is not simply the city of almost 14 million people (2021); it’s the Greater Tokyo Area, the most populous metropolitan district in the world, including Tokyo Metropolis, several prefectures, and the prefecture of Yamanashi of the adjacent Chubu regi  on with the total population of 37,274,000 in 2022. So what you see in Tokyo City is the piece you perceive, but the actual city is over 37 million.

According to the World Population Review, there are ten megacities on earth. For years, they have been popping up in India (Delhi) and China (Shanghai). By the end of the century, the researchers project many African megacities to rise and even outpace Tokyo in population. 

But what makes Tokyo the largest city in the world?

How Tokyo Became the World’s Largest City

Today Tokyo boasts an advanced transport network, myriad great shops, and restaurants, tremendous tourist attractions, relaxing natural spots, and so much more. So, it is no wonder that it attracts talented and ambitious people from small Japanese cities. On the flip side, foreigners moving to Japan from the US also benefit from the cultural diversity and the buzz and bright lights of the capital. The 2020 Olympic Games even drew more international attention to Tokyo. Today, Japan’s capital offers opportunities for career growth and simply unique experiences. But it wasn’t always like that. Here is a bit of background.

A turning point in Japanese history was the fall of the Edo Shogunate in 1868 and the establishment of the new government. The Meiji Period was marked by the rise of industrialization and westernization, and that’s when Tokyo saw massive urbanization as well. 

After World War II, Tokyo experienced another significant spike in its population. And the so-called“ Japanese Economic Miracle” from the 1960s to 1970s enabled the country to overcome financial burdens and strive economically. This is how Tokyo has become one of the largest cities and economies in the world. 

After so many years, in 2022, Tokyo ranks the #1 city in population, growing and developing at a fantastic rate. Expats never stop finding new experiences in this city. 

Foreign Population in Tokyo

With a large expat population, Tokyo beats out Beijing, Mexico, San Paolo, and Shanghai.

  • Tokyo (2020) – 560,000 4.1% of Tokyo population
  • Shanghai (2022) – 150,000 
  • Mexico (2018) – 198,522 – 9% of population
  • San Paolo (2019) – 360,000

Although these numbers may not be accurate, given that they are retrieved from different sources and have different years, we can still get some idea of the foreign population in these megacities, with Tokyo standing out among them. 

According to, there were 546,436 foreigners living in the capital as of January 2021. Compared to 2020, it was a 5.4% decline. In the preceding year, there were 577,32 foreigners residing in Tokyo.

Director at SDC International Shipping, Kfir Cohen, says that as the largest city in the world with one of the largest foreign populations, Tokyo indeed can be called the center of the world’s economic diversity. 

Tokyo’s Economy Driven By Its Urban Strength 

The urban strength of Tokyo can be seen in statistical data. Apart from local companies, Tokyo has over 2,300 foreign-affiliated companies. Such a significant presence of international business attracts more qualified workers and investors to Tokyo, boosting the city’s economy. 

In a nutshell, ranking high on every list of cities, Tokyo has everything you need to achieve success in your career or business. Companies benefit from its big market, a wealth of potential business partners and human resources, convenient transport networks, and protection of intellectual property rights. 

If you are planning to move to Tokyo from the USA, you can be sure that the city will provide an advanced market and a comfortable living environment. 

If you need help with relocating to Tokyo, SDC International Shipping is here to help.

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