Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits

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This list includes the most up-to-date official census figures or census estimates with regards to the population of the largest cities in the European Union. It deals exclusively with the areas within city boundaries as opposed to urban areas or metropolitan areas.

The European Union statistics agency Eurostat does not gather information with regards to the population of cities within the member states, it is rather the task of national statistical agencies that gather such information every 5 to 10 years and that often make official estimates on the population of the cities. In some case the regional, local and municipal authorities also gather such information. This list exclusively includes official information from national agencies as well as official information from local government authorities.

Contents

[edit] Top 100 administrative units

National capitals are in bold.

Rank City and country Population Date of census/estimate
1. Flag of United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 7,517,700 June 30, 2005 (official)
2. Flag of Germany Berlin, Germany 3,402,312 September 30, 2006 (official)
3. Flag of Spain Madrid, Spain 3,128,600 January 1, 2006 (official)
4. Flag of Italy Rome, Italy 2,545,243 March 31, 2006 (official)
5. Flag of France Paris, France 2,153,600 January 1, 2005 (official)
6. Flag of Romania Bucharest, Romania 1,924,959 July 1, 2005 (official)
7. Flag of Germany Hamburg, Germany 1,751,656 August 30, 2006 (official)
8. Flag of Poland Warsaw, Poland 1,700,536 June 30, 2006 (official)
9. Flag of Hungary Budapest, Hungary 1,698,106 January 1, 2006 (official)
10. Flag of Austria Vienna, Austria 1,664,035 January 1, 2007 (official)
11. Flag of Spain Barcelona, Spain 1,605,602 January 1, 2006 (official)
12. Flag of Germany Munich, Germany 1,325,697 November 30, 2006 (official)
13. Flag of Italy Milan, Italy 1,305,808 March 31, 2006 (official)
14. Flag of Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic 1,186,618 September 30, 2006 (official)
15. Flag of Bulgaria Sofia, Bulgaria 1,148,429 December 31, 2005 (official)
16. Flag of United Kingdom Birmingham, United Kingdom 1,001,200 June 30, 2005 (official)
17. Flag of Germany Cologne, Germany 986,168 June 30, 2006 (official)
18. Flag of Italy Naples, Italy 981,353 March 31, 2006 (official)
19. Flag of Italy Turin, Italy 898,979 March 31, 2006 (official)
20. Flag of France Marseille, France 820,900 January 1, 2005 (official)
21. Flag of Spain Valencia, Spain 805,304 January 1, 2006 (official)
22. Flag of Sweden Stockholm, Sweden 780,817 September 30, 2006 (official)
23. Flag of Poland Łódź, Poland 767,628 December 31, 2005 (official)
24. Flag of Poland Kraków, Poland 756,629 December 31, 2005 (official)
25. Flag of Greece Athens, Greece 745,514 March 18, 2001 (official)
26. Flag of Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands 743,393 December 31, 2005 (official)
27. Flag of Latvia Riga, Latvia 727,578 January 1, 2006 (official)
28. Flag of Spain Sevilla, Spain 704,414 January 1, 2006 (official)
29. Flag of Italy Palermo, Italy 668,843 March 31, 2006 (official)
30. Flag of Germany Frankfurt, Germany 659,928 September 30, 2006 (official)
31. Flag of Spain Zaragoza, Spain 649,181 January 1, 2006 (official)
32. Flag of Poland Wrocław, Poland 635,932 December 31, 2005 (official)
33. Flag of Italy Genoa, Italy 618,438 March 31, 2006 (official)
34. Flag of Germany Stuttgart, Germany 591,528 April 30, 2006 (official)
35. Flag of Netherlands Rotterdam, Netherlands 588,500 December 31, 2005 (official)
36. Flag of Germany Dortmund, Germany 587,717 June 30, 2006 (official)
37. Flag of Germany Essen, Germany 583,892 June 30, 2006 (official)
38. Flag of United Kingdom Glasgow, United Kingdom 578,790 June 30, 2005 (official)
39. Flag of Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 575,727 June 30, 2006 (official)
40. Flag of Poland Poznań, Poland 567,882 December 31, 2005 (official)
41. Flag of Finland Helsinki, Finland 560,905 December 31, 2005 (official)
42. Flag of Spain Málaga, Spain 560,631 January 1, 2006 (official)
43. Flag of Lithuania Vilnius, Lithuania 553,553 January 1, 2006 (official)
44. Flag of Germany Bremen, Germany 546,852 December 31, 2005 (official)
45. Flag of Portugal Lisbon, Portugal 529,485 2004 (official)
46. Flag of United Kingdom Sheffield, United Kingdom 520,700 June 30, 2005 (official)
47. Flag of Germany Hannover, Germany 515,559 June 30, 2006 (official)
48. Flag of Republic of Ireland Dublin, Ireland 505,739 April 23, 2006 (official)
49. Flag of Germany Leipzig, Germany 505,069 June 30, 2006 (official)
50. Flag of Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark 501,158 January 1, 2006 (official)
51. Flag of Germany Duisburg, Germany 500,142 June 30, 2006 (official)
52. Flag of Germany Dresden, Germany 500,068 June 30, 2006 (official)
53. Flag of Germany Nuremberg, Germany 499,222 August 31, 2006 (official)
54. Flag of Sweden Gothenburg, Sweden 489,425 September 30, 2006 (official)
55. Flag of Netherlands The Hague, Netherlands 475,197 December 31, 2005 (official)
56. Flag of France Lyon, France 466,400 January 1, 2005 (official)
57. Flag of Belgium Antwerp, Belgium 461,496 January 1, 2006 (official)
58. Flag of Poland Gdańsk, Poland 458,053 December 31, 2005 (official)
59. Flag of United Kingdom Edinburgh, United Kingdom 457,830 June 30, 2005 (official)
60. Flag of United Kingdom Liverpool, United Kingdom 447,500 June 30, 2005 (official)
61. Flag of United Kingdom Leeds, United Kingdom 443,247 June 30, 2005 (official)
62. Flag of United Kingdom Manchester, United Kingdom 441,200 June 30, 2005 (official)
63. Flag of France Toulouse, France 435,000 January 1, 2005 (official)
64. Flag of Slovakia Bratislava, Slovakia 425,459 December 31, 2005 (official)
65. Flag of Spain Murcia, Spain 416,996 January 1, 2006 (official)
66. Flag of Poland Szczecin, Poland 411,119 December 31, 2005 (official)
67. Flag of United Kingdom Bristol, United Kingdom 398,300 June 30, 2005 (official)
68. Flag of Estonia Tallinn, Estonia 396,193 January 1, 2006 (official)
69. Flag of Germany Bochum, Germany 384,492 June 30, 2006 (official)
70. Flag of Spain Las Palmas, Spain 377,056 January 1, 2006 (official)
71. Flag of Spain Palma de Mallorca, Spain 375,048 January 1, 2006 (official)
72. Flag of Italy Bologna, Italy 374,142 March 31, 2006 (official)
73. Flag of Italy Florence, Italy 367,268 March 31, 2006 (official)
74. Flag of Czech Republic Brno, Czech Republic 366,757 June 30, 2006 (official)
75. Flag of Poland Bydgoszcz, Poland 366,074 December 31, 2005 (official)
76. Flag of Greece Thessaloniki, Greece 363,987 March 18, 2001 (official)
77. Flag of Lithuania Kaunas, Lithuania 360,637 January 1, 2006 (official)
78. Flag of Germany Wuppertal, Germany 358,746 June 30, 2006 (official)
79. Flag of Bulgaria Varna, Bulgaria 357,752 March 01, 2007 (official)
80. Flag of Poland Lublin, Poland 354,967 December 31, 2005 (official)
81. Flag of Spain Bilbao, Spain 354,145 January 1, 2005 (official)
82. Flag of France Nice, France 347,900 January 1, 2005 (official)
83. Flag of Bulgaria Plovdiv, Bulgaria 341,873 December 31, 2005 (official)
84. Flag of Italy Bari, Italy 326,333 March 31, 2006 (official)
85. Flag of Germany Bielefeld, Germany 326,268 June 30, 2006 (official)
86. Flag of Spain Córdoba, Spain 322,867 January 1, 2006 (official)
87. Flag of Spain Alicante, Spain 322,431 January 1, 2006 (official)
88. Flag of Spain Valladolid, Spain 319,943 January 1, 2006 (official)
89. Flag of United Kingdom Cardiff, United Kingdom 319,700 June 30, 2005 (official)
90. Flag of Romania Iaşi, Romania 317,812 July 1, 2004 (official)
91. Flag of Poland Katowice, Poland 317,220 December 31, 2005 (official)
92. Flag of Germany Bonn, Germany 312,996 June 30, 2006 (official)
93. Flag of Czech Republic Ostrava, Czech Republic 310,078 June 30, 2006 (official)
94. Flag of Germany Mannheim, Germany 307,772 June 30, 2006 (official)
95. Flag of Romania Constanţa, Romania 307,447 July 1, 2004 (official)
96. Flag of Romania Timişoara, Romania 307,265 July 1, 2004 (official)
97. Flag of United Kingdom Coventry, United Kingdom 304,200 June 30, 2005 (official)
98. Flag of Italy Catania, Italy 303,785 March 31, 2006 (official)
99. Flag of Portugal Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal 300,868 2004 (official)
100. Flag of Romania Galaţi, Romania 298,941 July 1, 2004 (official)

[edit] Other notable cities

  • Since this table covers only the European Union, large European cities in non-member countries are omitted, such as, for instance, Moscow, Oslo and Zürich.
  • Brussels – the capital city of Belgium and unofficially referred to as the capital of the European Union is nowhere near the top 100 list, as the relatively small municipality has a total population of only 141,312 (Census estimate 2004). The greater Brussels-Capital Region has a population of over 1 million.
  • Århus, Denmark - the city with 296,368 inhabitants is growing by about 2,500 inhabihants every year and will soon enter the Top 100.
  • Bordeaux, France – the city in Aquitaine is not on the list because most people in the Bordeaux Metropolitan Area live in the suburbs, outside of the city limits. Population within the city proper: 230,600 (January 1, 2005).
  • Ljubljana – the Slovenian capital has a total population of 258,873 and its population is currently declining.
  • Luxembourg - the capital city of Luxembourg has a total population of 77,325 (Census Estimate 2004).
  • Nantes, France – the city in Brittany is not on the list because most people in the Nantes Metropolitan Area live in the suburbs, outside of the city limits. Population within the city proper: 281,800 (January 1, 2005).
  • Nicosia – the capital of Cyprus has a population of 47,832 (Census 2001). It is the third largest municipality in Cyprus.
  • Lille, France – the city in French Flanders is not on the list because most people in the Lille Metropolitan Area live in the suburbs, outside of the city limits. Population within the city proper: 225,100 (January 1, 2005).
  • Nottingham, United Kingdom, 273,863 (2003 est.) – the famous English city lost over 20,000 of its inhabitants between 1991 and 2001, owing mostly to migration from the inner city to suburbs outside the city limits.
  • Porto, Portugal - 263,131 (2001 est.) - the second city in Portugal. One of the biggest metropolitan areas on the European Atlantic coast. Plans of an union with Vila Nova de Gaia could mean the formation of a city with over 500,000 inhabitants.
  • Strasbourg, France – another important city in terms of the European Union is just short of the list, with a population of 264,115 as of 1999, but the January 1, 2005 estimate suggests that it is now closer with a population of 272,700.
  • Valletta, Malta – the capital city has a total population of only 7,199 (Census Estimate 2001). The largest city in Malta is Birkirkara, with a population just under 25,000.
  • Venice, Italy – the famous Italian city was constantly losing population for over 20 years until 2003 when the influx of immigrant population gave Venice a net gain of 3417 citizens in comparison to 2002. The city may be back in the top 100 soon. Its current population is 271,663 (Census Estimate 2004-01-01).
  • Cork, Ireland - the second city of the republic of Ireland with a population of 119,143(2006). The Cork City limits are very restrictive.The Greater Cork area is currently 370,000 and predicted to grow to 450,000 by 2020.
  • Almere, Netherlands - did not have a population until 1976, has a pop. of 176,000 in 2006 and is forecast to have a pop. of 214,000 by 2010.
  • Cluj-Napoca, Romania - one of the most important Romanian cities,with a population of 318,027 according to 2002 census and a census estimate in 2006 suggests a population of 342,000
  • Košice, Slovakia - the second largest city in Slovakia with population of 234,871 (2005 census) and with city of Prešov it is a part of second biggest Slovak metropolitan area with total population of some 350,000.

[edit] Cities likely to enter the top 100 in the near future

  • L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain - Barcelona suburb. The EU's biggest suburb currently has a total population of 250,536 and growing. The Catalan city is likely to enter the top 100 within five years.[citation needed]
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain - this city in the Canary Islands had a net gain of population of over 7,000 people between 2001 and 2005 according to Spanish Census estimates. This gain is due to a large influx of population from other EU countries. As of 2005 the city had a total population of 221,567 and with such growth the city is likely to crack the top 100 within the next decade.[citation needed][dubious ]
  • Münster, Germany - the city where the Peace of Wesphalia was signed is currently 101st largest in the EU and its population keeps on growing.
  • Utrecht, the Netherlands. Utrecht has a population of 276,000 at this moment and is about to get a new area Leidsche Rijn, in which around 80,000 people can live.
  • Sunderland a metropolitian borough, United Kingdom, an upcoming city in the United Kingdom which is slowly increasing in trade with the European Union with its newly built business park, it has an estimated population of 285,000, which is increasing quickly after a short decline.

[edit] Cities likely to lose their top 100 status in the future

  • Bari and Catania, Italy - massive population losses for all Italian cities are especially large in the cities of southern part of Italy like these two.
  • Belfast, United Kingdom - contrary to popular perceptions, Northern Ireland's migration rate has shown a net increase since 1995 - but this is countered by population movement from Belfast into the suburbs outside the city boundary. However, the planned reorganization of local government boundaries in Northern Ireland in 2009 should see the city limits extended and take the population back above 300,000, and back into the top 100.
  • Wuppertal, Germany as other industrial cities in the Ruhr area has had a declining population for many years, and looking at the current demographic tendency it is all but certain that some of them will disappear from the top 100 list in the future as did another Ruhr area city Gelsenkirchen which was included in the top 100 until 2004.
  • Katowice, Poland - this industrial city is losing its population quickly. In three years the city is unlikely to figure among the 100 largest EU cities.

[edit] Candidate Countries

[edit] Croatia Flag of Croatia

[edit] The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Flag of Republic of Macedonia

[edit] Turkey Flag of Turkey

(only Istanbul is (partially) geographically in Europe, other cities are part of Asia. Nevertheless, Istanbul would displace London as the largest city in the EU if Turkey were admitted.)

[edit] Officially recognized potential candidate countries

[edit] Albania Flag of Albania

[edit] Bosnia and Herzegovina Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina

[edit] Serbia Flag of Serbia