Here’s how much it would cost you to live in the 10 largest megacities around the world

38 million people call Tokyo home.

caption
38 million people call Tokyo home.
source
Shutterstock

    The world’s largest cities, called megacities, have more than 10 million residents. By 2030 the UN predicts there will be 41 megacities, up from 31 now. Finding affordable housing can be a challenge in large cities.

In 1975, just three of the world’s urban centers – Tokyo, New York, and Mexico City – had more than 10 million residents.

Now, about 7% of people live in cities with eight-figure populations, according to the United Nations. They even have a special name: megacities.

The UN projects the global number of megacities to grow from 31 to 41 by 2030, housing some 8.7% of the global population.

Tokyo, Japan, is the largest city in the world with 38 million residents. That’s about 12 million more people than New Delhi, India, the second-largest. Although Tokyo is projected to lose approximately 1 million residents by 2030, it’s expected to remain the top megacity, according to the UN.

But with rapidly increasing populations, many of these urban centers face major housing shortages. By 2025, 1.6 billion people could struggle to find decent housing that doesn’t eat up more than 30% of their income, the standard measure of housing affordability, according to a report by McKinsey. Ultimately, there could be 106 million more low-income households in cities by 2025.

Below is a list of the 10 largest megacities in the world. For each, we’ve included population in 1975, population projections for 2030, GDP per capita, and the cost of monthly rent and utilities in the city.


New York, United States: 19 million people

source
Luciano Mortula/Shutterstock

Population in 1975: 16 million

Projected population in 2030: 20 million

GDP per capita: $74,000

Monthly rent and utilities: $3,057


Cairo, Egypt: 19 million people

Population in 1975: 6 million

Projected population in 2030: 24 million

GDP per capita: $7,843

Monthly rent and utilities: $206


Osaka, Japan: 20 million people

source
Shutterstock/cowardlion

Population in 1975: 10 million

Projected population in 2030: 20 million

GDP per capita: $36,335

Monthly rent and utilities: $1,174


Mexico City, Mexico: 21 million people

source
Shutterstock

Population in 1975: 11 million

Projected population in 2030: 24 million

GDP per capita: $23,017

Monthly rent and utilities: $777


Beijing, China: 21 million people

source
REUTERS/Rolex Dela Pena/Pool

Population in 1975: 6 million

Projected population in 2030: 28 million

GDP per capita: $30,335

Monthly rent and utilities: $1,421


Sao Paulo, Brazil: 21 million people

source
Shutterstock.com

Population in 1975: 13 million

Projected population in 2030: 23 million

GDP per capita: $27,366

Monthly rent and utilities: $1,119


Mumbai, India: 21 million people

source
Danish Siddiqui/REUTERS

Population in 1975: 7.1 million

Projected population in 2030: 27 million

GDP per capita: $10,147

Monthly rent and utilities: $685


Shanghai, China: 24 million people

source
REUTERS/Aly Song

Population in 1975: 7.3 million

Projected population in 2030: 30 million

GDP per capita: $32,684

Monthly rent and utilities: $1,326


New Delhi, India: 26 million people

Population in 1975: 4.4 million

Projected population in 2030: 36 million

GDP per capita: $16,861

Monthly rent and utilities: $419


Tokyo, Japan: 38 million people

source
Flickr/George Alexander Ishida Newman

Population in 1975: 27 million

Projected population in 2030: 37 million

GDP per capita: $43,884

Monthly rent and utilities: $1,802