The chart above shows the urban area of each city with a population of over one million with an area over 250 square kilometers while the chart below shows all urban areas with a population of over one million with an area under 250 square kilometers. The urban area has been normalized so as to avoid any inconsistencies with how cities and their metropolitan areas are defined by their governments. Each urban area has similar characteristics making this the definitive method with which to compare cities across various countries. Russia has the largest urban area by size by far.
- The difference between the urban area with the greatest size, Moscow, and the urban area with the least, Orenburg, is 5,824 square kilometers (2,248.66 square miles).
- Moscow has 87.93 times the urban area that Orenburg does.
- The median size of urban area with a minimum population of one million in Europe is 272.00 square kilometers (105.02 square miles) and the mean 459.26 square kilometers (177.32 square miles).
- Data is from 2020.
- The methodology for how these urban areas have been defined can be found in the source link below. As of this writing this is the most reliable way to compare urban areas throughout the world.
- Some of these urban areas span several states, and the state that is being used here is the one where the core of the urban area is located. For instance, Milan's urban area spans both Italy and Switzerland, but since the core of the urban area is in Italy it would be listed as an Italian urban area and not a Swiss one.
- All figures are rounded to the nearest whole.
Only 31 of the 51 European states have urban areas with at least one million people. Of these, Russia has 40; Germany has 16; the United Kingdom has 14; France, Italy, and Spain each have 11; Ukraine has eight; Poland has seven; Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland each have three; Belarus, Greece, Portugal, and Sweden each have two; and Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, and Serbia each have one.
Moscow makes up just under one-tenth of the total area of European urban areas with over one million inhabitants at 8.49%. It, along with Essen, Paris, Milan, and London make up one-fifth of the total area of European urban areas with over one million inhabitants at 21.20%. Adding in Saint Petersburg and Berlin brings it up to over one-quarter at 25.15%.
Three of the 12 urban areas with a population of over one million people that have an urban area of over 1,000 square kilometers are located in Italy; Russia, Spain, and Germany each have two; while the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France each have one. Two of the five urban areas with a population of over one million people that have an area less than 100 square kilometers are located in Russia; Italy, North Macedonia, and Spain each have one.
Russia has the largest area covered by its urban areas of over one million people with a total of 6,998 square kilometers (2,701.94 square miles) distributed among its 40 urban areas. Germany has the second largest area covered by its urban areas of over one million people with a total of 3,687 square kilometers (1,423.56 square miles) distributed among its 16 urban areas.
The Aland Islands, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Iceland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, and the Vatican City do not have any urban areas with a population of over one million inhabitants.
Demographia. 2021. "Demographia World Urban Areas: 16th Annual Edition." Accessed March 9, 2021. http://demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf.