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Largest cities of the European Union by population

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 cities and towns as opposed to the metropolitan areas.

In some cases, the list of Largest urban areas of the European Union gives figures that better reflect common understanding of the different cities' sizes as the metropolitan areas include also non-urban and suburban areas and administrative borders for cities often cut across the urban 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. This list includes only official information from those agencies.

Table of contents

Top 100 cities

National capitals are in bold.

Rank City/Country Population Census year
1 London, United Kingdom 7,172,091 2001
2 Berlin, Germany 3,388,477 2003 (estimate)
3 Madrid, Spain 3,092,759 2003 (estimate)
4 Rome, Italy 2,542,003 2004 (estimate, January 1)
5 Paris, France 2,125,246 1999
6 Budapest, Hungary 1,775,203 2001
7 Hamburg, Germany 1,734,083 2003 (estimate)
8 Warsaw, Poland 1,687,628 2005 (estimate)
9 Barcelona, Spain 1,582,738 2003 (estimate)
10 Vienna, Austria 1,550,123 2001
11 Milan, Italy 1,271,898 2004 (estimate, January 1)
12 Munich, Germany 1,247,873 2003 (estimate)
13 Prague, Czech Republic 1,165,581 2004 (estimate)
14 Naples, Italy 1,000,499 2004 (estimate, January 1)
15 Birmingham, United Kingdom 970,892 2001
16 Cologne, Germany 965,954 2003 (estimate)
17 Turin, Italy 867,857 2004 (estimate, January 1)
18 Marseille, France 798,430 1999
19 Valencia, Spain 780,653 2003 (estimate)
20 Lodz, Poland 768,901 2005 (estimate)
21 Stockholm, Sweden 765,582 2004 (estimate, November 1)
22 Krakow, Poland 760,343 2005 (estimate)
23 Riga, Latvia 747,157 2002 (estimate)
24 Athens, Greece 745,514 2001
25 Amsterdam, Netherlands 735,080 2003 (estimate)
26 Sevilla, Spain 709,975 2003 (estimate)
27 Palermo, Italy 679,730 2004 (estimate, January 1)
28 Frankfurt, Germany 643,432 2003 (estimate)
29 Wroclaw, Poland 637,162 2005 (estimate)
30 Glasgow, United Kingdom 629,501 2001
31 Zaragoza, Spain 626,081 2003 (estimate)
32 Genoa, Italy 601,338 2004 (estimate, January 1)
33 Rotterdam, Netherlands 599,472 2003 (estimate)
34 Dortmund, Germany 589,661 2003 (estimate)
35 Essen, Germany 589,499 2003 (estimate)
36 Stuttgart, Germany 589,161 2003 (estimate)
37 Poznan, Poland 573,039 2005 (estimate)
38 Düsseldorf, Germany 572,511 2003 (estimate)
39 Lisbon, Portugal 564,657 2001
40 Helsinki, Finland 559,330 2003 (estimate)
41 Vilnius, Lithuania 553,283 2003 (estimate)
42 Malaga, Spain 547,105 2003 (estimate)
43 Bremen, Germany 544,853 2003 (estimate)
44 Hannover, Germany 516,160 2003 (estimate)
45 Duisburg, Germany 506,496 2003 (estimate)
46 Copenhagen, Denmark 501,285 2003 (estimate)
47 Leipzig, Germany 497,531 2003 (estimate)
48 Dublin, Ireland 495,781 2002
49 Nurnberg, Germany 493,553 2003 (estimate)
50 Dresden, Germany 483,632 2003 (estimate)
51 Göteborg, Sweden 481,523 2004 (estimate, November 1)
52 Liverpool, United Kingdom 469,017 2001
53 The Hague, Netherlands 463,841 2003 (estimate)
54 Gdańsk, Poland 457,404 2005 (estimate)
55 Antwerp, Belgium 455,148 2004 (estimate)
56 Lyon, France 445,452 1999
57 Leeds, United Kingdom 443,247 2001
58 Sheffield, United Kingdom 439,866 2001
59 Edinburgh, United Kingdom 430,082 2001
60 Bratislava, Slovakia 428,672 2001
61 Bristol, United Kingdom 420,556 2001
62 Szczecin, Poland 413,638 2005 (estimate)
63 Tallinn, Estonia 400,378 2000
64 Manchester, United Kingdom 394,269 2001
65 Murcia, Spain 391,146 2003 (estimate)
66 Toulouse, France 390,350 1999
67 Bochum, Germany 387,283 2003 (estimate)
68 Las Palmas, Spain 377,600 2003 (estimate)
69 Kaunas, Lithuania 373,669 2003 (estimate)
70 Bologna, Italy 373,539 2004 (estimate, January 1)
71 Brno, Czech Republic 369,559 2004 (estimate)
72 Bydgoszcz, Poland 368,845 2005 (estimate)
73 Palma de Mallorca, Spain 367,277 2003 (estimate)
74 Florence, Italy 367,259 2004 (estimate, January 1)
75 Thessaloniki, Greece 363,987 2001
76 Wuppertal, Germany 362,137 2003 (estimate)
77 Lublin, Poland 357,167 2005 (estimate)
78 Bilbao, Spain 353,567 2003 (estimate)
79 Nice, France 342,738 1999
80 Leicester, United Kingdom 330,574 2001
81 Bielefeld, Germany 328,452 2003 (estimate)
82 Valladolid, Spain 321,143 2003 (estimate)
83 Córdoba, Spain 318,628 2003 (estimate)
84 Katowice, Poland 318,588 2005 (estimate)
85 Bari, Italy 314,166 2004 (estimate, January 1)
86 Ostrava, Czech Republic 313,088 2003 (estimate)
87 Bonn, Germany 311,052 2003 (estimate)
88 Mannheim, Germany 308,353 2003 (estimate)
89 Catania, Italy 307,774 2004 (estimate, January 1)
90 Alicante, Spain 305,911 2003 (estimate)
91 Coventry, United Kingdom 303,475 2001
92 Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom 301,416 2001
93 Bialystok, Poland 294,072 2005 (estimate)
94 Bradford, United Kingdom 293,717 2001
95 Vigo, Spain 292,566 2003 (estimate)
96 Cardiff, United Kingdom 292,150 2002
97 Arhus, Denmark 291,258 2003 (estimate)
98 Karlsruhe, Germany 282,595 2003 (estimate)
99 Belfast, United Kingdom 277,391 2001
100 Gelsenkirchen, Germany 272,445 2001 (estimate)

Other notable cities

  • Brussels – the capital city of both Belgium and the European Union is nowhere near the top 100 list, as the municipality has a total population of only 141,312 (Census estimate 2004). The greater Brussels-Capital Region has a population of almost 1 million, which would place it 15th on this list.
  • Bordeaux, France – not on the list because the large majority of people in Bordeaux Metropolitan Area live in the suburbs, outside of the city limits of Bordeaux.
  • 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).
  • Nicosia – the capital of Cyprus has a population of 47,832 ( Census 2001).
  • Nottingham, United Kingdom – the famous English city lost over 20,000 of its inhabitants between 1991 and 2001.
  • 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 of around 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 ).

Cities likely to enter the top 100 in the near future

  • L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain – the EU's biggest suburb currently has a total population of 246,415 and growing. The Catalan city is likely to enter the top 100 within five years.
  • Malmö, Sweden – with a total population of 268,971 (2004) and a fast and steady growth the 3rd largest Swedish city is virtually assured to be on the top 100 list within one year.
  • Nantes, France – this city is already 103rd on the list and given its healthy gains of population is likely to enter the top 100 in less than two years. Nantes attractive business climate and low crime rate encourages a further growth of the city.
  • Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain – this city on the Canary Islands had a net gain of population of 31,545 between 2001 and 2003 according to Spanish Census estimates. This gain is due to a large influx of population from other EU countries. Currently the city has a total population of 220,022 but with such growth the city is likely to crack the top 100 within five years.
  • Utrecht, Netherlands – on its way to become of the 100 largest cities of the EU. With a total population of 265,107 and steady growth Utrecht is assured to make the list within two years.

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 – a rather uncertain political climate in Northern Ireland is probably behind the net loss of population in Belfast.
  • Bochum, Gelsenkirchen and Wuppertal, Germany – these three industrial cities in the Rhine-Ruhr area had a declining population for many years and looking at the current demographic tendency it is all but certain that all of them will disappear from the top 100 list in the near future.
  • Katowice, Poland – this industrial city loses its population quickly. In three years the city is unlikely to figure among the 100 largest EU cities.
  • Kingston upon Hull, United Kingdom – yet another industrial city with large loss of population in recent year.

Future member countries

Bulgaria and Romania are scheduled to become members of the European Union in 2007. The cities that would currently make the top 100 from these countries are:

Romania

All of these cities registered massive losses of population and it is possible that not a single one from this list except Bucharest will make the top 100 in 2007.

Bulgaria

Unlike Romania, major Bulgarian cities tend to register little change with regards to their population. Between 2002 and 1999 Sofia and Plovdiv lost and Varna gained a couple of thousand of residents.








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