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.
|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)|
|7||Hamburg, Germany||1,734,083||2003 (estimate)|
|8||Warsaw, Poland||1,687,628||2005 (estimate)|
|9||Barcelona, Spain||1,582,738||2003 (estimate)|
|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)|
|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)|
|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)|
|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)|
|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)|
|57||Leeds, United Kingdom||443,247||2001|
|58||Sheffield, United Kingdom||439,866||2001|
|59||Edinburgh, United Kingdom||430,082||2001|
|61||Bristol, United Kingdom||420,556||2001|
|62||Szczecin, Poland||413,638||2005 (estimate)|
|64||Manchester, United Kingdom||394,269||2001|
|65||Murcia, Spain||391,146||2003 (estimate)|
|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)|
|76||Wuppertal, Germany||362,137||2003 (estimate)|
|77||Lublin, Poland||357,167||2005 (estimate)|
|78||Bilbao, Spain||353,567||2003 (estimate)|
|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:
- Bucharest 1,921,751 (Census 2002 data)
- Iasi 321,580
- Cluj-Napoca 318,027
- Timisoara 317,651
- Constanta 310,526
- Craiova 302,622
- Galati 298,584
- Brasov 283,901
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.
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.