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Issue 974

TIDBITS® VISITS SOME OF THE WORLD’S

LARGEST CITIES

by Kathy Wolfe

A mega-city is defined as having a population of at least 10 million people. In 1990, the world had 10 such cities, and today there are 31. This week, Tidbits travels to a few of these urban areas to bring you up to date on the numbers.

• About 23% of the world’s population lives in cities greater than a million, with 7% living in mega-cities. Population is generally computed on the metropolitan area, rather than just the legal bounds of the city itself.

• China has seven mega-cities, including Shanghai, which is the world’s third-largest city. Beijing, also known as Peking, population 21.2 million, is home to the first Peking Duck restaurant, one that opened in the 1400s and is still in operation. Chengdu (14.4 million), Chongqing (13.7 million), Guangzhou (13.5 million), Shenzhen (12.9 million), and Tianjin (12.8 million), all contribute to China’s enormous population of 1,415,927,000 people. China’s population is over 18.5% of the total world population.

• The city of Moscow, the world’s 22nd largest city, was founded in 1147 by Prince Yuri Dolguruky under the Russian name of Moskva. Their millionth citizen was born in 1897. The city is home to the largest number of billionaires, 84 billionaires with a combined wealth of $367 billion. (New York City is second with 62.)

• Visit Moscow’s Red Square and you’ll see the Kremlin, the world’s largest medieval fortress, containing five palaces and four cathedrals. Construction began in the 1320s. The world’s largest bell, the Tsar Bell, is at the Kremlin, a 445,166-lb. bell that has never rung after being broken during construction in 1737. The world’s largest cannon is also at the Kremlin.

• About 100,000 of the city’s 12.3 million residents visit Moscow’s Gorky Park on a typical Saturday. Russia’s first McDonald’s restaurant opened in Moscow in 1990, and 30,000 people stood for hours to sample their first burger from the fast food chain.

• New York City has been the United States’ largest city since 1790. It’s America’s most densely-populated city, and 1 in every 38 Americans live there, about 5.7% of the nation’s population. One out of every 21 residents is a millionaire. Close to 20 million people live in the metro area. Manhattan was purchased from the Native Americans in 1626 for about $1,000 in today’s money. A Dutch trading post was founded there in 1624, and was named New Amsterdam. When the city came under British control 40 years later, King Charles II

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