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Ranked: The World’s Fastest Growing Cities



Fastest growing cities

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Ranked: The World’s Fastest Growing Cities

By 2025, the world’s population will reach over 8.1 billion people.

Most of that population growth will be concentrated in cities across Africa and Asia. To help paint a detailed picture, this map uses data from the United Nations to rank the top 20 fastest growing cities in the world in terms of average annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025.

Full Speed Ahead

The majority of the world’s fastest growing cities are located in Africa—in fact, 17 of the 20 are located on the continent, with four of the 20 cities being located in Nigeria specifically.

Population growth is booming across the entire continent, as many countries retain high birth rates. According to the World Bank, the 2019 fertility rate (births per woman) in Sub-Saharan Africa was 4.6, compared to the global fertility rate of 2.4.

CityCountryContinentAnnual Growth (2020-2025p)
Gwagwalada🇳🇬 NigeriaAfrica6.46%
Kabinda🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of CongoAfrica6.37%
Rupganj🇧🇩 BangladeshAsia6.36%
Lokoja🇳🇬 NigeriaAfrica5.93%
Uige🇦🇴 AngolaAfrica5.92%
Bujumbura🇧🇮 BurundiAfrica5.75%
Songea🇹🇿 TanzaniaAfrica5.74%
Xiongan🇨🇳 ChinaAsia5.69%
Potiskum🇳🇬 NigeriaAfrica5.65%
Bunia🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of CongoAfrica5.63%
Tete🇲🇿 MozambiqueAfrica5.56%
Cuito🇦🇴 AngolaAfrica5.48%
Hosur🇮🇳 IndiaAsia5.38%
Abomey-Calavi🇧🇯 BeninAfrica5.27%
Nnewi🇳🇬 NigeriaAfrica5.18%
Malanje🇦🇴 AngolaAfrica5.17%
Mbouda🇨🇲 CameroonAfrica5.16%
Quelimane🇲🇿 MozambiqueAfrica5.14%
Kampala🇺🇬 UgandaAfrica5.14%
Goma🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of CongoAfrica5.14%

Nigeria’s economy is largely based on petroleum which has resulted in the country becoming one of the strongest economies in Africa. This, coupled with a high birth rate and a resulting young population, has given the country a strong and rising workforce.

However, the population growth in Nigeria is both a blessing and a curse. The success of the economy, among other factors, has resulted in excessive rural-to-urban migration. This mass exodus from rural areas has led to less farming, which means the country now needs to import basic food staples at a high cost.

In Mozambique, Tete and Quelimane are growing 5.56% and 5.14% respectively. The country is expected to experience strong economic growth after facing contractions due to the pandemic. Forecasts predict that the Mozambiques’s economy will grow 4% by 2022.

Implications of Fast Growth

All of the top 20 fastest growing cities are located in either Africa or Asia, and they are far outpacing growth on other continents, such as Europe, for example.

Fastest Growing Cities: Europe vs. Global

Europe's Fastest Growing CitiesGrowth RateWorld's Fastest Growing CitiesGrowth Rate
🇷🇺 Balashikha, Russia2.01%🇳🇬 Gwagwalada6.46%
🇷🇺 Tyumen, Russia 1.88%🇨🇩 Kabinda6.37%
🇦🇱 Tiranë (Tirana), Albania1.63%🇧🇩 Rupganj6.36%
🇳🇴 Oslo, Norway 1.38%🇳🇬 Lokoja5.93%
🇷🇺 Sochi, Russia1.33%🇦🇴 Uige5.92%
🇬🇧 Coventry-Bedworth, UK1.32%🇧🇮 Bujumbura5.75%
🇸🇪 Stockholm, Sweden1.25%🇹🇿 Songea5.74%
🇨🇭 Lausanne, Switzerland1.23%🇨🇳 Xiongan5.69%
🇷🇺 Krasnodar, Russia1.22%🇳🇬 Potiskum5.65%
🇷🇺 Surgut, Russia1.17%🇨🇩 Bunia5.63%
🇷🇺 Podolsk, Russia1.16%🇲🇿 Tete5.56%
🇮🇪 Dublin, Ireland1.12%🇦🇴 Cuito5.48%
🇬🇧 London, UK1.12%🇮🇳 Hosur5.38%
🇳🇱 Utrecht, Netherlands1.11%🇧🇯 Abomey-Calavi5.27%
🇸🇪 Göteborg, Sweden1.07%🇳🇬 Nnewi5.18%
🇫🇷 Toulouse, France1.07%🇦🇴 Malanje5.17%
🇸🇪 Malmö, Sweden1.05%🇨🇲 Mbouda5.16%
🇫🇷 Montpellier, France1.04%🇲🇿 Quelimane5.14%
🇫🇷 Bordeaux, France0.99%🇺🇬 Kampala5.14%
🇨🇭 Genève, Switzerland0.99%🇨🇩 Goma5.14%

By 2050, Sub-Saharan Africa will be home to close to 2 billion people and roughly half will be under the age of 25. This represents an enormous labor force and opportunities for innovation and growth. In fact, in navigating the pandemic, Africa is already starting to capitalize on digital advances in both traditional and new sectors.

China has its eye on Africa, as evidenced through their multiple investments in infrastructure projects in the continent. Additionally, NATO countries have recently committed to investing similar amounts in Africa to counter China’s influence.

In spite of the economic potential, increased city sizes could be problematic for some of these countries. They will need to adapt to the issues associated with mass urbanization, like pollution, overcrowding, and high costs of living.

Changing Tides

Population booms can lead to massive economic growth, a larger (and younger) working population, and a growing domestic consumer market.

As the aforementioned cities continue their rapid expansion, and as people continue to flock to growing megacities in Africa and Asia, it could represent the beginning of an important economic shift that is worth keeping an eye on.

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Mapped: U.S. States By Number of Cities Over 250,000 Residents

Eighteen U.S. States don’t have a single incorporated area with more than 250,000 people.



A cropped map showing the number of cities with 250,000+ residents in each U.S. state.

Mapped: U.S. States By Number of Cities Over 250K Residents

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Over 80% of the American population lives in an “urban area” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But where are all of the country’s largest cities, and what patterns can we see from their state locations?

This map shows U.S. states by their number of incorporated areas (i.e. cities or towns) that have more than 250,000 residents. Data for this map comes from 2024 estimates made by World Population Review, which were based on the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures.

ℹ️ An incorporated area is a legally recognized region with its own local government, empowered to enact and enforce laws within its boundaries, often including cities, towns, or villages.

Ranked: U.S. States By Number of Cities Over 250K Residents

California and Texas—also the most populous U.S. states—each have more than 10 cities with at least a quarter of a million inhabitants.

StateCities With 250K
City Names
California15Los Angeles, San
Diego, San Jose,
San Francisco,
Fresno, Sacramento,
Long Beach, Oakland,
Bakersfield, Anaheim,
Riverside, Stockton,
Irvine, Santa Ana,
Chula Visa
Texas12Houston, San
Antonio, Dallas,
Fort Worth, Austin,
El Paso, Arlington,
Corpus Christi, Plano,
Lubbock, Laredo,
Arizona6Phoenix, Tucson,
Mesa, Chandler,
Gilbert, Glendale
Florida6Jacksonville, Miami,
Tampa, Orlando,
St. Petersburg,
Port St. Lucie
North Carolina5Charlotte, Raleigh,
Greensboro, Durham,
Ohio4Columbus, Cleveland,
Cincinnati, Toledo
Nevada4Las Vegas, Henderson,
North Las Vegas,
Colorado3Denver, Colorado
Springs, Aurora
Tennessee2Nashville, Memphis
New York2New York, Buffalo
Pennsylvania2Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
Fort Wayne
Oklahoma2Oklahoma City, Tulsa
County, Lexington
Wisconsin2Milwaukee, Madison
Missouri2Kansas City, St. Louis
Nebraska2Omaha, Lincoln
Virginia2Virginia Beach,
Minnesota2Minneapolis, St. Paul
New Jersey2Newark, Jersey City
District of Columbia1Washington D.C.
New Mexico1Albuquerque
Louisiana1New Orleans

Two other warm weather states, Arizona and Florida, also have a number of cities with 250,000 or more residents, at six each.

Eighteen U.S. states in total—including South Carolina, Alabama, and Utah to name a few—have no single incorporated area with 250,000 or more residents.

Cities, Towns, and Metro Areas

Like with all population data, definitions tend to play a big role in what is considered a city. In general parlance, built-up population centers are often thought of cities. However, an urban area can have a relatively big population and be incorporated as a town, as in the case of Gilbert, Arizona, which is included in the above map.

Separately, a collection of incorporated villages can be collectively referred to as a town, such as in the case of Hempstead, New York. Hempstead is an incorporated village with only 60,000 people, however it also lends its name to the wider town (an amalgamation of 22 villages and 38 hamlets) which has nearly 800,000 inhabitants. Three other New York towns listed below thus do not make the map for similar reasons.

HempsteadNew York779,916
BrookhavenNew York483,351
IslipNew York333,322
Oyster BayNew York293,812

Source: World Population Review.

On the other hand, major hubs like Los Angeles often have a central city and surrounding suburbs, which are their own distinct incorporated cities as well. These are often counted as one major metropolitan region, but are still, technically separate cities. This leads to interesting results in the final count.

For example, in Arizona’s case, five of the six cities listed all belong to the greater Phoenix Metropolitan region.

Meanwhile, Nevada has two main population centers: Las Vegas and Reno. However two of Las Vegas’ suburbs, Henderson and North Las Vegas, are separately incorporated, and each have populations that crack the 250,000 mark.

Conversely, in South Carolina, there are no cities listed, despite having a state population of 5.3 million. The state’s urban areas are divided up in such a way that none of them (including the central cities of Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville) end up passing 250,000 in population.

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