These are the largest cities in Mexico


By built-up area, by extension, and by population density, these are the largest urban areas in the country.

When it comes to measuring the extent of cities to determine which is the largest, problems arise regarding what should be considered for the calculation, as a larger extension does not necessarily mean a larger population or more square kilometers of construction, since buildings also grow vertically. There is even difficulty in determining when an urban area ends or whether political boundaries should be considered, which can be interstate, such as La Laguna in Coahuila and Durango or the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico in Mexico City, the State of Mexico, and Hidalgo; or international, like Tijuana-San Diego and Ciudad Juárez-El Paso.

These variants make any measurement inevitably imprecise. However, there are efforts by specialists and organizations to clarify the panorama, with the purpose of providing data that allow better planning, evaluation, and monitoring of urban development in the world. One such effort is made by the site Demographia, supported by Wendell Cox Consultancy, dedicated to the analysis of urban policies.

Each year, Demographia publishes a study that ranks the thousand largest cities in the world according to criteria of the largest built-up urban area, the largest urban area by territorial extension, and the largest urban area by population density. Their data are relevant and help answer the question: What are the largest cities in Mexico?

The largest cities in the country, taking into account the built-up areas in continuity, without rural spaces and functioning as an integrated economic unit, in a more visual way, the illuminated area that can be observed from an airplane or a satellite, are:

1. Mexico City

The capital of the country has 21 million 905 thousand inhabitants and a construction of 2 thousand 530 square kilometers, with a density of 8 thousand 657 people per square kilometer. In this classification, it is the tenth largest city in the world.

2. Monterrey

It is estimated that 4 million 674 thousand people live in the capital of Nuevo León, with a density of 3 thousand 736 per square kilometer. Its construction covers one thousand 251 square kilometers. It is the 108th largest in the world.

3. Guadalajara

The capital of Jalisco is the third largest in Mexico and the 118th in the world. It has approximately 4 million 401 thousand inhabitants and 816 kilometers of construction. Its density is 5 thousand 394 people per square kilometer.

There is a consensus on which are the three largest cities in Mexico, but it is from the fourth place that Demographia’s data help to clarify the national panorama in this category.

4. Puebla

2 million 106 thousand inhabitants and 445 kilometers of construction.

5. Tijuana

One million 712 thousand inhabitants and 414 kilometers of construction.

6. Toluca

One million 672 thousand inhabitants and 433 kilometers of construction.

7. León

One million 568 thousand inhabitants and 368 kilometers of construction.

8. Torreón

One million 289 thousand inhabitants and 254 kilometers of construction.

9. Ciudad Juárez

One million 252 thousand inhabitants and 373 kilometers of construction.

10. Querétaro

One million 037 thousand inhabitants and 363 kilometers of construction.

Regarding the urban area by territorial extension, the list changes slightly:

Mexico City







Ciudad Juárez



If the urban area by population density is considered, there are surprises, as from the previous lists only Mexico, Guadalajara, Torreón, and Puebla remain, entering the ranking some that many would not have imagined:

Mexico City






San Luis Potosí



Tuxtla Gutiérrez

“It’s curious that, if this criterion is considered, the largest urban area in the world is Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia; Mexico City drops to 211th place and Guadalajara to 413th.”

Source: El Informador