Is Tokyo bigger than New York?

David Girones

Updated on:

Street of Tokyo at night

This type of question where we compare two cities is quite common, as an example Is Tokyo bigger than New York? Sometimes it is difficult to remember the population of each city or how the population has evolved since the last time we looked at the data. 

Tokyo and New York population

Population of Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital of Japan, according to the 2022 census provided by the Statistics Bureau of Japan has a population of 13,988,129 people.

Population of New York

In the case of New York, The Big Apple, the number of people living in the city according to the 2021 census is 8,804,190.

So if your question is:

How big is Tokyo compared to New York? 

Considering the population of each city, Tokyo is bigger than New York, according to 2022 census data.
Tokyo has 13.9 million people and New York has 8.8 million, so Tokyo has 5.1 million more people than New York.

Population trend of Tokyo and New York

According to the historical record, since 2000 the population of Tokyo has grown by 15.95% and the population of New York has grown by 8.48%.

Taking into consideration that the growth in population of Tokyo is bigger than New York, the difference in population will be growing in the long run.

Is Tokyo’s total land area bigger than New York?

Usually in a comparative question between two cities we want to know in which city lives more people. However, there is another unit of measurement that also refers to the size of the city and this is the total area.

In the case of the area comparison between Tokyo and New York, the total area of Tokyo is bigger than New York.

Tokyo has a total area of 847.14 sq mi (2,194.07 km²) and New York  has 300.46 sq mi (778.19 km²).

Which city has a higher population density? Tokyo or New York

There is a third metric that is often used to compare cities, which is based on the two data points we presented earlier: population and area.

Population density is obtained by dividing the number of individuals living within a specific location by the total area of the location. In our comparisons as a unit of area we use square miles and km².

If the question we are trying to solve is whether the population density is greater in Tokyo or New York, we must inform you that the population density is lower in Tokyo due to the high area of the city.

Tokyo Population Density

The density of Tokyo, the capital of Japan, is 16,512.18/sq mi (6,375.43/km²). 

Population Density of New York

The population density of New York is 29,302.42/sq mi (11,313.68/km²). 

Population density for both Tokyo and New York has been calculated using only land area, ignoring any water area belonging to the city.

Conclusion on which city is bigger Tokyo or New York

As we have been able to observe with the data provided in the comparison between both cities, Tokyo is a larger city than New York in terms of population.

On the other hand, in terms of total area Tokyo is also bigger than New York and if what we take into account is the population density, then we must indicate that the density of Tokyo is lower than New York.

Tokyo is the most populated “city” in Japan, and it is in the Top 10 cities by population in Asia. However, Tokyo is not the city with the biggest Area in Japan, Takayama with 2,177.61 square kilometers (840.78 sq mi) is the largest city by area in Japan. 

Technically Tokyo it can not be considered a city — it’s a prefecture formed by several “wards” (each with the status of city) however for our comparison we have used the term city all the time to refer to Tokyo.

Tokyo and New York are both the most populated cities of their countries, Japan and the United States, also both hold one of the seven World Major Marathons each year. They are amazing cities to explore. Both are well known, well connected and with great attractions to visit and  enjoy any time of the year.  

Other cities compared with New York or Tokyo

Sources Used:

All information regarding number of people and annual population growth is extracted from Statistics Bureau of Japan and United States Census Bureau databases.

The total area data of each city has been extracted from Wikipedia.

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric