Top 5 most populous cities of India

Each state of India has at least 1 big city where people from villages and small towns migrate to find employment or to increase their quality of life. Over time, the population of these cities increases. Also, the nearby towns from these big cities merge to form an urban area. In this article, we will look at the top 5 most populous cities of India. The list is based on the population numbers as per the 2011 census.

Note: The list will be updated as soon as the new census results come out. 2021 census is delayed due to the ongoing situation.

Top 5 most populous cities of India

  1. Mumbai
  2. Delhi
  3. Bangaluru
  4. Hyderabad
  5. Ahmedabad


Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai, the most populous city in India

Mumbai is the most populous city in India. Though, it is not very big (in terms of area as compared to other cities on this list). The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) covers an area of 438 square kilometers. The population of cities like Mumbai and Delhi will grow further as they receive migration from the whole of India. The population of Mumbai according to the 2011 census was 12.5 million (1.25 crores).


Delhi is the second-most populous city in India. The population in 2011 was 11 million (1.1 crores). The population now is however much more. Some estimations show that Delhi has surpassed Mumbai in terms of population numbers. We’ll have to wait for the new census results to confirm that.

Lotus temple in Delhi, the second most populous city in India

Delhi is the biggest city in terms of area and is administered by five different municipal corporations- North Delhi Municipal Corporation (covers 605 square kilometers), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (covers 656.91 square kilometers), New Delhi Municipal Council ( covers 42.7 square kilometers), East Delhi Municipal Corporation (covers 64 square kilometers) and Delhi Cantonment Board (covers 43.67 square kilometers).


Bengaluru - second biggest city in India

Coming at number three on this list is the capital of Karnataka. The city had a population of 8.5 million (85 lakhs) in 2011. Being a software and IT hub, the city provides numerous job opportunities, the reason for its population growth in the last few decades. Bangalore is administered by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike. It is also the second-biggest city in terms of area in India.


Another capital city on this list, Hyderabad is a growing IT hub. The city population was 6.9 million (69 lakhs) in 2011. The population now is expected to be over 10 million. Hyderabad is also the fourth-biggest city in terms of area.


Unlike other cities on this list, Ahmedabad or Amdavad is not a capital city. It was the capital of Gujarat from 1960 to 1970. Ahmedabad’s population was 5.6 million (56 lakhs) in 2011. Since it is one of the fastest-growing cities in India, the population should be much more now.

The top 5 list of most populous cities of India will most likely feature the above-mentioned five cities even after the 2021 census. The spots however might change.

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