Microcities: Five of the World’s ‘Smallest’ Cities


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For the first time ever, the majority of the world’s population live in cities. But whilst Asian megacities get most of the column inches, what makes a city varies wildly. If you checked out yesterday’s list featuring five of the world’s ‘biggest’ cities, this post could be considered its antidote. Here’s five of the world’s ‘smallest’ cities:

St Asaph – the newest and second least-populated city in the UK

A few months ago, St Asaph was just an ordinary town in north Wales. However, with the Queen celebrating her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, she decided to assign city status to three UK towns. St Asaph got lucky, meaning all 3,500 residents can now consider themselves city-dwellers. Meanwhile, down in south Wales, St David’s remains the UK’s smallest city with just 1,800 residents.

Vatican City – the world’s smallest city-state by geographical area and population

Located in Rome, Vatican City is 0.17 square miles in size and has a population of only 800. Though Vatican City is a largely historic walled-enclave, it only became an independent city-state in 1929.

Maza – the former least populated city in the USA

At 8 square miles and a population of five (yes, five), Maza was both the least populated city in the USA and least densely populated city. The reason for the past tense is that, despite being founded way back in 1893, Maza’s city status was dissolved in 2002.

City of London – a city within a city

At 600 square miles and around 8 million residents, London is no microcity. But within London lies the City of London, otherwise known as the City or the Square Mile. Confused yet? During the Medieval period, the City of London was pretty much all of London, but as London grew the City of London’s boundaries remained the same, and to this day it still has city status in its own right.

Adamstown – the world’s least populated capital city

The Pitcairn Islands are located in the southern Pacific Ocean and have a population of only 48. That makes the islands the least-populated jurisdiction on the planet and home to the world’s least populated capital city, in which all 48 of the island’s residents live. Almost all residents descend from the crew of the HMS Bounty – a British merchant vessel that settled on the islands in 1790.

This Big City’s Megacities/Microcities series runs throughout May. 

Images courtesy of nerissa’s ring, National Assembly for Wales, ChrisYunker, afiler and garryknight on flickr, and Wikimedia Commons.

  • Hi

    This didnt help much but it gave me some new info

  • nika

    Useless. Smallest city in the world is Hum, located in Istria, Croatia.

    • http://www.thisbigcity.net/ Joe Peach

      Hi Nika. Hum is a town, not a city, and therefore didn’t make it into this list.

    • dih

      thank you so much 😉 you lieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    • someone

      huh maza has 5 inhabitants while hum has 16

    • Jon Meier

      Monowi, NE is the smallest possible city in the world, with a population of one. Actually, Monowi is one of many cities with a population of one.

  • Student

    actually the Uk smallest city is St Davids in Pembrokshire, Wales which is part of the UK.
    i am doing a case studie on St Davids for my Georgraph corsework

  • dih

    Yo mamas ass

  • nikita ward

    I thought tuam was the smallest cty in the world because of the high king of tuam lived there I learned it In school and have thought it to many of my past pupils omg plz tell me it is…………………………………………………………..

  • awsome girl

    i can not believe that maza only has 5 people every 8 miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#small