Don’t Get Cocky, Kid, You’re Small Potatoes

Tokyo: the world’s largest metropolis, at 37.2 million population.

It is a truism that in today’s globally competitive economy the critical unit of economic growth and development is the metropolitan region. The industry profile and workforce characteristics of a region exert as much influence, if not more, on its prosperity than national economic policies.

With that in mind, it is interesting to compare how metro regions around the world stack up in population size. A larger population creates a larger labor pool with more diverse skills, making the region, all other things being equal, more attractive to corporate investment.

So, how do Virginia’s largest regions stack up internationally? According to “Demographia’s World Urban Areas,” three Virginia regions make the list of world’s largest.

No. 72     Washington (4,825,000 inhabitants)
No. 318   Hampton Roads (1,466 inhabitants)
No. 466  Richmond (980,000 inhabitants)

It’s humbling to think that there are 465 metro regions in the world larger than my home town. The vast majority of the world’s inhabitants are no more likely to be aware of our existence than we are likely to have heard of  Zhuzhou, China (No. 464) or Aguascalientes, Mexico (No. 472). We are a small player indeed on the world stage.


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One response to “Don’t Get Cocky, Kid, You’re Small Potatoes”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    The US Census combines Baltimore and Washington. Demographia does not. I am not sure which approach is right or wrong. However, it makes a ranking difference.

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