By this measure, it is the biggest city in Europe and dwarfed only by the modern giants of Asia: Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing, or the sprawling North American metropolises of Los Angeles and New York.
The London metro area, at 8,382km2, is far smaller than any of these cities except Shanghai, and smaller than the World City average metro size of 17,521 km2. This means the London Metro is much more compact than most, and, contrary to popular belief, London’s population density is average for a world city across the entire functional area (see our article on Population Density, Myth and Reality).
The extent of commuting into London is great. Over one million workers commute into the centre from outside London every day, adding to London’s daytime population.
In addition to the commuting population, London’s daytime and overnight population is significantly increased by visitors to the capital. London has the largest number of overnight international visitors among any world city, 18.8 million last year. Between them, they spent US$19.3 billion in 2014-15.