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5 Biggest Cities in the Southern Hemisphere
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May 5, 2019
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Jessica Scott
Jessica A. Scott has been a novelist and freelance writer for over 10 years. She loves travel and divides her time between her original hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and Saronno, Italy.
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Much of the world's population lives in the Northern Hemisphere. Just think about it: the countries with the highest populations are places like China, India, and the United States, all of which are located in the northern part of the world. Most of the inhabited continents are located there as well, leaving just a little more than 10 percent of the world's population living in the Southern Hemisphere. That being said, though, there are still some very big cities in the southern part of the world. Here is a list of the five biggest cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

Lima, Peru

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First on our list is a popular vacation destination (and UNESCO World Heritage Site): Lima, Peru. In 2019, the estimated population is around 10,554,712 people, all of which live in 43 districts within the metropolitan area. Each district has its own mayor, with one mayor who rules them all as the Mayor of Lima. Many residents are of foreign descent, and are of Italian and/or Spanish heritage.

Jakarta, Indonesia

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Located on the coast of Java, Jakarta is the largest city in Southeast Asia. At last count, the population was around 10,638,689 people. This population consists mostly of Javanese residents, native Jakartans, and Sudanese, but the city can also boast that it has the highest number of "overseas Chinese" residents in Indonesia. These Chinese immigrants make up around 5.53 percent of the city's population as of the census taken in the year 2000. The most popular religion here is Islam, with 86 percent of the population practicing it.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

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Kinshasa is the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as its largest city. Formerly known as Leopoldville, this city is located around 320 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and sits on the southern bank of the Congo River. This city is unique because it unites both traditional and modern African ways of life. It also sees a huge divide "between spectacular wealth and massive poverty," with many of its citizens struggling to make ends meet. Still though, this is a very important cultural center of Africa with an estimated population of around 11.58 million people in 2019.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Known the world over for its Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro is one of the most populated cities in the Southern Hemisphere, and the second largest in Brazil. It is one of the most-visited destinations in this part of the world, and has a population density of around 13,000 people per square mile, adding up to an estimated 11.6 million residents at the current time.

São Paulo, Brazil

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Coming in at number one on our list, Sao Paulo in Brazil is officially the biggest city in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the largest city in the Americas, and one of the "top 10 largest metropolitan areas in the world." In 2016, it had a population of 11,967,825, but this number has grown to an estimated 12 million-plus since 2018. Interestingly, this city is home to a large number of immigrants, with one of the most ethnically diverse populations in Brazil. Some of the ethnicities represented include Portuguese, Swiss, German and Italian, with many residents who can trace their family's origins in the country back to the 1850s, when African slave labor was outlawed and the city began hiring willing immigrants to work on the coffee plantations.