Boston Plus Atlanta Almost Equals Dongguan

A blog about politics, sports, media, stuff
May 28 2010 10:53 AM

Boston Plus Atlanta Almost Equals Dongguan

One of the many ways in which China is stunningly big is this: it is full of cities that most people outside of China have never heard of, and each of those cities has twice or three times or four times as many people in it as the cities you think are big cities in your non-China countries.

This infographic from starts to get at it, listing 60 Chinese cities (including cities in the Republic of China) with populations over 1 million. Nanchang, Jinan, Changzhou—more than 2 million people apiece.


If anything, the graphic undersells the size of the size of the Chinese cities. The population figures are official numbers, and they apply only to the "urban area," meaning "the lighted area that can be observed from an airplane at night." So New York, rather than getting its usual 8.3 million , is granted a chunk of the East Coast megalopolis that covers 21.3 million people.

But just because Montclair, NJ, has more light bulbs than its Chinese suburban equivalent doesn't mean there aren't a few hundred thousand farmers going uncounted in the dark on the Chinese side. Nor does the graphic include the migrant workers who are living in each of these cities by the millions, while still counting as rural dwellers in the census—basically an uncounted Miami, if not a New York, attached to the official population.

Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

There Are New Abuse Allegations Against Adrian Peterson

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter


Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police

The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police
  News & Politics
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.