Fact checks about gov't agencies

FALSE: Davao City is the largest city in the world

FALSE: Davao City is the largest city in the world
(UPDATED) Davao City is not the largest city in the world based on its land area and population
FALSE: Davao City is the largest city in the world
At a glance:
  • Claim: Davao City is the largest city in the world.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Davao City does not have the largest land area or population compared to other cities across the globe.
  • Why we fact-checked this: This claim was posted on the “Fact-checking in the Philippines” Facebook page for verification. As of writing, the post with this claim has 663 reactions, 969 comments, and 93 shares.
Complete details:

(UPDATED) Davao City is supposedly the largest city in the world, according to a post in a Facebook group called “Rody Duterte Solid.”

The post said that Davao Mayor Sara Duterte is an “Expert in managing the largest city of the world, Davao City.” It has 663 reactions, 970 comments, and 93 shares as of posting. This claim was posted on the “Fact-checking in the Philippines” Facebook group for verification.

The National Economic and Development Authority’s website also says that Davao City is “reputedly the largest city in the world.”

This claim is false. Davao City is not the largest city in the world, based on land area and population. It is, however, the biggest city in the Philippines based on land area.

The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metro region is the largest urban area by physical size. Tokyo, Japan is the largest city by population as of 2018.

Davao City has a land area of 2,443.61 square kilometers according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) 2015 census. The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region is 11,875.10 square kilometers.

Responding to Rappler’s request for comment via email, NEDA Regional Office XI acknowledged that Hanoi is bigger than Davao in physical size and said they would update their information accordingly. 

There are also cities in Asia that are bigger than Davao in physical size. In Southeast Asia, Hanoi City in Vietnam has a land area of 3,324.5 square kilometers, according to a 2017 United Nations report on sustainable transport in Hanoi. The 2019 Shanghai Statistical Yearbook says that Shanghai City in China has a land area of 6,340.50 square kilometers.

Some reports also use the term “largest cities” to refer to the cities with the largest populations in the world.

The PSA’s 2015 census recorded Davao City as having a population of 1,632,991. According to a report from the city government of Davao, this number is expected to grow to 1,748,279 in 2018.

These figures are still much lower than the populations of the most highly populated cities cited in a United Nations report called, “World Urbanization Prospects 2018.” The report ranked the world’s biggest cities according to population size and said that Tokyo in Japan is the world’s largest city because it has around 37 million inhabitants. – with reports from Margarita Gonzalez, Vernise Tantuco/Rappler.com

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