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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which reasonably sized country, of say population 20 million plus, is most dominated economically, politically, socially etc by it's capital (or largest city)? Excluding city states which would obviously defeat the objective of the question.

I am thinking of when graduates instinctively move there after graduation, the majority of company headquarters are there, the national trends in media and arts are set from there, and the government is heavily centralised there.

Note I do not necessarily think it is a good thing (I am from the UK, an obvious contender, though I have nothing against London would like a more "multipolar" country). I wondered what people from other countries thought, is it a shame when nations with long standing regional strengths and identities get too heavily centralised?
 

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The UK and France are up there, for sure. Although France seems more at ease with Paris' dominance than many in the UK are with London's.
 

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How many of Russia's biggest companies are headquartered outside Moscow?

South Korea must also be a contender I think, Seoul seems way bigger and more important than the next cities.
 

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I'm not an expert on Russia by any means but while St. Petersburg is a perfectly decent city it still seems a long way behind Moscow and isn't that big for the second city of a nation of 145m.
 

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Actually in most countries below 180 million one big city acts as "the city" and swallows almost everything.

Which countries below 180 million population don't have a one cig city that dominates everything? The first ones I can think if are Germany, Spain, Canada, Australia, and Ukraine.

The countries that has single city with most domination are in my opinion:

South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea, Thailand, Greece, France, Chile, Cambodia, Laos, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Ireland and many more.
 

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Actually in most countries below 180 million one big city acts as "the city" and swallows almost everything.

Which countries below 180 million population don't have a one cig city that dominates everything? The first ones I can think if are Germany, Spain, Canada, Australia, and Ukraine.

Add Pakistan, Italy and South Africa too.
 

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VECTROTALENZIS said:
Actually in most countries below 180 million one big city acts as "the city" and swallows almost everything.

Which countries below 180 million population don't have a one cig city that dominates everything? The first ones I can think if are Germany, Spain, Canada, Australia, and Ukraine.
I wouldn't agree with that at all, even in countries with a dominant city it is very rare for that city to 'swallow almost everything' unless they are very small, much smaller than 180m.

There are plenty of countries that are not dominated by one city, in addition to your list you could easily add Italy, Nigeria, South Africa, Vietnam, UAE, Netherlands, Colombia, Morocco, Kazakhstan etc.

On the other hand Jakarta seems to be fairly (though not totally) dominant in Indonesia which has a very large population.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I would respectfully disagree vectro, I think it is not "default" for a country under 180m to fall into this category, and I did suggest we should only consider countries of 20m plus otherwise, admittedly there will be dozens of contenders.

Russia was the one I was going to suggest that stands out, considering the size of the country, that city has a hinterland stretching thousands of km.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys. I would respectfully disagree vectro, I think it is not "default" for a country under 180m to fall into this category, and I did suggest we should only consider countries of 20m plus otherwise, admittedly there will be dozens of contenders.

Russia was the one I was going to suggest that stands out, considering the size of the country, that city has a hinterland stretching thousands of km.
If 20+ mil, then check out S.Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, France, and Argentina.
 

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The Netherlands (≈ 17 million), though small, is pretty poly-centric. Amsterdam is clearly the largest and most cosmopolitan city, but next to it there are several other cities of (inter)national importance (mainly Rotterdam and The Hague, but Utrecht, Eindhoven and Groningen are interesting places too). O.t.o.h, with some fantasy, Rotterdam and The Hague could be considered as part of the greater Amsterdam metropolitan area as well. In which case we're a very centralized country.

edit: as for 'large' countries, NL is small in land area as well as in population count, but it's a top 20 economy so by that specific metric it counts as sort of large.
 

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Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, Congo, Thailand, South Korea, Myanmar, Uganda, Perú, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Taiwan.
 

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From the countries mentioned :

Japan - has another important metropolitan area (Osaka-Kyoto-Kobe) and you can arguably add Nagoya-Aichi region. Even if the Tokyo metropolitan area is by far the largest, economic activity is well-developed throughout the country and many globally known company have their headquarters in cities other than Tokyo.

South Korea - Around 1/4 of the Korean population lives in Seoul, and so do most headquarters, no other Korean cities is connected that well with transcontinental flights. Other parts of the country are poorer but well-developed but at the same time, way cheaper. Busan has developed itself a lot.

Thailand - I think this is the best examples. In Thailand if you want to be someone, you have to move to Bangkok. Chiang Mai does not even come close. Bangkok has over 7 million, while Chiang Mai barely over 1 million.
All the headquarters, good infrastructure, universities and basically opportunities are to be found there.
It is a city which seems to be "sucking" all the capable people, who end up and want to work there.
In this case it is much more dominant than London - a city which seems to attract foreigners way much more than the average British person. For example: many Europeans dream to go to London for a while at least, many British people don't see London with such benevolent eyes and if they end up there, they want to eventually leave the city after a couple of years.

UK - Many people do not realize it but there is life outside London, and post-industrial cities are increasingly more attractive after some hard decades.

Egypt is another good example. Egyptians do call Cairo "Misr" (Egypt in Arabic) which has the only subway, real international airport (touristic hubs do not count), huge economic activity, cultural activity, a big international community, an international cloud and name.
If someone wants to "succeed" in Egypt, he goes to Cairo - even if you are from the second biggest city, Alexandria with 5+ million.

Saudi Arabia has got Riyadh, but Jeddah is population-wise not myuch smaller and its economic activity is huge, with a long tradition of trade and of being "the gate" to Mecca and Medina.

Taiwan has got Taipei but Kaohsiung is not a small city, being the distance between both economically and population-wise not so big. Same as Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, so to speak :lol:

Argentina, the same as with Egypt/Cairo - being Alexandria= Rosario.

IMO, Thailand-Bangkok wins taking all categories into account, while Seoul wins for the concentration of the national population :D
 

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It seems like Mexico is pretty dominated by Mexico city, at least in the areas of importance and size. There are several cities in Mexico with populations of at least 1 million, and both Guadalajara and Monterrey are 4 million+...but Mexico city with more than 20 million really dwarfs them.

I'm not sure how Mexico City is viewed within Mexico or if people are drawn to it in order to become successful.
 

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I get the impression that Monterrey and maybe Guadalajara are just as rich as Mexico City, maybe more so, but just on a smaller scale. :dunno:
 

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I'd say Thailand. Greater Bangkok is something to the tune of 12 million people, while Chiang Mai just barely cracks a million.

For the Western Hemisphere, Buenos Aires dominates Argentina.
 
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