Just how big is our city … how many people are living here?
Well, that all depends.
The city itself is mapped out like a piece of lacework: there is the Municipality of Milan itself, being its historical center honoring the patron Saint Ambrogio; then the greater metropolitan city area, as represented by its antique district; and finally the so-called Grande Milano, consisting of smaller cities on its outskirts, extending into other provinces, into regions even – all remaining territories upon which Milan exercises an ever-determinant social-economic influence.
The Municipality of Milan
The Municipality of Milan currently has a population of 1,347,000 inhabitants, including those non-Italian (both Europeans and non-Europeans with residency permits). As far as Italy goes, Milano is the most populated of all after Rome. There are many European cities with a greater number of inhabitants, even if the comparisons, in this case, should be made including those metropolitan territories which represent a more appropriate level of government for large cities.
Nevertheless, the Municipality of Milan alone has a greater population than other members of the European Union. Yes, you have understood well: Milano has more inhabitants than two well-known islands (Cyprus and Malta), and two other North European countries (Estonia and Luxembourg).
The Metropolitan City
Let’s take a look at the numbers of the Metropolitan area of Milan. Here they zoom: the inhabitants reach 3,211,000. In this case also, our metropolitan areas are the most densely populated after those of Rome. We are in sixth place in the European Union.
Grouped together, the four member- states of the UE we spoke about before, comparing them with the Municipality of Milan – Cyprus, Malta, Estonia and Luxembourg – contain less inhabitants than the total number found in the greater Metropolitan Milanese area. In fact, it has a greater population than another three states of the European Union, considered singularly: the other two Baltic Republics (Lithuania and Latvia) and that ‘Switzerland of the Balkans’ (Slovenia).
Let’s dwell a bit on Great Milan. In this case, we are face to face with a true ‘metropolitan region’, comprising of entire portions of the Lombardy, Piedmont and Emilia Regions. The Great Milan urban area is the fourth greatest of the European Union, coming after London, Paris, and the conglomerate Rhine-Ruhr area (Cologne and other German cities). The population there, according to diverse estimates, oscillates from 7.5 to 8 plus million inhabitants. Rome has only half of this. Continuing instead with our comparison of European Union States, the urban Milan Region surpasses Finland, Denmark, Croatia, Slovakia and Bulgaria.
In conclusion: the development of the demographic components is not in itself a competition, but rather the representation of the due acknowledgment of one’s role in Italy, and hence, in the world.
Translated by Vincent Lombardo
Qui l’articolo in Italiano: Quanti abitanti ha Milano?