World Cities Database

We're proud to offer a simple, accurate and up-to-date database of the world's cities and towns. We've built it from the ground up using authoritative sources such as the NGIA, US Geological Survey, US Census Bureau, and NASA.

Our database is:

  • Up-to-date: It was last refreshed in January of 2017.
  • Comprehensive: Over 3.9 million unique cities and towns from every country in the world.
  • Accurate: Cleaned and aggregated from official sources. Includes latitude and longitude coordinates.
  • Simple: A single CSV file, concise field names, only one entry per city.

Databases

BasicComprehensive
Commercial useAllowedAllowed
File formatCSVCSV
Type of citiesProminent cities (large, capitals etc.)All cities and towns
Number of entriesAbout 7,300About 3.9 million
Data last updated20152017
Future updatesNot guaranteedIncluded for 12 months
LicenseMITPermissive, no redistribution
Refund policyN/A30-day guarantee
One-time feeFree$199
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Sample Preview

Here is a sample of rows from the comprehensive database:

Due to space constraints, not all fields are shown. For an exact representation, download this sample (Excel, CSV) of France.


All Fields

fieldnamedescriptionBasicComp.
city The name of the city/town as a Unicode string (e.g. Bogotá)
city_ascii city as an ASCII string (e.g. Bogota). Left blank if ASCII representation is not possible.
lat The latitude of the city/town.
lng The longitude of the city/town.
country The name of the city/town's country.
iso2 The alpha-2 iso code of the country.
iso3 The alpha-3 iso code of the country.
admin The name of the highest level administration region of the city town (e.g. a US state or Canadian province).
admin_code The six-character iso code for the admin.
admin_type A description of the admin. (e.g. province, state, municipal district etc.)
capital Blank string if not a capital, otherwise:
primary - country's capital
admin - first-level admin capital
minor - lower-level admin capital
density An estimate of the population per square kilometer at the lat/lng. Derived from 2015 data.
population An estimate of the city's population. Only available for some (prominent) cities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What counts as a city/town?

Any populated place in the world as determined by U.S. government agencies.

Were does your data come from?

Cities for all non-U.S. countries comes from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. US cities data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Geological Survey. The basic database and population data comes from Natural Earth Data. Population density data comes from the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University in partnership with NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center. We've made a concerted effort to source our data from public-domain and permissively-licensed sources that will not restrict the rights of our customers.

How do you address border conflicts and territorial disputes?

We simply use the determination of our sources: U.S. government agencies.

Since most of this data is in the public-domain, what value are you adding?

We've spent countless hours: downloading, merging, cleaning, formatting, and aggregating this data into an accurate and concise product.

What am I allowed to do if I purchase the Comprehensive Database license?

A license allows you to use the database internally or to query the database for public-facing applications that you or your organization owns or develops. Attribution is not required. You are not allowed to publicly redistribute the database without prior permission. You can make copies of the database for internal and backup purposes. To learn more, read the full license terms.

Why should I trust this data?

This database was aggregated from authoritative sources and carefully processed by SimpleMaps. We've been developing and selling interactive maps to Fortune 500 companies and prominent international organizations for over 7 years. Over this time, we've learned a lot about geographic data. To get a sense of the expertise and support we offer, check out some of the testimonials from our happy customers.

How do I calculate the distance between two cities?

We've published free formulas in popular programming languages. Check them out.

Can I get the Comprehensive Database in a Excel, JSON or SQL format?

Yes, please contact us upon purchase and we can send you the data in one of these formats.

Can I extend updates beyond 12 months?

Yes, you can purchase 12 additional months of updates for $99. Contact us for details.

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