How big is Beijing?

January 29, 2010 | Posted by Chris

Overlooking the entire city of Beijing, above, from the top of Fragrant Mountain.

The municipality of Beijing consists of 16 districts and has a population of over 17 million people, and the urban area is home to about 13 million. This makes it the 9th most populous city in the world.

In terms of land size, the municipality of Beijing is 6,489 square miles, just smaller than the New York metropolitan area, which is 6,720 square miles.

With no natural boundaries to contain it, the city itself is sprawling. Locals often describe Beijing using an expression for "boundless" -- wúbiānwújì or 无边无际.

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