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Up in the Clouds: The World’s Highest Cities

by Katharina Buchholz

The El Alto-La Paz metropolitan region in Bolivia is the world’s highest urban center with over a million inhabitants. Situated approximately 3,900 meters (12,700 feet) above sea level, the Andean location of the country’s capital places it roughly 100 meters/330 feet above the tip of Mt. Fuji in Japan.

Ecuadorian capital Quito comes second on the list at 2,800 meters (9,100 feet). All of the top ten highest cities in the world are located above the 2,000-meter/7,000-feet mark, as the data from Visual Capitalist shows. The only metropolitan regions at these heights outside the American continents are Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Xining in China and Sana’a in Yemen. The highest European metropolis is Sofia at almost 600 meters (2,000 feet) while the United States’ highest cities with a million inhabitants is Denver at 1,600 meters (5,280 feet).

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