Let us ask a question here: “Which city in the world has the most skyscrapers?”. This will be our goal to answer today. We often think of skyscrapers in a more individual capacity, but when it comes to cities with the most skyscrapers, we don’t often think about it because not many of us think about the quantity of skyscrapers when we could think about which happen to be taller than the rest. The tallest skyscrapers in the world are known by where they are located, but not how many there are in total in a region. So, let’s have a look at the ten cities with the most skyscrapers in the world.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Cities With the Most Skyscrapers
- 1.1 Hong Kong (655 Skyscrapers) in China
- 1.2 Shenzhen (526 Skyscrapers) in China
- 1.3 New York City (425 Skyscrapers) in the United States
- 1.4 Dubai (398 Skyscrapers) in the United Arab Emirates
- 1.5 Guangzhou (254 Skyscrapers) in China
- 1.6 Shanghai (250 Skyscrapers) in China
- 1.7 Kuala Lumpur (215 Skyscrapers) in Malaysia
- 1.8 Chongqing (206 Skyscrapers) in China
- 1.9 Tokyo (203 Skyscrapers) in Japan
- 1.10 Wuhan (201 Skyscrapers) in the United States
- 2 The Country With More Skyscrapers Than Any Other
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
The Cities With the Most Skyscrapers
|City||Country||Number of Skyscrapers|
|3||New York City|
|United Arab Emirates||398|
Which city in the world has the most skyscrapers? That is an interesting question to pose and one that we will attempt to explore today. However, before looking at skyscrapers by city, let’s first ask a different question: “What defines a skyscraper?”. We all know that a skyscraper is a tall building, but that does not actually encompass the definition of the term. A skyscraper, in more definitive terms, is generally seen as something that is at least 40 floors in height and taller than 150 m (or 492 ft). Another of the central aspects of the definition of a skyscraper is that it has to be continuously habitable. This means that you can’t claim that massive radio antennas are skyscrapers.
They may often be taller than skyscrapers, but they don’t count.
The definition of a skyscraper actually changed, because, in the late-19th century, it referred to anything with ten to twenty floors. However, we usually classify those under the more nebulous term “high-rise buildings”, and do not count them as skyscrapers. This is because modern technology allows us to construct far taller structures than we had ever been able to in the past.
Before we get started on the list, something important should be noted. It should be taken into account that the list below is not one that is necessarily definitive as new structures are constantly under construction, and so the items on this list will not necessarily last forever. These numbers will continue to grow, and so these are only the number of skyscrapers by city that exist at the time of writing. However, it can be reasonably expected that these locations will retain their status as the cities with the most skyscrapers in the world. So, let’s get started.
Hong Kong (655 Skyscrapers) in China
|Number of Skyscrapers||655|
|Tallest Skyscraper||International Commerce Center (2002 – 2010)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||484 m (or 1,588 ft)|
Hong Kong is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited regions of China, and there has been more formal settlement in the region for thousands of years. The city is often considered to be one of those that is counted among the most developed cities on the planet and includes over 7,000 high-rise buildings. Hong Kong has also had a long relationship with the international community due to British colonialism and later partial independence as a city-state.
Shenzhen (526 Skyscrapers) in China
|Number of Skyscrapers||526|
|Tallest Skyscraper||Ping An Finance Center (2010 – 2017)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||599.1 m (or 1,966 ft)|
Shenzhen started to truly boom in terms of high-rise building construction in the late 1970s when the first five-story building was constructed. From there, the city started to rapidly develop, and more and more high-rise structures were constructed. The tallest building in the metropolis is the Ping An Finance Center at 599 m (or 1,965 ft). The height of this massive building makes it one of the tallest that currently exists in the world.
New York City (425 Skyscrapers) in the United States
|Number of Skyscrapers||415|
|Tallest Skyscraper||One World Trade Center (2006 – 2013)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||541.3 m (or 1,776 ft)|
New York City is one of the most famous cities in the world, and it has a long history of constructing the tallest buildings in the world. In terms of cities with the most skyscrapers, it ranks highly but has fallen below some of its Chinese rivals in this department. From the Chrysler Building to the Empire State Building, New York City has a rich history in the tallest buildings in the world, but it has lost its crown to others in terms of the tallest building and the city with the most skyscrapers.
Dubai (398 Skyscrapers) in the United Arab Emirates
|Number of Skyscrapers||398|
|Tallest Skyscraper||Burj Khalifa (2004 – 2009)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||829.8 m (or 2,722 ft)|
Dubai is one of the most rapidly developed cities to have ever existed, and throughout much of its history, it was a small fishing village. It eventually started to develop into a commercial powerhouse on the world stage and has now become one of the cities with the most skyscrapers in the world. Dubai will likely continue to be a juggernaut of international finance and culture well into the future.
Guangzhou (254 Skyscrapers) in China
|Number of Skyscrapers||254|
|Tallest Skyscraper||Guangzhou CTF Finance Center (2010 – 2016)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||530 m (or 1,739 ft)|
Guangzhou is one of the most populous cities in the province of Guangdong, and an important site throughout the history of the Chinese nation. It was a major part of the Silk Road throughout its history, and it has developed as a consequence into one of the cities with the most skyscrapers. The tallest in the city, the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, is 530 m (or 1,740 ft), and this makes it one of the tallest in the world.
Shanghai (250 Skyscrapers) in China
|Number of Skyscrapers||250|
|Tallest Skyscraper||Shanghai Tower (2008 – 2014)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||632 m (or 2,073 ft)|
Shanghai is probably one of the most famous cities in China, and an ancient city that grew into one of the most prosperous in the country during the early-20th century. It has remained a cultural capital in the country throughout its history and continues to be an important cultural and financial hub. The city also includes Shanghai Tower, the tallest skyscraper in the country and the third-tallest building in the entire world.
Kuala Lumpur (215 Skyscrapers) in Malaysia
|Number of Skyscrapers||215|
|Tallest Skyscraper||Merdeka 118 (2016 – 2021)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||678.9 m (or 2,227 ft)|
The history of Kuala Lumpur is comparatively recent in comparison to many of the cities on this list, as its origins lie in the mid-19th century, but it quickly grew and developed. It is considered to be a culturally diverse city, and it includes one of the tallest buildings in the world, the Merdeka 118, which is 678.9 m (or 2,227 ft) in height.
Chongqing (206 Skyscrapers) in China
|Number of Skyscrapers||206|
|Tallest Skyscraper||Raffles City Chongqing (2013 – 2019)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||354.5 m (or 1163 ft)|
Chongqing has a history that traces back to mythology. That is how ancient this city is in terms of Chinese history, and it has a place as the capital city of the country during periods of its long history. International trade began in the late 19th century, and it has extensively developed since then into one of the cities with the most skyscrapers.
Tokyo (203 Skyscrapers) in Japan
|Number of Skyscrapers||203|
|Tallest Skyscraper||Tokyo Skytree (2008 – 2012)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||634 m (or 2,080 ft)|
Tokyo is one of the most populous cities in the world, and a truly massive metropolis. It has been inhabited for centuries, and it rapidly developed once Japan entered its period of modernization. This has led it to become one of the cities with the most skyscrapers in the world as well as one of the technological and cultural capitals of the world.
Wuhan (201 Skyscrapers) in the United States
|Number of Skyscrapers||201|
|Tallest Skyscraper||Wuhan Greenland Center (2012 – 2022)|
|Tallest Skyscraper Height||476 m (or 1,562 ft)|
Wuhan is one of the most populous cities in Central China and its commercial origins saw it as an important commerce and trading city. It would eventually develop and even came to be known as the “Chicago of China” by a number of non-Chinese sources. The tallest structure in the city is the Wuhan Greenland Center, which has a height of 476 m (or 1,562 ft).
The Country With More Skyscrapers Than Any Other
The country with the most skyscrapers is not up for debate in the slightest as it is China. China has over 2,300 skyscrapers at the time of writing, and many of the tallest buildings in the top ten tallest buildings in the world are also in China. The United States is second to China with over 1,600 skyscrapers at the time of writing. The United States used to have the most, and it also used to have the tallest, but it has lost that status over the years as fewer skyscrapers are constructed in comparison to the rate that China has established for itself. China will likely continue to be the leading force in architecture going into the future as it continues to develop at a faster rate than practically every country. While they do not have the tallest building in the world, they do have the cities with the most skyscrapers, and when it comes to skyscrapers by the city, they are on top.
We now come to the end of our look at the question: “Which city in the world has the most skyscrapers?”. We have examined ten of the cities with the most skyscrapers in the world, and considered skyscrapers by the city to determine where the largest number of these massive structures are located. Hopefully, this was an illuminating look at the cities with the most skyscrapers in the world!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Skyscraper?
A skyscraper is defined as a structure that needs to be habitable by people, and thereby the definition excludes the addition of any antennas that could be taller, and it also needs to be at least 150 m (or 492 ft) in height with a minimum of 40 floors. There are specific height requirements for something to be further classified as a supertall or megatall skyscraper. There are very few of these last two classifications in comparison to skyscrapers in general, which is why we use the shorter definition.
Which City in the World Has the Most Skyscrapers?
When it comes to the cities with the most skyscrapers, Hong Kong is number one. This city, at the time of writing, has 655. However, there are many other skyscrapers under construction in the city, and so it is likely that this number will only continue to grow as time goes on. It is unlikely that any city will succeed in attaining more of the tallest buildings than Hong Kong anytime soon.
What Is the Tallest Skyscraper in the World?
At the time of writing, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest skyscraper in the world. It stands at an incredible height of 828 m (or 2,717 ft), and it is a mixed-use structure that hosts various residential, commercial, and hotel spaces within it. This megatall skyscraper is located in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is also considered to be one of the cities with the most skyscrapers in the world.
What Was the First Skyscraper?
It is usually argued that the Home Insurance Building in Chicago holds this title. It was built in the late-19th century, had ten stories, and reached a height of 42 m (or 138 ft). This would mean that it does not classify as a skyscraper by today’s standards, as it is far too short, but it was the first of its kind to make use of a steel frame. The technology would improve after the construction of this particular skyscraper, and far larger ones can now be built.
Why Are Skyscrapers the Tallest Type of Building?
The reason that the tallest buildings are skyscrapers is because they are specifically designed to be tall. They are intended as a form of optimization in an urban environment. Space is an issue in cities, and skyscrapers allow for vertical construction through the use of steel or iron frames that can reinforce a structure enough that it does not fall over when it is constructed hundreds of meters into the sky.
Justin van Huyssteen is a freelance writer, novelist, and academic originally from Cape Town, South Africa. At present, he has a bachelor’s degree in English and literary theory and an honor’s degree in literary theory. He is currently working towards his master’s degree in literary theory with a focus on animal studies, critical theory, and semiotics within literature. As a novelist and freelancer, he often writes under the pen name L.C. Lupus.
Justin’s preferred literary movements include modern and postmodern literature with literary fiction and genre fiction like sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, and horror being of particular interest. His academia extends to his interest in prose and narratology. He enjoys analyzing a variety of mediums through a literary lens, such as graphic novels, film, and video games.
Justin is working for artincontext.org as an author and content writer since 2022. He is responsible for all blog posts about architecture, literature and poetry.
Cite this Article
Justin, van Huyssteen, “Cities With the Most Skyscrapers – Reaching for the Clouds.” Art in Context. November 2, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/cities-with-the-most-skyscrapers/
van Huyssteen, J. (2023, 2 November). Cities With the Most Skyscrapers – Reaching for the Clouds. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/cities-with-the-most-skyscrapers/