Bonus List


In the book (and on this website), the 10 largest U.S. cities to share their names with no other world cities (or towns or even very small villages) are listed (Seattle is #1).

Worldwide, unique city names are much more common than in the United States (of the top 50 world cities, 14 have unique names; of the top 50 U.S. cities, only 5 have unique names). This is partly because some U.S. cities are named after cities in other countries, but more because many countries feature languages that are the predominantly spoken in just one or two countries. Also, countries outside the United States are less likely to duplicate a town or city name, while the United States duplicates many (Washington, Springfield, among others).

No English, Spanish or French names (languages used in many countries) made the top ten ("Mexico City" was not included in this list since numerous towns (mostly in the U.S.) are named "Mexico", even though those other towns aren't normally referred to as "Mexico City"). The highest ranking city with an English name was Cape Town, South Africa, at #16.

1. Seoul, South Korea
2. Istanbul, Turkey
3. Jakarta, Indonesia
4. Kinshasa, Congo (Dem. Rep.)
5. Bangkok, Thailand
6. Bangalore, India
7. Rangoon (Yangon), Burma
8. Wuhan, China
9. Chongqing (Chungking), China
10. Xi'an, China

Mexico City (see above) was not included since there are many towns named Mexico. Mumbay, India (previously known as Bombay) was not included since other towns are named Bombay (and the name change was recent). Ironically, Beijing, China (the new name) is not unique, yet Peking (the old name) is.

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Copyright 2005 Brandt Maxwell.