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Milan Metropolitan Area

City of Milan and the Milan metropolitan area
The Milan metropolitan area is the urban agglomeration centred around the city of Milan in Lombardy, Italy (pop. 7.4 millions), the biggest megalopolis in Italy and one of the largest in Europe.

The spatial spread of the metropolitan area has greatly accelerated over recent decades. The growth of the many settlements around the core of Milan since the 1960s have defined the extent and pattern of the metropolitan area, and commuting flows suggest that socioeconomic linkages have expanded beyond the boundaries of the Province of Milan. A single, large and increasingly widespread conurbation with the city of Milan at its hub defines metropolitan Milan; however, the extent of the metropolitan area can vary greatly depending on the defining source.

The Milan metropolitan area is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density.


One definition of the metropolitan area is the ''local labour market system'', an official definition based on commuting patterns used by Istat consisting of 115 municipalities (It. ''comune'') with a total population of 2,975,754 (2001).

Another definition is synonymous with the province of Milan, with 3,869,037 inhabitants distributed over an area of 1,982km².

According to Eurostat Urban Audit program, the larger urban zone of Milan has a population of 3,076,643.

Finally, an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) territorial review of 2006 takes a more inclusive definition based on socioeconomic patterns. They define the Milan metropolitan area as the Lombard provinces of Milan, Bergamo, Como, Lecco, Lodi, Monza and Brianza, Pavia, Varese and the Piedmontese Province of Novara. The overall population under this definition is about 7,400,000 people dispersed over an area of about 12,000km².

The urban agglomeration physically extends to, and may include, some Swiss territories in southern Canton Ticino, although this is not recognized by OECD.


The Milan metropolitan area includes the whole province of Milan and province of Monza e Brianza, 49 municipalities in province of Varese, 43 municipalities in province of Como and 45 municipalities in province of lecco, in all 248 municipalities, the most important of these by population are Monza, Busto Arsizio and Sesto San Giovanni as shows the next table.

The total land area of the extended metropolitan area is 2944,53km² with a population of 4.861.502, the first in Italy by population, the 27% of this coincides with the city of Milan (1.308.735). The density of the metropolitan area is 1.651 ab/km² one of the most elevated in Europe.

The metropolitan area is strictly statistical and does not imply any kind of administrative unity or function.

*(1) - ISTAT Data 2008 [http://demo.istat.it/bilmens2008gen/index.html]


This table shows the main Italian metropolitan areas by population. The Milan metropolitan area is in the first place.

Source: Wikipedia