A metropolitan area is a city and its surrounding suburbs. The word "metropolitan" comes from two Greek language words meaning "mother" and "city". A metropolitan area may be much larger than its inner city, and its suburbs may be smaller towns and villages which are now connected to the larger city as it has grown. The biggest such metropolitan area is that of Tokyo. 8.5 million people live in Tokyo itself, 36.5 million live in the metropolitan area.
Appearance[change | change source]
Looking from the air down to a populated area, there will often appear one big "blob" of buildings and lights. The entire built-up area is the metropolitan area. The city is often just the part near the center of the "blob". However, it may not be in the center. Sometimes there is even more than one city inside the "blob".
So to put it simply, looking from the air again, the "blob" is the metropolitan area. The city is a smaller section of the "blob".