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.
A metropolitan area is a large urban area. The inner city may look little different from the surrounding area of buildings and lights. The entire built-up area is the metropolitan area. The inner city may be near the middle, or to one side. Some urban areas have more than one inner city.