Culture and Traditions

Top 10 Culturally Diverse Cities in the World

Top 10 Culturally Diverse Cities in the World
Bernadine Racoma

We now live in a world without borders. Thanks to immigration, cities all over the world are transforming into baskets and melting pots of culture. The result – the top 10 culturally diverse cities in the world, the most interesting, culturally diverse and amazing cities. More people are becoming exposed to the various cultural differences of different regions. People are being exposed to the delicious cuisine from various nations, and we are all reminded that in spite of our diversity, we still have many similarities as human beings.

Many of the cities listed below are the destinations of choice of up to 20% of the total immigrant population in the world. The majority of the culturally diverse cities in the world are in North America, followed by Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia/Oceania.

10. Dubai, UAE

Unlike other cities, the majority of the city’s population is made up of expatriates from different countries of the world. Two-thirds of the entire population of the Emirates is of Asian descent, with people coming from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Arabic is recognized as the official language, but many languages are readily spoken in the streets of Dubai, including English, Urdu, Punjabi, Tagalog, Bengali, Hindi, Persian and Chinese.

9. Singapore

More than a quarter of the city’s 5.3 million population is foreign born. The bulk of the city-state’s residents are Chinese, while Malays and Indians are the other residents of the city. Four official languages are spoken in the city: Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English, though English is used in business and in schools.

8. Hong Kong

The city of Hong Kong has always been considered a fusion of the East and West. The diversity of this former British colony is partly the reasons why the IMB World Competitiveness Yearbook 2011 gave the top spot to Hong Kong in terms of Global Competitiveness. The residents of the city have protection from the “Basic Law”, which allows various religions and Chinese Folk Religion to coexist, which is why Hong Kong residents are free to practice Taoism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islamism, Christianity and any other belief they choose. They primarily speak Cantonese, but also English and Mandarin.

7. San Francisco, USA

The City by the Bay boasts not only of the Golden Gate Bridge, but a large population of Asian (almost 24%) and Latin American (21.7%) heritage. Close to 400,000 residents of the city are multilingual. The city is home to the biggest Chinese New Year Parade in the country. As of 2010, the nearby areas of Vallejo and Fairfield, California rank as having the highest number of immigrants from Latin America and Asia in the United States.

6. Sydney, Australia

The most populated city of Australia is also its most diverse. About 4.6 million residents call Sydney their home, of which, almost 40% were born on foreign soil. The majority of the immigrants to Sydney come from the countries of the UK, China, New Zealand, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Lebanon and Italy. Aside from this, there are also Aborigines in the city. This diversity has resulted in various languages spoken in the city, including English, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek and Vietnamese.

5. Paris, France

The Dutch, English, Scottish, Irish, Polish, Belgians, Spanish, Portuguese, Africans and Eastern Asians have been migrating to Paris since the Middle Ages. It is believed that just under 20% of the total population of the metropolitan area of Paris are born on foreign soil.

4. Los Angeles, USA

At 57% of the total population, more than half of the residents of the City of Angels are multilingual. The city boasts of various cultural enclaves such as Chinatown, Filipinotown, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, Koreatown and Thai Town. Hispanics make up the majority of the population, at over 44% of the total population. If the entire Los Angeles,-Long Beach and Santa Ana areas are considered, whites are at over 32%, followed by Asians at just under 15% and African Americans at under 7% of the total population.

3. Manchester, England

Manchester doesn’t just have a great football team, it is also considered the most diverse city in the world in terms of language given its size. The city’s residents of just 503,000 people speak a total of at least 153 various languages, compared to larger cities such as New York and Paris, whose population numbers in the millions. Some two-thirds of Mancunian children are known to be bilingual, thanks to immigration and a growing number of foreign students in the city. Some of the languages spoken in Manchester include Chitrali, Konkani from India, Dagaare which is spoken by residents from Ghana and Burkina Faso, as well as Uyghur which is a dialect in the Northwestern section of China. All this diversity is good for Manchester since it is the third most visited city in England.

2. London, England

More than 300 different languages can be heard on the streets of Britain’s capital city. In this diverse city, it’s not surprising to find fish and chips sold next to a place that caters to those looking for some curry. Almost 8.2 million residents call London their home, and many of these residents come from various parts of the globe, including Ireland, India, Poland, Pakistani, Bangladesh, Nigeria, China, Jamaica and other Arab countries. The city is also home to 50 non-indigenous communities and number over 10,000. As of 2011, almost 37% of the city’s population is born on foreign soil, making it the city with the second largest immigrant population in the world.

1. New York City, USA

With a population of more than eight million residents, New York City remains one of the most exciting and diverse cities on the planet. Almost half of the city’s population is multi-lingual, about 47% and about three million speak a language other than English. Hispanics make up close to 23% of the population of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area, followed by African Americans at mover 16% and Asians at just under 10%. It is the city with the largest immigrant population in the world.


Comment Below
  • Adam Markle

    This is inaccurate. San Francisco is definitely not one of the most diverse cities in the world. It’s becoming one of the whitest in America. Do you research and do it correctly.

  • Dave Surman

    Apparently DayNews hasn’t visited Toronto, ON, Canada…

  • Deborah A Lockhart

    It’s soo cool! I live in the most culturally-diverse City in the world

  • Sabine Atwell

    I cannot think of a negative comment pe se. We live in Ca in a very diverse samll taon on the Monterey Peninsula. It might be har dofr other people to integrate here initially- but negative- nothing…

  • Jonathan Martins

    Um where’s Toronto? It should be at 3rd or 4th…

  • Brandon Arkell

    Um, Toronto?? This is a glaring omission. It is probably more multicultural in more ways than any city in this list, perhaps with the exception of New York. And even then I don't know that it wouldn’t surpass New York. Toronto is crazy multicultural.

  • Tanisha Taitt

    This is LUDICROUS. Toronto should be no lower than SECOND on this list, if not FIRST! Horrible, horrible and inaccurate reporting.

  • Keeghan White

    I looked up the information and demographics myself. What I found is that Toronto is much more diverse than London and New York

  • Nick Nemati

    This list is a joke. There is no city more multicultural than Toronto. Its already been proven to be the most multicultural city in the world, with over 160 ethnicities and nationalities living within the city. Far more than new york.

  • Cam Gould

    Yeah, this is definitely not accurate.

  • William Rozario

    Ah Americans. Biased as hell. As statistics from actual surveys, Toronto has proven to be number 1. You are basic as hell. And Dubai? They’re all arab, or south asian, not exactly my definition of “diverse”

  • Naheem Quattlebaum

    Its not about the diversity alone but the variety in tandem with the population size. ny has more citizens. We have more events, places of interest to accommodate the tens of millions of visitors we get on a daily basis. I do agree Toronto should be on the list, but not number 1.

  • Toni Lynn

    United Nations recognizes Toronto as the most multicultural city in the world, so I think that speaks for itself.

  • Anjumul Haque

    A city which is more diverse is more greater regardless of its size

  • Sinha Vansha

    dude what the hell? Where on earth is Toronto!? Toronto should be either 1st or 2nd! The whole article is biased. Apparently the author of this article needs to get the facts right

  • Ronzo Xman

    Washington dc, and Toronto are way more diverse than than new York. Tho London should definitely be top 2. PEOPLE NEED TO STOP GETTING OUT THIS NEW YORK FETISH THE WHOLE TIME. It’s multi racial but no where near as multi cultural as most other cities. It’s just full of different types of Americans who think they know everything.

  • Ronzo Xman

    I cannot believe some outdated person put ny as Myne 1. It’s 2014, not 1984

  • Ako Samad

    Kirkuk city in northern of Iraq is an oldest multicultural city in the world, which more than 5 ethnic groups, 4 religions, political parties and different nations and minorities live in the city. The city should be inserted into the multicultural cities in the world.

  • Danish Nadeem

    Okay so this list is pretty much nonsense. Toronto, Canada is the most multicultural city in the world surpasses all those cities and this has even been proven by the United Nations LOL

  • Rod Guillen Rossi

    Manchester ? More than Toronto and lima ?? Come on!

  • Jefferson Starship

    Toronto. That is all.

  • Rufin Ming

    Lived in both places for years, Singapore is more diverse than hong kong that’s for sure.

  • Stacy Le Roux


  • Chubbyranks

    Toronto or London is my guess.

  • Tena Roberts

    Can you be specific when you say NYC-I believe it’s Jackson Heights Queens that is the core of the diversity. Anyone who disagrees can catch the new documentary “In Jackson Heights” It wasn’t picked at random out of a hat.

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