The Largest Subway System in the World & 193 More Massive Metros

It’s been a while since we first began investing in planes, trains, and automobiles. While the U.S. may be a culture of cars, public transportation is popular worldwide. Riding the metro, whether it be the subway, underground, or even the more technical electrified rapid transit train system, is a common way of getting from point A to B. But which are the largest?

Now, large is a relative term. Of course, there’s route length: which metro systems span the most miles. But ridership, the number of people who hop on and off, is also a factor in a metro’s largeness.

Then there’s the answer to which city’s metro has the most stations. And perhaps historians could make an argument for the largest amount of years open. As you can see, quite a few categories could lead to different metro systems coming out on top—unless one metro tops them all.

So let’s go aboard the length of routes, number of stations, year opened, and even year of last expansion for the 194 metro stations on the map below.

View Largest Subway Systems in the World in a full screen map

We gathered the data from Wikipedia’s List of metro systems. You can use the data grouping feature to explore the map for yourself. Or read on for more about the Largest Metros in route length, stations, ridership, and what is the oldest subway system in the world.

The Lengthiest Metros Are in Asia

The first metric of a metro’s massiveness that comes to mind is length. Now, the world’s longest subway stretches 743 kilometers (462 miles) across Shanghai, though it’s not the only one longer than 500 kilometers—or even 700. Of all the cities with subways, below are the 10 largest.

  • Shanghai Metro – 743 km in route length
  • Beijing Subway – 727 km
  • Guangzhou Metro – 531.1 km
  • Chengdu Metro – 519.2 km
  • Moscow Metro – 412.1 km
  • Shenzhen Metro – 411 km
  • London Underground – 405.2 km
  • New York City Subway – 399 km
  • Nanjing Metro – 378 km
  • Chongqing Rail Transit – 370 km

The 743-kilometer Shanghai Metro is the largest subway system in the world. That’s the equivalent of over 8,000 football fields—and it won’t stop there. The construction of at least five new lines and several extensions are scheduled to start in 2023, adding 411 more kilometers to the already lengthy metro. Upon this expansion’s completion, the Shanghai Metro will stretch across 1,154 kilometers in total. To see more expansion details for the other large metros, check out the map.

Now, Shanghai isn’t the only Chinese city with a massive metro system. In fact, seven of these top 10 are located in China. This includes the second-place Beijing Subway through to the fourth largest subway: the Chengdu Metro.

Perhaps the reason for this is population, or that China’s economic success requires more people needing transport to cities. Either way, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. are each only home to a single sizeable subway system in the top 10 and the same can be said when it comes to ridership.

Largest in Ridership

As with the lengthiest metros, those largest in annual ridership are dominated by China, with the Shanghai Metro once again topping the charts in the number of people hopping on the metro each year.

Metro system Annual ridership (millions) City Country
Shanghai Metro 2,834.69 Shanghai China
Tokyo Metro 2,757.40 Tokyo Japan
Guangzhou Metro 2,415.60 Guangzhou China
Beijing Subway 2,292.65 Beijing China
Seoul Subway 2,127.20 Seoul South Korea
Shenzhen Metro 1,626.73 Shenzhen China
Moscow Metro 1,618.20 Moscow Russia
Cairo Metro 1,314.00 Cairo Egypt
Chengdu Metro 1,219.62 Chengdu China
Toei Subway 1,174.90 Tokyo Japan

While five Chinese countries are accounted for, several new players arrive on the scene: Japan makes its first appearance on a top 10 list. The Tokyo Metro sees the second-most amount of riders each year while astonishingly a second Tokyo-based metro, the Toei Subway, also ranks within the top 10 in riders.

Additionally, South Korea and Eygpt are new to the top 10, while the very same Moscow Metro that was #5 in route length also makes the ridership list, though ultimately China’s metros are still the most impressive. However, a different country’s metro outranks even China in number of stations.

Subways with the Most Stations

New York’s presence in the lengthiest metro systems foreshadows its place atop this section. Another way of measuring the largest metro systems is by how many stations there are. These are the spots where you’d buy your tickets and hop on or off a subway. And while the Shanghai Metro had everyone beat in both route length and ridership, the U.S. makes an appearance with its largest city. New York topples the massive Chinese metro when it comes to the most stations.

  • New York City Subway – 424 stations
  • Shanghai Metro – 369
  • Beijing Subway – 342
  • Seoul Subway – 338
  • Paris Métro – 304
  • Chengdu Metro – 285
  • London Underground – 272
  • Shenzhen Metro – 270
  • Guangzhou Metro – 247
  • Madrid Metro – 242

The 424 stations of the New York City Subway make it the largest in the US—and the world—when it comes to stations. This is an exceptional feat considering that aside from emergencies, this subway has operated 24/7 365 days a year throughout most of its history.

In addition to the New York City Subway, the usual players (like China) also top the list with the largest stations. But two new additions include the Paris Métro in France and Spain’s Madrid Metro. And we can’t forget the London Underground, which so far has made it on quite a few largest lists, though never quite at the top…yet.

What’s the Oldest Subway in the World?

The first subway in the world is the London Underground. It’s one of the four subways built in the 1800s, though this one is nearly 30 years older than even the next oldest subway system. Of course, the Chicago “L”, Budapest Metro, and Glasgow Subway weren’t built all that recently either.

Metro system Year opened City Country
London Underground 1863 London United Kingdom
Chicago “L” 1892 Chicago United States
Budapest Metro 1896 Budapest Hungary
Glasgow Subway 1896 Glasgow United Kingdom
Paris Métro 1900 Paris France
MBTA subway 1901 Boston United States
Berlin U-Bahn 1902 Berlin Germany
New York City Subway 1904 New York City United States
Athens Metro 1904 Athens Greece
SEPTA 1907 Philadelphia United States

As for those constructed in the early 1990s, three are U.S.-based (and all are in the Northeast). In addition, N.Y.C.’s PATH was built just one year after SEPTA, narrowly missing the top 10 and the Big Apple’s claim to two of the oldest subway systems in the world.

And as for the newest? You can see that when you sort the map by “Year opened” and opt for the “2021 – 2010” group.

And for more maps on planes, trains, and automobiles, check out the Commute Times and Transportation Rates of 370 Cities or The World’s Busiest Airports. A hint: most passengers arrive and depart from Georgia.

National Anthems of Every Country Mapped

If you’re from the U.S., you may be familiar with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” What was once a poem written in 1814 is now synonymous with the land of the free and the home of the brave—and for good reason: it’s the country’s national anthem.

But the U.S. isn’t the only one with an associated hymn sung at events. Many countries have chosen songs to represent them. Of the 195 countries on the map, the oldest anthems date back to the 1700s while the newest was adopted as recently as 2021.

Plus, some have multilingual anthems, with multiple lyricists and composers or artists working to create a version that can be sung in all national languages of a country. It’s a lot to digest in list form, which is why we’ve plotted it on the map below.

View List of national anthems mapped in a full screen map

Switzerland and Other Multilingual National Anthems

With 195 countries on the map, there are nearly 200 national anthems to cover. And that’s not including national hymns in multiple languages. Seven countries’ national anthems are multilingual, as noted on the list below.

  • Switzerland’s Schweizerpsalm (“Swiss Psalm”) – in 4 languages
  • Cameroon’s O Cameroun, Berceau de nos Ancêtres (“O Cameroon, Cradle of Our Forefathers”) – 2
  • Canada’s Ô Canada (“O Canada”) – 2
  • Finland’s Maamme / Vårt Land (“Our Land”) – 2
  • Ireland’s Amhrán na bhFiann (“The Soldier’s Song”) – 2
  • New Zealand’s God Defend New Zealand – 2
  • Sri Lanka’s Sri Lanka Matha (“Mother Sri Lanka”) – 2

The national anthem of Switzerland, “Schweizerpsalm” or “Swiss Psalm”, has the most official versions. The hymn is written and sung in German, French, Italian, and Romansch—all of the country’s official languages.

“Swiss Pslam” has been officially translated into more languages than any other country. But Switzerland isn’t even close to being the country to have adopted the most official languages. That’s Benin (21 official languages), whose national hymn, “L’Aube Nouvelle” or “The Dawn of a New Day” is ironically only listed as being in a single language.

To see the languages of the six other countries’ anthems listed above, group the map by the “Number of multilingual versions”. Now let’s move on from language to take a look at the oldest national anthems in the world.

Oldest of the World’s National Anthems

Some of the world’s oldest anthems were adopted no more recently than 1847. But the absolute oldest may have been adopted in the 1700s, as you’ll see on the table below.

Country National anthem Date adopted (de jure)
United Kingdom God Save the King 1745
Spain La Marcha Real (“The Royal March”) 1770
France La Marseillaise  (“The Marseillaise”) 1795
Argentina Himno Nacional Argentino  (“Argentine National Anthem”) 1813
Peru Himno Nacional del Perú  (“National Anthem of Peru”) 1821
Belgium La Brabançonne  (“The Brabantian”) 1830
Brazil Hino Nacional Brasileiro  (“Brazilian National Anthem”) 1831
Uruguay Himno Nacional (“National Anthem”) 1833
Denmark Der er et yndigt land  (“There is a lovely country”) 1835
Chile Himno Nacional de Chile  (“National Anthem of Chile”) 1847
Liberia All Hail, Liberia, Hail! 1847

The U.K.’s “God Save the King” was adopted as the royal anthem officially in 1745, making it the oldest anthem on the map—though it’s not officially a national anthem. Due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III’s ascension, the song has reverted to its original title and lyrics of “King,” as it changes depending on who sits on the throne.

On that technicality, it would appear Spain’s “La Marcha Real” or (“The Royal March”) might just be the oldest national anthem. However, the tune has faced some upheaval, much like its home country. First declared official in 1770, it was then abolished from 1820-1823, adopted again from 1833-1868, co-official during 1873-1874, and once again abolished from 1931-1939 until its final reintroduction in 1939.

“The Royal March” is also currently one of only three national anthems in the world (along with those of Bosnia and Herzegovina and San Marino, which you can find on the map) with no official lyrics. Although it had lyrics in the past, they are no longer used.

Many of the other oldest anthems are dubbed “{Country} National Anthem” or similar variations. On the other hand, one of the newest national hymns was adopted as recently as 2021.

Newest National Anthems

The countries with the ten newest anthem additions adopted them between 2006 to as recently as 2021. Let’s take a look:

  • Afghanistan’s Dā də bātorāno kor (“This is the Home of the Brave”) – 2021
  • Norway’s Ja, vi elsker dette landet (“Yes, We Love This Country”) – 2019
  • Mauritania’s Bilada-l ubati-l hudati-l kiram (“Country of the Proud, Guiding Noblemen”) – 2017
  • Somalia’s Qolobaa Calankeed (“Praise to the Flag”) – 2012
  • Libya’s Libya, Libya, Libya – 2011
  • South Sudan’s South Sudan Oyee! – 2011
  • Turkmenistan’s Garaşsyz, Bitarap Türkmenistanyň Döwlet Gimni (“The State Anthem of Independent and Neutral Turkmenistan”) – 2008
  • Nepal’s Sayaun Thunga Phulka (“Made of Hundreds of Flowers”) – 2007
  • Serbia’s Bože pravde (“God of Justice”) – 2006
  • Kazakhstan’s Meniñ Qazaqstanım (“My Kazakhstan”) – 2006

Afghanistan’s “Dā də bātorāno kor” (“This is the Home of the Brave”) is, of course, the newest national anthem on the map. The a cappella song doesn’t contain any musical instruments, because instruments aren’t allowed for religious purposes in Afghanistan.

While “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” (“Yes, We Love This Country”) was performed as early as 1864, at the time, “Sønner av Norge” (“Norwegian National Song”) was still the official national anthem. It wasn’t until December 2019 that “Yes, We Love This Country” became the new Norwegian anthem.

Other than Afghanistan and Norway, many more recent anthems are no surprise as they are that of newly established countries. South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011 and as such, their national anthem is relatively new. The same can be said for Serbia, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan’s national anthems, as these countries were established in 2000, 1992, and 1992, respectively.

For more national statistics, be sure not to miss our map of the National Animals of Every Country.

Search Your Google Map by Locations and Coordinates

How many people can easily pinpoint where Nauru—one of the smallest island countries—is located in the Pacific Ocean? Or identify the exact location of 37.819722,-122.478611 on a map? Although you can zoom in and out of most online maps to aid your search for specific map markers, this doesn’t always enable everyone to find what they need quickly.

It’s easy to use Google Maps to find individual or multiple locations. What’s harder is identifying that single location without wiping out the rest of your search. One solution to this geographic puzzle is to build a map based on your own data, then add the data to Google. It’s too hard for most of us to do manually, but a free BatchGeo map can be generated from a spreadsheet.

So if you find yourself scouring a map for specific locations or coordinates, create a BatchGeo map and use the Search bar on any BatchGeo map, which is built on top of Google Maps. In this post, we’ll show multiple ways to search your map and how you get more information than just a pin’s location.

Find a City, State, or Country

Let’s start with a basic search.

View Example Sales Data in a full screen map

Say you have a sales map that includes customer cities and you’re looking for Buffalo Grove, Illinois customers…but where is that?

Instead of zooming in and out of Illinois to try and spot it, we’ll search for Buffalo Grove in the upper right-hand corner of the map.

Click on the Search result and you can go directly to the map marker for Buffalo Grove. With our Data View, you’ll also see a list of all of the customers in Buffalo Grove under the map, along with any additional information from your spreadsheet of data.

Multiple Location Search Results

If there are multiple results of your Search (as is the case for the most common U.S. city names), you’ll see them all listed in Data View as well as on the map.

Of course, your ability to Search applies to more than just sales maps—and it’s also not just cities like Buffalo Grove or Franklin. Let’s see how latitude longitude searches work, even if the exact latitude and longitude aren’t data points on your map.

Latitude Longitude Searches (Exact and Nearest)

Moving on, you can also find a point on the map with a Search for a coordinate pair: latitude and longitude. Latitude and longitude are commonly depicted in decimal degrees (59.3277778, 18.09111111), with latitude typically listed first, followed by longitude.

Pinpoint Exact Latitude and Longitude

Of course, as with searching for a city, you can type in an individual latitude or longitude decimal. Let’s test it out with our map of 569 international shipwrecks.

View International Shipwrecks in a full screen map

It will appear as a Search result.

On the other hand, entering an entire coordinate pair will give you one of two results. If it’s a point pinned on your map, you’ll be taken directly to it. For example, a Search for the coordinates of the Vasa shipwreck (59.3277778, 18.09111111) takes you directly to the map marker.

However, if it’s not a point, the result will be different.

Find the Nearest Coordinates

Oftentimes, the exact coordinate pair (or even city, state, or country!) might not be contained in a marker on your map. In that case, you’ll get the nearest pin to your Search.

Now let’s see if there’s a shipwreck using Portland, Oregon’s coordinates (hint: there’s not because it’s land).

If you Search for a coordinate pair (or city, state, country, etc.) and it’s not a marker, you’ll get to see the nearest point to your Search. In this case, we’re taken to the I-183 wreck in the Pacific Ocean. While miles away from Portland, Oregon, the information is still useful—we know it’s the nearest marker on the map.

Getting the nearest pin to your Search also applies when searching for cities, states, countries, etc. Search for cities, states, countries, and geographic coordinates on any custom BatchGeo map you make from top golf courses to island countries.