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A primate city is the largest and most dominant city in a country or region and often functions also as a financial or political center. In the 1930s, the geographer Mark Jefferson developed the law of the primate city to explain the phenomenon of cities that capture a large proportion of a country's population as well as its economic activity. He wrote that “a country's leading city is always disproportionately large and exceptionally expressive of national capacity and feeling.” In fact, a primate city is usually twice as big in population size as the next largest city and, correspondingly, more significant.

Primate cities are frequently but not always the capital cities of the country. An excellent example is London; in 2001, it had a population of ...

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