According to Ecuador’s National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), Quito will be Ecuador’s largest city after the 2020 national census. INEC predicts that Quito will have a population of 2,781,000 while Guayaquil will stand at 2,723,000.
The projections are based on the metropolitan area, not on the parishes that comprise the central city.
According to INEC, Quito will become more populous simply for the fact that it has more room to grow. “Guayaquil is bounded on one side by the Guayas River and large areas of swamp, which are not suitable for expansion,” INEC says. “Quito, in contrast, has several suburban communities, such as Calderón, Cumbayá, Tumbaco, and Los Chillos, with space to grow.”
Among the country’s other large cities, INEC says that Cuenca will remain in third position in 2020 with a metropolitan population of 625,000, while Santo Domingo will be forth, at 460,000 followed by Ambato at 430,000.
INEC reports that the long-standing migration of people from rural to urban areas continues in Ecuador, with Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Machala, and Santo Domingo seeing the largest influxes.