How Many Buildings Are There in the World?

June 14, 2023

With the world becoming increasingly urbanized, high-rise buildings are now commonplace. These stunning structures provide office and residential space for tens of thousands of people in a relatively small area. While these skyscrapers are usually constructed in cities, they can also be found in other places that have the population density and other infrastructure in place to support such construction. Regardless of location, these buildings are impressive feats of engineering and architecture. But how many of these massive constructs are there in the world? The answer is, of course, difficult to determine. The number is always changing as new structures rise and old ones are demolished. However, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has catalogued 1,268 skyscrapers as of November 2019.

It's important to note that the CTBUH defines a "skyscraper" as a structure that is over 150 meters (or 492 feet). This includes spires but excludes antennae. This definition led to a controversy in the 1930s when the Chrysler Building used a spire that allowed it to claim the title of world's tallest building even though it had a lower top occupied floor than the Bank of Manhattan Building.

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the tallest building in the world, breaking the records of both the highest free-standing structure and the highest structure ever built by humans. However, it may soon be surpassed by the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia. This incredible structure is slated to reach 1 kilometer in height, making it the first ever building to be more than 1 kilometer tall!


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