As of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 1,053,035 and a population density of 6,255.78 persons per km². The total area is 168.33 km².
The city was founded on May 1, 2001.
The city has the following wards: Chuo, Kita, Midori, Minami, Minuma, Nishi, Omiya, Sakura, and Urawa.
Saitama is home to the Urawa Reds, the popular J-League football (soccer) team owned by Mitsubishi. The new Saitama Stadium hosted many football games of the 2002 World Cup, including one of the semifinals.
Due to the World Cup, the Nanboku Line of the Tokyo Metro system was extended from Akabane-Iwabuchi all the way to Urawa-Misono: however, the name of the line changes from Nanboku to Saitama Railway when the train passes the official boundary of Tokyo and Saitama. The extension of the metro obviously gave a boost to the neigborhood, and parts of Saitama are increasingly popular to live in for people who can enjoy a 30 - 40 minute commute to central Tokyo.
Tokyo natives often refer to Saitama as "Dasaitama," a combination of dasai (uncool) and Saitama. The Tokyo disdain for Saitama comes from before World War II, when Saitama was a rural area and considered to be markedly less sophisticated than the capital.