Urban Influence and the Position of Cities in an Evolving World Order
Cities have long been hubs of the global economy, both concentrating and facilitating the flow of people, goods, resources, and wealth. Some, such as New York and Tokyo, have enjoyed a lasting reputation as global business destinations with a concentration of institutions that lead in commerce and trade, manufacturing, and business services. Others, such as Beijing, Houston, and Jakarta, are newer to contemporary global economic leadership. One thing is certain: cities—more specifically, metropolitan areas—are decidedly at the center of the global economy.
Cities Make Up 42 of the World’s 100 Largest Economic Entities
When looking at cities, corporations, and nation-states
Most of these cities are located in Asia, China alone has 8 cities.
Only 2 cities rank in the top 25 economies: Tokyo and New York.
One-third of the cities in the top 100 economies are national political capitals.
Cities of the Top 100 Economies
Of the top 100 global economies, a majority of the metropolitan areas listed are located in Asia and North America, with 18and 14cities listed respectively. The United States has the most of any country with 12 cities, followed by China with 8. Only 6 cities from Western Europe are among the top 100.
Cities among the top 100 economies contribute an outsized proportion of their respective national gross domestic product (GDP), accounting for an average economic share that is 1.5 times greater than their share of the national population. Not surprisingly, cities located in countries with few other major metropolitan areas make up a significant share of the country’s overall GDP. Similarly, cities located in countries with larger economies and several major metropolitan areas represent a relatively smaller share of the national GDP.
Top 10 Cities as Percent of National GDP
City Peer Groupings
Just two cities rank in the top 25 economies: Tokyo and New York, both with metropolitan GDPs of more than $1 trillion. Relative to similarly sized national economies, their economic outputs place them among Canada, Spain, and Turkey. Below is how the 42 metropolitan areas stand in comparison to some national economies.
Select peer countries:
Tokyo New York City
Los Angeles Seoul-Incheon
Osaka-Kobe Shanghai Chicago
Beijing Köln-Düsseldorf Houston
United Arab Emirates
Washington, DC São Paulo Hong Kong Dallas
Nagoya Shenzhen Boston Istanbul
Philadelphia Suzhou San Francisco Taipei Jakarta Rotterdam-Amsterdam
Buenos Aires Chongqing Milan
To read the complete list of the world's largest economies, including cities, corporations, and countries, download the full report, 100 Top Economies: Urban Influence and the Position of Cities in an Evolving World Order.
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