Solving Cities

Top 10 cities with the most powerful economies

Posting in Cities

With more than half the world's population now living in urban areas it's no surprise that cities play a key role in the global economy. But the numbers are staggering. Check out the 10 most powerful economic cities.

The idea of the isolated thinking person developing brilliant ideas in a cabin, deep in the woods, is a Thoreauvian fantasy. Humans are social beings. And it's when we cluster together, in places like cities, that we are the most innovative and creative. Not surprisingly, with more than half of the world population now living in cities, urban areas also play a huge part in the global economy.

But the numbers are staggering. On the new Atlantic Cities website, Richard Florida hits us with some incredible statistics about the economic power of cities in the U.S. and throughout the world.

American cities account for nearly 90 percent of total U.S. economic output, and 85 percent of U.S. jobs. As Harvard’s Michael Porter recently told the Clinton Global Initiative: “There is no one U.S. economy but a collection of local economies.” Across the globe, metros with populations over one million account for more than half of the world’s economic output and nine of every ten innovations, while housing roughly one out of every five people.

So what cities are the most economically powerful? Florida developed The Global Economic Power Index to rank cities based on economic output or gross regional product, banking and financial power, and innovation (based on the amount of patenting activity).

Here's the top 10 most powerful economic cities:

1. Tokyo (above)

2. New York

3. London

4. Chicago

5. Paris

6. Boston

7. Hong Kong

8. Osaka

10. (tie) Washington D.C.

10. (tie) Seoul

Read on for the full list.

Photo: Sprengben/Flickr

Share this

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure