Solving Cities

Top 10 most competitive cities in the world

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Which of the world's cities are best at attracting capital, business, talent, and tourists?

When it comes to the best global cities for attracting capital, business, talent, and tourists look no further than the United States.

That's according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Citigroup, that uses those four indicators, and others, to determine the most competitive cities in the world. The report looked at the 120 major global cities. In the top 10 the U.S. has a strong showing with four cities, including the top ranked competitive city, New York.

Here's the complete list of the top 10 most competitive cities in the world:

1. New York
2. London
3. Singapore
4. (tie) Paris
4. (tie) Hong Kong
6. Tokyo
7. Zurich
8. Washington, D.C.
9. Chicago
10. Boston

Other factors that went into determining the most competitive cities include economic strength, human capital, institutional effectiveness, financial maturity, global appeal, physical capital, social and cultural character, and environment and natural hazards.

What makes New York rise to the top of the list? Here's what the report has to say:

New York's economy is driven by a range of sources, from the media, arts and fashion, to technology and finance. In 2010, the city was second only to Silicon Valley as a source of venture capital funding in the U.S. Though supplying the demands of a talent-driven market continues to be a challenge (New York had one of the lowest rankings for human capital – at joint 18th), the city has a range of initiatives underway to help maintain its competitiveness. This includes the new applied science and engineering campus it is creating in partnership with Cornell University and The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which is expected to generate US$6bn in economic activity.

Other findings in the report include:

  • In developed country, cities have a significant advantage in their ability to develop and attract the world's top talent.
  • The rise of Asia's economy is reflected in the economic competitiveness of its cities
  • There's a "middle tier" of mid-size cities that are emerging as a key driver of global growth
  • Investments in infrastructure will drive emerging market growth, but to attract more talent more improvements will be needed

To read the complete report and get more in-depth rankings, click here.

Photo: WanderingtheWorld/Flickr

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