More than half the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and the 300 largest metropolitan economies in the world account for nearly half of all global output. The concentration of economic growth and prosperity in large metro areas defines the modern global economy, creating both opportunities and challenges in an era in which national political, economic, and societal trends are increasingly influenced by subnational dynamics. Understanding these large metro areas’ economic trajectory, which we measure through employment and GDP per capita measures, offers additional insights into the sources of growth that national or regional assessments tend to obscure.
Note: This analysis does not attempt to measure which metro areas are most competitive, wealthy, or livable, as incredible differences in wealth and prosperity exist within the sample. Rather, it aims to capture how large metro areas are responding to continued changes in the world economy and, amid concerns about rising place-based disparities, how large metro areas are growing relative to their surrounding nations and regions.
Data visualization produced by Alec Friedhoff.