City pretty

OECD Observer

Dynamic countries tend to have a fast-growing and competitive city at their hub, even if cities accumulate social and economic disorders as well. San Francisco is the wealthiest in a new OECD ranking of 78 metropolitan regions, with income of $62,350 per head, adjusted for purchasing power parity.

Ankara was the poorest, with $9,551. The top 10 are all located in the US, with London (13th), Paris (18th) and Dublin (24th) being the only non-American cities to make it into the top 25. The ranking largely reflects differences in national GDP and GDP per capita among OECD countries, though Tokyo just scrapes into the top 50.

 In today’s networked world, major cities typically interact as much with each other as with their own countries. Now, richer metro-regions face increased competition from less wealthy ones. In 1995-2002, relatively lower-income metropolitan regions, like the Korean port of Busan, or Istanbul, Prague and Warsaw, grew faster in wealth than Tokyo, Frankfurt or Vienna. Berlin, Budapest, Barcelona and Oslo even saw their average annual growth rates fall during the same period. Nevertheless, ongoing research by OECD experts so far,suggests that the benefits of globalisation are increasingly concentrated in the richest metro-regions.

OECD (2006), Competitive Cities in the Global Economy, ISBN 92-64-02708-4

©OECD Observer No 258/259, December 2006

Economic data


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