18 Jan 2012

The Brookings Institute recently released their 2011 Global MetroMonitor, which ranks 200 of the world’s largest metropolitan regional economies. While such rankings should always be taken with a grain of salt, the MetroMonitor provides some interesting data about how the world's largest city regions are growing (and declining) in economic status.

The 200 city regions account for a staggering 48 percent of all global output but only 14 percent of the world's population and employment. The rankings are comprised of per capita GDP (income) and employment changes between 2010 and 2011. At the top of the rankings sits Shanghai, China with a GDP of $213 billion, population of 23.5 million and per capita income of $9,025. Cities in China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and India exclusively round out the top 15, with Houston in the USA marking the first appearance of a city region located in North America at number 19 and Stuttgart, Germany at number 31 representing the highest ranking city region for Western Europe. In general the trend of economic city region growth leans heavily away from North America and Western Europe, with 90 percent of the fastest-growing city regions ranked existing in other parts of the world. This is in contrast to 95 percent of the slowest-growing city region economies being located in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.

Generally, city regions with high concentrations of commodity, business and financial services performed the best while those with high concentrations of education, health care, government, administrative services and construction showed slower growth. In terms of a recovery from the recession, fewer than half of the 200 city regions matched the pre-recession levels of employment and/or income in 2011, with the majority of improved performance coming from the Latin America and the Asia-Pacific regions.

Have a look at the interactive map provided by the Brookings Institute to see how your nearest city region did.