New York City is the best city in the world according to economic experts

NYC ranked #1: Here’s what makes it the best city in the world

Skycrapers in New York City, the best city in the world according to Oxford Economics' Global Cities Index

According to the latest Global Cities Index by Oxford Economics, New York City has officially been named the best city in the world. But what sets this bustling metropolis apart from all the rest? Is it the iconic skyline, the cultural melting pot, or the endless opportunities that draw millions to its streets?

In this article, we’ll uncover the reasons behind New York City’s top ranking. From its world-class amenities and vibrant neighborhoods to its unmatched energy and spirit, get ready to discover why the Big Apple reigns supreme. Whether you’re a native New Yorker, a frequent visitor, or someone dreaming of experiencing NYC for the first time, this deep dive into what makes New York City truly special will leave you captivated.

What is Oxford Economics’ Global Cities Index?

Oxford Economics’ Global Cities Index is a comprehensive ranking system that evaluates and compares the 1,000 biggest urban economies in the world. Designed by a team of economic experts, it goes beyond just economic performance to paint a well-rounded picture of what makes a city successful. The index considers five key categories:

  1. Economics: This looks at a city’s financial muscle, including metrics like GDP growth, employment rates, business activity, and innovation. Cities are assessed on their ability to generate wealth and provide economic opportunities for their residents.
  2. Human Capital: This assesses the education level and overall skills of the city’s population.
  3. Quality of Life: This considers factors such as healthcare, education, public services, housing, and safety, which determine how conducive a city is for living and working. This also includes cultural amenities, recreational facilities, and overall livability.
  4. Environment: This measures how cities manage their environmental impact, including air quality, green spaces, and sustainable practices. It also evaluates efforts in climate resilience and sustainable urban planning.
  5. Governance: This evaluates how effectively the city is run, considering factors like political stability and transparency.

Within each category, the index uses various sub-indices to measure specific aspects. For example, the Economics category might consider factors like GDP per capita, unemployment rate, and presence of Fortune 500 companies. Each sub-indice is assigned a specific weight based on its relative importance to the overall category score.

Oxford Economics leverages a combination of its own economic forecasts and publicly available datasets to gather data for each city across all sub-indices. Each sub-indice is then scored based on its specific criteria.

Finally, the individual category scores are combined into a single, overall score for each city. The city with the highest overall score is crowned the #1 city, while the remaining cities are ranked based on their descending scores.

By taking all these aspects into account, the Global Cities Index provides a comprehensive view of a city’s strengths and weaknesses, ultimately ranking them to determine which ones are truly thriving on a global scale.

What are the key findings of Oxford Economics’ Global Cities Index?

Here are three key findings of the study:

  • New York City Reigns Supreme: The Big Apple took the top spot in the 2024 Index, solidifying its position as a global leader across various aspects.
  • Diversity is Key: There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for success. The top 10 cities come from various continents and have unique strengths. Some are financial hubs, while others excel in education or technology.
  • Regional Trends Emerge: Cities in North America, Western Europe, and Oceania generally performed well, scoring high across multiple categories. However, significant variation exists within regions, with some sub-Saharan African cities even surpassing weaker Western European ones.

What are the top 10 cities on Oxford Economics’ Global Cities Index?

  1. New York, United States
  2. London, United Kingdom
  3. San Jose, United States
  4. Tokyo, Japan
  5. Paris, France
  6. Seattle, United States
  7. Los Angeles, United States
  8. San Francisco, United States
  9. Melbourne, Australia
  10. Zurich, Switzerland

Why New York City ranked #1 on Oxford Economics’ Global Cities Index

Based on specific figures, New York City ranks number one for economics. “[New York] is a global hub for finance, tech, advertising, media and fashion, which explains [the] top ranking in the economics category,” reads the study. “While the city’s economy suffered more than many other American metros during the Covid-19 outbreak, it has rebounded quite strongly, and its fortunes look positive for the future.”

The Big Apple also came in fourth place when it comes to human capital. However, it ranks low in the quality of life and environment categories.

Sources: Oxford Economics, Timeout
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