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Article|McKinsey Quarterly

Urban economic clout moves east

Look to the Eastern Hemisphere for tomorrow’s top urban players in the global economy.

March 2011 | byRichard Dobbs, Jaana Remes, and Sven Smit

More than 20 of the world’s top 50 cities ranked by GDP will be located in Asia by the year 2025, up from 8 in 2007. During that same time period, our research suggests, more than half of Europe’s top 50 cities will drop off the list, as will 3 in North America. In this new landscape of urban economic power, Shanghai and Beijing will outrank Los Angeles and London, while Mumbai and Doha will surpass Munich and Denver. The implications—for companies’ growth priorities, countries’ economic relationships, and the world’s sustainability strategy—are profound.


The top 50 urban players in the global economy will see more than a dozen new entrants.

McKinsey Global Institute’s Urban World app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices uses a database of more than 2,600 cities around the world to illustrate how global economic power is shifting. For more information, visit our Urban World site.

About the authors

Richard Dobbs is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and a director in McKinsey’s Seoul office; Jaana Remes, based in the San Francisco office, is a senior fellow at MGI; Sven Smit is a director in the Amsterdam office.

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