Citi-EIU Report – Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities

A report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) that was commissioned by Citi says that New York City remains the most competitive city in the world, and will continue to retain the title until at least 2025.

Hot spots 2025 infographic (click to expand)

Hot spots 2025 (infographic – Citigroup/

The report, titled “Hot Spots 2025: Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities,” ranks the competitiveness of 120 major cities around the world based on the ability to attract business, talent, capital and tourists.

Here’s the top ten list of the most competitive cities in 2025, in the order of their ranking – New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris, Stockholm, Chicago and Toronto.

Apart from New York and Chicago, the United States has four other cities in the top 20 list. Washington, D.C. secured 14th place, while California secured two spots for Los Angeles and San Francisco in the 17th and 18th places respectively. Boston is ranked 19th on the list.

Citi CEO Michael Corbat said that cities around the world are evolving as centers of innovation and economic growth engines. He said the EIU research Citi commissioned enhances an understanding of the factors that drive urban competitiveness and sheds light on how the top performers create their competitive advantage.

The report says New York’s top ranking is because of its financial maturity, institutional character and economic strength.

NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said that EIU’s recognition of the City’s place at the global economy’s forefront was a testament to the ingenuity of hard-working New Yorkers and efforts the administration has made to diversify New York’s economy.

The report also says a city’s size doesn’t have that much impact on how competitive it is. Environmental governance and sustainable policies do make an impact, with Tokyo scoring high for its ability to deal with natural disasters.

Among U.S. cities, Chicago, Illinois gets the highest score for environmental governance. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that decisions made as a city over the next few years will help determine Chicago’s future for decades to come, and added that he was extremely optimistic about the City’s future.

As per the report, some of the biggest factors that impact competitiveness are the quality of the institutions and maritime access.

Nine of the top 10 fastest rising cities on the list are either seaports or have easy maritime access. The reverse also holds true, since most of the cities that are rapidly losing competitiveness are either landlocked or have allowed their seaports to become less accessible.

Read the full Hot Spots 2025 report – Download (pdf)

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