How Important Is DC to the World? Check Out These Rankings

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Trying to figure out how important a city is to the overall global system is no easy task.  The idea of a “global city,” is not new, but what aspects of a city should be considered, and how should they be ranked?

There is a lot that goes into deciding what constitutes a global city. Generally, to be considered a global city, an area has to have a lot of financial services, the headquarters of several multinational corporations, or have a lot of decision-making power over the global system – a stock market doesn’t hurt either.

The journal Foreign Policy got together with A.T. Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to rank world cities.

Unsurprisingly, New York City was found to be the most important city in the world, followed by London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Frustratingly Los Angeles and Chicago both scored higher than the District – though admittedly, Los Angeles does play an outsized role in exporting American culture and Chicago is packed with financial institutions.

The District came in as the 10th most important city in the world, just behind Brussels, which is the defacto capital of the European Union and hosts the headquarters of NATO – they also make pretty good beer and have statues of peeing babies.

But what’s the most fun about these rankings is that they give each city a numerical score.  That means that you can actually compare cities against each other.

The District received a score of 3.22, while New York City received a 6.35 – meaning that New York is twice as important as the District.  But because New York has a population of 8 million compared to our 600 thousand, you could also assume that the average Washingtonian is six times as important to the world as every New Yorker. Yeah…that sounds about right, NY Giants fans!

At any rate, check out the graph below for a full listing from the Foreign Policy study.  If you want to know more about global city rankings, here’s an interesting Wikipedia article.

Rank 2012
Change
City
Rating
1 Steady United States New York City 6.35
2 Steady United Kingdom London 5.79
3 Increase 1 France Paris 5.48
4 Decrease 1 Japan Tokyo 4.99
5 Steady Hong Kong Hong Kong 4.56
6 Increase 1 United States Los Angeles 3.94
7 Decrease 1 United States Chicago 3.66
8 Increase 2 South Korea Seoul 3.41
9 Increase 2 Belgium Brussels 3.33
10 Increase 3 United States Washington, D.C. 3.22
11 Decrease 3 Singapore Singapore 3.20
12 Decrease 3 Australia Sydney 3.13
13 Increase 5 Austria Vienna 3.11
14 Increase 1 China Beijing 3.05
15 Increase 4 United States Boston 2.94
16 Decrease 2 Canada Toronto 2.92
17 Decrease 5 United States San Francisco 2.89
18 Decrease 1 Spain Madrid 2.80
19 Increase 6 Russia Moscow 2.77
20 Decrease 4 Germany Berlin 2.76
21 Steady China Shanghai 2.73
22 Steady Argentina Buenos Aires 2.71
23 Decrease 3 Germany Frankfurt 2.69
24 Increase 2 Spain Barcelona 2.59
25 Decrease 1 Switzerland Zürich 2.53
Rank 2012
Change
City
Rating
26 Increase 3 Netherlands Amsterdam 2.45
27 Decrease 4 Sweden Stockholm 2.43
28 Steady Italy Rome 2.36
29 Decrease 2 United Arab Emirates Dubai 2.32
30 Increase 1 Canada Montreal 2.32
31 Increase 2 Germany Munich 2.31
32 NA Australia Melbourne 2.25
33 Increase 2 Brazil São Paulo 2.19
34 Decrease 4 Mexico Mexico City 2.18
35 Decrease 3 Switzerland Geneva 2.13
36 Decrease 2 United States Miami 2.13
37 Increase 4 Turkey Istanbul 2.10
38 Steady United States Houston 2.08
39 Increase 1 United States Atlanta 2.06
40 Decrease 1 Taiwan Taipei 2.05
41 Increase 1 Italy Milan 2.01
42 Decrease 5 Denmark Copenhagen 1.99
43 Decrease 7 Thailand Bangkok 1.93
44 Steady Republic of Ireland Dublin 1.82
45 Increase 1 India Mumbai 1.79
46 Increase 4 Israel Tel Aviv 1.69
47 Steady Japan Osaka 1.57
48 Decrease 3 India New Delhi 1.55
49 Decrease 1 Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 1.49
50 Decrease 7 Egypt Cairo 1.49
Rank 2012
Change
City
Rating
51 Steady Philippines Manila 1.49
52 Steady South Africa Johannesburg 1.48
53 Decrease 4 Brazil Rio de Janeiro 1.31
54 Decrease 1 Indonesia Jakarta 1.30
55 Decrease 1 Colombia Bogota 1.17
56 Steady Kenya Nairobi 0.98
57 Decrease 2 Venezuela Caracas 0.89
58 Steady India Bangalore 0.85
59 Steady Nigeria Lagos 0.84
60 Decrease 3 China Guangzhou 0.82
61 Steady Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City 0.72
62 Decrease 2 Pakistan Karachi 0.66
63 Increase 1 Bangladesh Dhaka 0.65
64 Decrease 1 India Kolkata 0.63
65 Decrease 3 China Shenzhen 0.62
66 Decrease 1 China Chongqing 0.25

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