20 Most Powerful Cities on the Planet

Beijing

Beijing

Beijing is of course, the capital city of the world’s largest population, but it is home to more than just millions of bicycles. The city’s economy has tripled since this time a decade ago and things looks set to climb for, not only this city, but its country too.

Oslo

Oslo

On the south coast of Norway, Oslo is the nation’s capital and largest city. It is home to numerous oil and gas companies who work the waters nearby. It is said to be a leader where potential for the future of European cities is concerned.

Boston

Boston

The first of a handful of American cities making an appearance on this list, Boston is home to a large financial services sector, especially in insurance and mutual funds. Colleges and universities also have quite an impact on the local economy.

Keihanshin

Keihanshin

Keihanshin, otherwise known as Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe, is the second-largest metropolitan area in Japan behind only Greater Tokyo. I guess we could be technical and suggest that there are at least three cities which make up this area but it is densely populated enough to be counted together.

Dublin

Dublin

This one might seem a little surprising at first but when you think about it, it makes sense. Dublin is easily the largest city in Ireland. Plus….it is home to some of the world’s largest companies with names like Google, Amazon, and Twitter. In addition to this, about half of the world’s banks and insurance companies have offices here.

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki happen to be the northernmost capital city in the European Union. The city generates about one third of Finland’s GDP. 83 out of the largest 100 Finnish companies are headquartered in the city. The average income of the top 50 earners is about 1.65 million euro.

Sydney

Sydney

Sydney is the largest city in Australia. It’s financial and insurance services industry makes up almost twenty percent of its total GDP. This is more than double the second most influential industry in the city.

Zurich

Zurich

If anything, the only surprise here is that we didn’t see Zurich further up on this list. Its name is almost synonymous with finance. It is not only the largest financial city of Switzerland, but also the largest gold trading city in the world.

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago is home to the second-largest financial center in North America, after New York City, of course. It is often said to have the United States’ most balanced economy due to the diversity of industry.

Toronto

Toronto

The largest city in Canada is eleventh on this list of most powerful cities on the planet. This city produces over half of the nation’s manufactured goods. It helps that ships can travel to the Atlantic Ocean along the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Stockholm

Stockholm

Stockholm finds its place on this list primarily due to its strong focus in the service industry. In fact, the service industry accounts for about eighty-five percent of all jobs in the Swedish capital city.

Vienna

Vienna

Vienna is home to around a third of the whole population of Austria. It is unique in a few ways, not the least of which is the way in which it uses innovation to compete with other cities on a global scale.

Seoul

Seoul

It is amazing to think that a single city can make up 25% of its county’s GDP and yet occupy only 1% of its land mass. But this accurately describes the South Korean city of Seoul. It is home to some of the largest brand names in the world. Have you ever heard of Samsung, Kia or LG…???

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

There are no prizes for suggesting that one of the major industries in the United States’ second biggest city is entertainment. But what many people may not know, is that LA is actually home to the fifth-busiest port in the world, which focuses mostly on trade between the US and Asia.

Singapore

Singapore

This city used to be the major military base for the British Navy. Since those days, international trade has been at the heart of its existence in remaining a global city. It boasts the second freest economy in the world behind only Hong Kong.

Paris

Paris

Paris plays host to the single largest business district in Europe; La Défense. In addition to focusing primarily on services, Paris is also a world leader in high-tech industries like electronics and aerospace.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

On the southeast coast of China, Hong Kong is the world’s fourth most powerful city. It is home to the largest number of what is commonly referred to as IPOs – when a company goes public or, initial public offering.

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tokyo is not only the city which is home to the world’s largest metropolitan population, but it is also right up there in terms of its power. It is home to fifty-one of the world’s Fortune Global 500 companies – more than any other city.

London

London

London has more overseas banks than any other global city. It is certainly the most powerful city in terms of finance in the whole of Europe, with around $836 billion in economic output.

New York City

New York City

This was always going to be number one, wasn’t it? The Big Apple is the world’s most influential city in terms of many things, not the least of which is matters of finance. Wall Street and the other financial institutions bring the city’s total economic output to a staggering $1.4 trillion.