Magazine article Foreign Policy

Introducing ... the Most Dynamic Cities of 2025: An Exclusive Look at the 76 Powerhouses of the Urban Revolution

Magazine article Foreign Policy

Introducing ... the Most Dynamic Cities of 2025: An Exclusive Look at the 76 Powerhouses of the Urban Revolution

Article excerpt

IF THERE'S ANY BRIGHT spot in an otherwise dim outlook for the global economy, it's the rise of cities. With fragile growth in Europe and the United States, the shift in economic balance toward the East and South is happening with unprecedented speed and scale--and it's happening through urbanization. Quite simply, we are witnessing the biggest economic transformation the world has ever seen as the populations of cities in emerging markets expand and see their incomes rise as never before, producing massive geopolitical shifts and a wave of new consumers whose spending power will change the way the world shops and invests.

More than ever, cities matter. Today, just 600 urban centers generate about 60 percent of global GDP. But though 600 cities will continue to account for the same share of global GDP in 2025, this elite group will have a very different membership. Over the next 15 years, the urban world's center of gravity will move farther south and, even more decisively, east.

Which is why we've put together this unique index of The Most Dynamic Cities of 2025, some 40 percent of which are in just one country: China. Many are places you've never heard of, from Fuzhou to Wuhan, and speak to the massive transformation of a country that looks to lead the 21st century's urban revolution as much as the United States reinvented the metropolis for the 20th. The West will not be quite eclipsed by 2025--13 U.S. cities make the list, though only three in Europe--but the sun is indeed setting. Even beyond the extraordinary 29 Chinese cities on the list, there are many--from Luanda to Abu Dhabi, Ankara to Santiago--that were small towns of the last century but are likely to be household names a few decades from now.

The list is drawn from the McKinsey Global Institute's exclusive Cityscope database of more than 2,650 cities, which uses internal projections for populations as well as data from local statistical offices and the United Nations, and is based largely on national per capita GDP growth rates. We think these 75 cities will make the greatest contribution to the global economy in the coming years. Put together, they are likely to supply more than 30 percent of all GDP growth between now and 2025. …

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