If you want to fritter away an hour or two on a Friday, you could do worse than play around with this fascinating Global cities graphic from McKinsey. It maps cities by population, GDP and Per Capita GDP in 2007 and 2025. I haven’t found a way of copying the charts so you’ll have to go and lose an hour playing with it like I did.
The Megacities in 2025 are the same as those in 2007; there are no new ones but, says McKinsey, the medium-sized cities will grow faster. When you add in the large and mid-sized cities, which you can do by changing the options in the sidebar, you start to see the growth in Asia.
You can see the shift in wealth too. Add in the Large and Midsize cities and toggle between the per capita GDP for 2007 and 2025. You will see the tilt from Europe and North America to East Asia, as the Asian cities get richer.
Now add in the smaller cities and look carefully. There are a number of rich cities in the northern regions. Places like Calgary, Oslo, Bergen and Tyumen are set to be ‘hot spots’ of wealth, which perhaps bears out Laurence Smith’s New North theory. (See previous post.)
London comes out pretty well. In 2025 it’s still one of the biggest and richest Megacities though others are catching up fast. This is slightly at odds with Citibank’s Megacities projection last year which had London with the greatest per capita GDP growth. In both scenarios, though, London is far from over. It’s just that there will be more big rich cities competing with it by 2025.
Of course, you’d need to see the data and the calculations behind all of this to understand the differences and, in any case, these are only predictions. Nevertheless, it’s useful to see this data shown visually. It’s a very quick and clear way to see the way the world is changing. Go and have a play. If anyone asks what you are doing, tell them it’s ‘strategic research’ or something.