Shutterstock

The trend is pretty stark.

Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 12.27.36 PM.png

GRAPH: 19 of the 20 fastest-growing cities in 2012 were in China; 19 of the 20 slowest-growing cities were in Europe

If you want to see what economists are talking about when they talk about a "two-speed" world, just look at this graph above, from the Brookings Global MetroMonitor, which ranks the world's 300 biggest cities by GDP and job growth.

The top 50 fastest-growing cities, by GDP per capita, are practically all in the developing Asian world. The top 18 are in China. The rest are in China, Indonesia (Jakarta), India (Chennai), and Australia (Perth).

Of the world's fastest-shrinking cities, 42 of the bottom 50 were in the EU. The others included Dubai, Adelaide, Australia, and Albuquerque.

Entering next year, both the fastest growing and fastest shrinking cities in the world are in countries with big question marks. China's iffy transition from investment economy to consumption economy has some worried about the regions growth and the global commodity boom that supports resource-rich economies like Australia and Peru. Meanwhile, Europe has managed to prevent a depression by enforcing a managed recession on the entire EU. There is no expectation that Europe will grow more than 0.0% in 2013; meanwhile India's growth has returned to its 2007 lows.

But, as the graph at the top suggests, world markets rely on world-leading Chinese growth, and a clear deceleration in its economy -- even if it turns out to be good for wages, workers, and the China's necessary evolution into a modern consumer economy -- would result in hundreds of slower-growing cities around the world in 2013.

To play you out, here are the top ten/bottom ten cities, according to Brookings (every metro in the top chart is in China) ...

Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 11.58.02 AM.png

Top image: hxdyl/Shutterstock

Screen Shot 2012-11-30 at 11.56.01 AM.png

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A rendering of Quayside, the waterfront development now being planned for Toronto.
    Solutions

    A Big Master Plan for Google's Growing Smart City

    Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs has revealed its master plan for the controversial Quayside waterfront development—and it’s a lot bigger.

  2. Anthony Bourdain in 2001, when he was still the chef-owner of Les Halles in New York City.
    Life

    Urbanists Could Learn a Lot From Anthony Bourdain

    The work of the acclaimed chef and writer, who has died at 61, provides a model for a truly inclusive urbanism based on the creativity of all human beings.

  3. Design

    What Cities Can Do to Help Birds and Bees Survive

    Pollinators—the wildlife that shuffle pollen between flowers—are being decimated. But they may still thrive with enough help from urban humans.

  4. Design

    Revisiting Pittsburgh’s Era of Big Plans

    A conversation with the trio of authors behind a new book about the Steel City’s mid-20th-century transformation.

  5. Passengers line up for a bullet train at a platform in Tokyo Station.
    Transportation

    The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

    The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.

×