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 photo-illustration of several big-box retail stores.
    Equity

    After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown

    Big-box retailers nationwide are slashing their property taxes through a legal loophole known as "dark store theory." For the towns that rely on that revenue, this could be a disaster.

  2. Equity

    Housing Can’t Be Both Affordable and a Good Investment

    The two pillars of American housing policy are fundamentally at odds.

  3. A mural of the Statues of Liberty and an American flag on a barn in Iowa
    Equity

    The Growing Inequality Between America’s Superstar Cities, and the Rest

    A new Brookings study documents the growing economic divergence of America’s superstar cities from smaller urban and rural areas.

  4. A photo of a small small house in San Francisco's Noe Valley that sold for $1.8 million in 2014.
    Equity

    Why Cities Must Tackle Single-Family Zoning

    As cities wake up to their housing crises, the problems with single-family-home residential zoning will become too egregious to ignore.

  5. A photo of a mural in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    Life

    Stop Complaining About Your Rent and Move to Tulsa, Suggests Tulsa

    In an effort to beef up the city’s tech workforce, the George Kaiser Family Foundation is offering $10,000, free rent, and other perks to remote workers who move to Tulsa for a year.