Richard Florida is a co-founder and editor at large of CityLab and a senior editor at The Atlantic. He is a university professor in the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management, and a distinguished fellow at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate and visiting fellow at Florida International University.
While these two jockey for position, no other cities really come close to challenging them.
London bests New York on the just-released 2015 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI). The two cities have seesawed back and forth on the rankings over the past few years and remain rivals for the position of the world’s most economically powerful city. Back in March, my own Global City Economic Power Index placed New York ahead of London overall.
The new report from GFCI ranks the world’s 84 leading financial cities based on a survey of nearly 3,200 financial services professionals along with data from the World Economic Forum, UN, and other sources. It scores financial centers across several dimensions: business environment, financial sector development, infrastructure, human capital, and reputational and general factors. The table below, from the report, lists world’s 43 leading financial centers.
After London and New York, Asian cities take the next four spots: Hong Kong is third, Singapore fourth, Tokyo fifth, and Seoul sixth. U.S. cities like San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Boston rank among the top 20, along with three Canadian cities: Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. The European cities of Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt, and Luxembourg also rank among the world’s 20 leading financial centers, in addition to Sydney (15), Dubai (16), and Osaka, Japan (20).
It is also worth noting that cities like Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Taipei, Johannesburg, and even Rio de Janeiro rank ahead of cities like Paris and L.A.
So just what does it take to secure a ranking at the very top? To find out, let’s turn to the study’s assessment of the four leading financial centers.
The top financial centers all tended to be more stable and more dynamic than the rest. Take a look at the following chart, which rates the world’s 40 leading financial centers on stability, dynamism, and unpredictability.
New York and London remain two of most stable centers, along with Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and San Francisco. The world’s dynamic financial centers include Washington D.C., Shanghai, Dubai, Vancouver, and Sydney, among others. Less predictable centers are a mix of places like Stockholm and Paris, Abu Dhabi, and Tel Aviv.
While New York and London continue to jockey for the number one position, their lead remains considerable, with Hong Kong significantly behind them both. With their position as the world’s two leading financial centers relatively secure, it will likely be a long time before any other global city is able to challenge them.