There are two long-term trends underway which are changing the shape of the global economy.
One, which will be obvious to anyone who reads CityMetric, is urbanisation: the way in which the population of the developing world are leaving the fields behind and packing themselves into ever swelling cities at an unprecedented rate.
The other, which will be obvious to anyone who ever reads the news, is that east is going to steal the west’s lunch money.
This week’s infographic, from our mates at Statista, does a fine job of illustratimg both trends. It shows the 10 metropolitan areas which a report (PDF) from Oxford Economics, a consultancy, predicts will see the most economic growth over the next 30 years. As ever, the size of the bubble represents the size of the change.
You can instantly see quite how much of the growth is going to come from Asia – or, more specifically, from eastern China. No fewer than seven of the top 10 cities are in China, producing an estimated $3.8trn of growth between them. A fair few of these are names still unfamiliar in the west, too: Shenzhen, Chongqing, Suzhou.
That leaves space in the ranking for just two cities in the Americas and just one in Europe (still, nice to see London holding its own).
Things don’t look better for the old world in the next bit of the league table, either: the next 10 cities on the list include another three apiece from the US and China, and one each from Japan (Tokyo), Brazil (Sao Paulo) and Indonesia (Jakarta).
Only one more European city makes the top 20 – and that’s Istanbul, on the borders with the Middle East. Look to the top 50, and the only other European city that makes the list is Moscow.
Could be worse, though: at least Europe is already relatively rich. And GDP growth is at least partly a function of population growth: with a demographic crisis well underway on much of the continent, it’s no surprise that GDP growth in many European cities looks set to be limited. India, where urbanisation is well underway, doesn’t have that excuse.
Prediction is hard of course, especially when it comes to the future: it’s entirely possible that Oxford Economics’ forecast is simply wrong. If not, though, well, you can expect to hear a lot more about Chongqing and Suzhou in the future.
This article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present.