City ranking & index

We describe some of the central institutions which prepare ranking and index of cities. The topics analyzed and selected variables fluctuate by each institution. In this way, they examine the city from different angles, from its international reach to competitiveness, for example.

Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network. Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network. Established in 1998 at the University of Loughborough, United Kingdom, this research network focuses on the external relations of the cities of the world. The classification of cities is given by levels labeled in alpha, beta, and gamma, under indicators of «advanced services for producers»: accounting, advertising, banking/finance, and law — biennial publication. You can check it out here.

Global Cities Index. Annual publication on global cities that the consulting company A. T Kearney has prepared since 2012. You can check it out here.

Global Power City Index. The Institute for Urban Strategies at The Mori Memorial Foundation in Tokyo produces a “Global Power City Index (GPCI)” which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their “magnetism,” or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. You can check it out here.

Lowy Institute Global Diplomacy. The Lowy Institute Global Diplomacy Index offers a comprehensive comparison of the world’s most significant diplomatic networks across three years – 2016, 2017, and 2019 covering 61 countries and territories. You can explore the website to visualize, compare, and rank the diplomatic networks of all countries by city, country, and post type. You can check it out here.

Subnational Human Development Index. Developed by the Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, is a translation of the UNDP’s official HDI ( to the subnational level. As such, it is an average of the subnational values of three dimensions: education, health, and standard of living. You can check it out here.

Economist Intelligence Unit. The Economist project produces different reports from the cost of living in global cities to a Global Liveability Index. You can check it out here

IESE Cities in Motion. It is a research platform prepared by the IESE Business School Center for Globalization and Strategy and the IESE Department of Strategy of the University of Navarra, Spain. You can check it out here.

Metropolis. Metropolis is a global network of major cities and metropolitan areas. They serve as a hub and platform for metropolises to connect, share experiences, and mobilize on a wide range of local and global issues. Metropolitan indicators are resulting from pioneering comparative research on 69 Metropolis members. Thirty-eight metropolitan indicators provide new empirical insights, comparable across jurisdictions, about metropolitan realities across the world. You can check it here.