When the gods dance...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

If U.S. Cities Were Countries, How Would They Rank?

If U.S. Cities Were Countries, How Would They Rank?

By Richard Florida Jul 21 2011, 10:30 AM ET 9

San Francisco's metropolitan area contains an economy the size of Thailand. Chicago's GDP rivals Switzerland. If the largest U.S. cities were countries, where would they rank?


Kenichi Ohmae, the Japanese management guru, once noted that growing city-states were coming to replace nation-states in the global economy.

The map above confirms it, showing the economic output of America's largest metropolitan areas rivals countries as large as Argentina and Canada. Prepared by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute, it's based on data compiled for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and The Council for the New American City annual U.S. Metro Economies Report.

Even in crisis, our strongest cities perform the economic function of small (or sometimes, not so small) nations. If they were countries, U.S. metros would represent 37 of the world's largest economies, as I noted in an earlier post. This slideshow lists the largest U.S. metros and the countries to which they best compare.

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA

At $1.28 trillion, the NY metro is equivalent to the 13th largest nation in the world, close in scale to Canada ($1.57 trillion). Its gross metropolitan product is bigger than Australia's $1.23 trillion GDP and South Korea's $1 trillion, and just under India's ($1.6 trillion).

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