The World Economic Forum reports on a study that was done by the Brookings Institute and JP Morgan Chase, "Redefining Global Cities: The Seven Types of Global Metro Economies."

According to that report, with more than half of the world's population living in urban areas, cities are the critical drivers of global economic growth and prosperity. The world's 123 largest metro areas contain a little more than one-eighth of the global population, but generate nearly one-third of the global economic output.

They go on to say that global cities are no longer just New York, London and Tokyo, but rather — because there are so many cities that are part of a complex, vast network that all participate in the international flow of goods, services, people, capital and ideas — that a new methodology is needed to look at the "global-ness" of cities.

The report divides these urban metro areas into seven types of global cities, from “Global Giants” such as New York, London and Tokyo to “International Middleweights” such as Birmingham, Melbourne and Tel Aviv. The report’s analysts mapped these cities against dozens of standardized metrics — indicators such as patents per capita, aviation passengers and even internet download speeds —to try to understand what really makes a global city.

Ultimately, the researchers then clustered the cities based on size, structure and competitiveness. The seven categories they came up with are:

  • Global Giants
  • Asian Anchors
  • Emerging Gateways
  • Factory China
  • American Middleweights
  • Knowledge Capitals
  • International Middleweights

Take a minute to explore the cities under each category and consider how these may play into the future of your global mobility program.