Lonely Planet Writer

London takes the top spot in “cities of opportunity” ranking

London has taken the top spot in the “cities of opportunity” index, which ranks cities around the world on their social and economic health. Of the 30 business centres included in the report, the UK capital led the pack due to its place as an intellectual capital, its sustainability and natural environment, and economic clout – though the notoriously expensive city lost points for its high costs.

London aerial view with Tower Bridge at sunset.
London took the top spot in the cities of opportunity ranking. Image by Iakov Kalinin

PwC, a professional services company, released the report, which measures cities around the world on ten indicators, including transportation and infrastructure, the ease of doing business, demographics and liveability, technology readiness and cost. London was followed by Singapore, Toronto, Paris and Amsterdam. According to PwC, cities rank well in the report when they have a strong economy, but also provide strong social benefits, like quality of life, housing and senior wellbeing. While this is London’s second consecutive time in the top spot, the report does note that the data used in the ranking is from 2014 and 2015, meaning the impact of the UK’s referendum vote to leave the EU is not factored into the ranking.

Singapore was ranked second in the cities of opportunity report. Image by seng chye teo

London, along with San Francisco and Paris, ranked highly for intellectual capital and innovation, while when it comes to sustainability and the natural environment, Stockholm and Sydney tied for first, with Seoul and Toronto tied for third. In demographics and liveability, New York and Paris tied for first, followed by London. However, when it comes to cost, Johannesburg takes the top spot for affordability, followed by Toronto and Los Angeles.

The cities considered in the report are: Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.

Children ice skating at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Canada.
Toronto, Canada came third in the cities of opportunity report. Image by Damion Rae Photography

PwC notes that cities need a strong mix of many elements in order to attract and keep talent in these cities.