Week of May 27, 2002
Snapshot from the Field
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London, Frankfurt Ranked Top European Cities for Wealth GenerationBy JACK LYNE, Site Selection Executive Editor of Interactive Publishing
LONDON London's economy, taken alone, would rank as the ninth largest in all of Europe, surpassing entire national economies that include the likes of Austria, Greece and Portugal Sweden.
That finding is part of a new study of wealth generation among European cities, conducted by Barclays Private Clients (www.internationalbanking.barclays.com), the wealth-management arm of Barclays Bank.
London's estimated 2001 gross domestic product of $236.2 billion made it far and away Europe's wealthiest city, the study found. Paris, with a 2001 GDP of $131.9 billion, and Milan, with a $110.5 billion GDP, ranked a distant second and third, respectively.
The huge city GDP totals registered by the study underscore a conspicuous clustering of economic clout, said officials with Barclays Private Clients.
"The wealth of countries has never before been so concentrated," said Gordon Rankin, marketing director of Barclays Private Clients. "London now represents almost a sixth of the GDP of the United Kingdom whilst only having an eighth of its population. . . Dublin produces a third of Ireland's wealth."
Paris was another disproportionate contributor to its national economy. The City of Light accounted for one-fifth of France's GDP. (Paris data refer only to the city proper, with areas surrounding the city excluded "because the urban area is not viewed as being part of Paris," Barclays researchers explained.)
The rest of the study's top 10 in total GDP included No. 4 Madrid, No. 5 Rome, No. 6 Berlin, No. 7 Hamburg, No. 8 Munich, No. 9 Barcelona and No. 10 Stockholm. (See accompanying chart of top 10 GDP totals.) Already pronounced, Europe's urban wealth clusters will only grow larger, said Rankin.
"There is no doubt," he said, "that certain cities are set to increase their domination of wealth production," he explained. "Some cities such as London are already bigger than fairly large nation states, and it would seem their importance in terms of wealth generation can only grow."
Frankfurt Leaps to No. 1 in Per-Capita GDPQuite a different picture emerged, however, in the study's look at GDP per capita.
Consider Frankfurt am Main (or Frankfurt on the Main, referring to the Main River on which the city is located). Placing No. 15 in total GDP, the German city jumped up to the No. 1 European city ranking for GDP per capita, recording a tally of $68,947 per resident.
Karlsruhe, Germany, leapfrogged even more markedly in the proportional perspective. Ranked only 40th in total GDP, Karlsruhe's per-capita GDP of $64,903 ranked No. 2 among European cities in the Barclays study.
Frankfurt am Main and Karlsruhe were only two of seven German cities that the study ranked among the GDP-per-capita top 10. Completing Germany's top 10 contingent were No. 4 Munich, No. 5 Dusseldorf, No. 6 Stuttgart, No. 9 Hanover and No. 10 Hamburg.
Berlin, on the other hand, underscored how proportional wealth-generation rankings can shift in either direction. Ranked No. 6 in total GDP, Berlin dropped to No. 54 in the GDP-per-capita ratings.
Paris also fared well in the GDP-per-capita rankings, finishing at No. 3. No. 7 Brussels and No. 8 Copenhagen completed the GDP-per-capita top 10. (See accompanying chart of top 10 GDP-per-capita totals.)
10 Cities Would Rank among
Ten European cities tallied GDPs that would rank among Europe's top 30 economies. Three would place in Europe's top 20 economies, including No. 9 London, No. 15 Paris and No. 19 Milan. Other cities with GDP totals that would rank among Europe's top 30 economies include No. 21 Madrid, No. 23 Berlin, No. 24 Hamburg, No. 25 Munich, No. 26 Barcelona, No. 28 Stockholm and No. 30. Vienna.
The Barclays research is based on the latest data from Eurostat (europa.eu.int/comm/eurostat) and the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (www.oecd.org). Those source numbers, Barclays researchers said, "represent the picture in 1999." But, they added, the data "have been updated to 2001, assuming that the growth rate for each area was the same as for the country as a whole over this period."
©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.