Chicago lands on a list of the most powerful cities in the world

September 15, 2011

By Micki Maynard

(Flickr, AntoniO BovinO)

What makes a city powerful?

According to The Atlantic, cities bring together talented, ambitious people, whose ideas and innovations make it a place of economic growth. And, one of the world’s most powerful is right here in the Midwest.

Chicago ranks No. 4 on The Atlantic’s list of the world’s 25 most economically powerful cities, second only to New York in the United States (it also ranks behind Tokyo and London). The list is part of The Atlantic’s new Cities page, which debuted today. It looks at issues facing urban areas around the world.

The Global Economic Power Index, developed by the Martin Prosperity Institute, reflects three key dimensions of economic power—economic, financial, and innovative.

Economic Power is measured as economic output or gross regional product. Financial Power is based on the Global Financial Centers Index, which ranks the banking and financial power of cities across the world. Innovation is based on patent activity.

The Atlantic says Chicago’s annual economic output is $460 billion, while its global economic power score is .915, a batting average that anyone in baseball would dream of having. Its financial center ranking is 678, while its innovation score is 7.

Other American cities on the list include Boston, at No. 6 and Washington, D.C., which ranked 10th. Our neighbors in Toronto ranked No. 12.

There’s a wealth of other statistics on the new Atlantic Cities page. Did you know the median income for Chicago is nearly $60,000? But it’s under $50,000 in Detroit, while Cleveland’s median income is about $45,000.

What do you think of The Atlantic ranking? Would you put other cities on the power list?