Special Report

Cities Issue

Our special issue dedicated to the cities of the future has its eye squarely toward China, because the cities of the future are increasingly going to be speaking Mandarin -- even more than you realize. It's no longer news that China has embarked on the largest mass urbanization in history, a monumental migration from country to city that will leave China with nearly a billion urbanites by 2025 and an astonishing 221 cities with populations over 1 million. But this isn't just about size: It's about global heft. And that's where the scale of China's transformation into a world leader is truly astonishing. In an exclusive index for FP, the McKinsey Global Institute has run the numbers to produce what we're calling The 75 Most Dynamic Cities of 2025 -- an extraordinary 29 of which are in China. Some are already global powers, from top-ranked Shanghai to manufacturing dynamo Shenzhen; others, from Fuzhou to Xiamen, were little more than provincial backwaters in the 20th century but look to be household names in the 21st, powering the global economy not just through their sheer size but also through their urban innovation and pulsing drive. Europe, meanwhile, will manage only three cities on the list by 2025; the United States finishes second to China -- a very distant second -- with 13. Still think that debate about Western decline is overblown?

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  • The Most Dynamic Cities 2025

    The Most Dynamic Cities of 2025

  • 'Twitter Is My City': An Exclusive Interview with Ai Weiwei

  • The East is Rising

    The East Is Rising: 29 Chinese Cities Powering Global Growth

  • Weapons of Mass Urban Destruction

    Weapons of Mass Urban Destruction
    By Peter Calthorpe

  • Cities of the Future: Made in China

    7 Chinese Innovations That Will Change the Way We Live
    By Dustin Roasa

  • Once Upon a Time in Shanghai

    The Rise and Fall and Rise of New Shanghai
    By Daniel Brook

  • Beijing Forever

    Beijing Forever: The Capital Where Change Is the Only Constant
    By Michael Meyer

  • Postcards From the Future

    Postcards from the Future

  • Mr. Happy

    Mr. Happy: Is this Communist Party Boss About to Make the Big Time?
    By Geoff Dyer

  • Building a Better China

    Building a Better China
    By Richard Dobbs and Jaana Remes

  • China's Debt Bomb

    China's Debt Bomb
    By Jonathan Kaiman

  • Unlivable Cities

    Unlivable Cities
    By Isaac Stone Fish

  • Once Upon a Time in Shanghai

    Once Upon a Time in Shanghai

  • Life in a Big Box

    Life in a Big Box
    By Matthew Niederhauser

  • Life in a Big Box

    The Souls of Chinese Cities
    By Christina Larson

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Special Report

The Most Dynamic Cities of 2025

An exclusive look at the 75 powerhouses of the coming urban revolution, brought to you by FP in partnership with the McKinsey Global Institute.


Population (millions) GDP (billions of U.S. dollars)
Rank City Country 2010 2025 2010 2025 Total Growth % Growth
1 Shanghai China 22.3 30.9 $250.7 $1,112.2 $861.5 344%
2 Beijing China 18.8 29.6 206.2 1,027.9 821.7 398%
3 Tianjin China 11.1 15.2 128.8 624.4 495.7 385%
4 São Paulo Brazil 19.7 23.2 437.3 912.9 475.7 109%
5 Guangzhou China 11.1 14.9 146.1 573.0 426.9 292%
6 Shenzhen China 10.4 13.7 141.5 523.6 382.1 270%
7 New York United States 18.9 19.7 1,180.3 1,553.1 372.7 32%
8 Chongqing China 15.7 19.4 88.6 458.6 370.0 418%
9 Moscow Russia 11.6 12.7 325.8 688.5 362.7 111%
10 Tokyo Japan 36.4 36.7 1,874.7 2,218.6 343.9 18%
11 Wuhan China 9.8 13.1 82.2 414.4 332.2 404%
12 Los Angeles United States 12.9 15.0 731.8 1,051.5 319.7 44%
13 Foshan China 7.2 10.8 83.5 383.6 300.1 360%
14 Istanbul Turkey 11.0 14.9 188.2 479.7 291.5 155%
15 Nanjing China 7.2 9.9 68.5 343.9 275.4 402%
16 Chengdu China 7.7 11.2 57.8 309.6 251.7 435%
17 Hangzhou China 6.2 8.8 70.5 307.0 236.5 335%
18 Dongguan China 8.2 11.4 62.7 297.9 235.2 375%
19 Singapore Singapore 5.1 5.8 222.7 454.1 231.4 104%
20 Shenyang China 6.1 8.4 64.3 286.9 222.5 346%
21 London Britain 14.9 16.2 751.8 972.9 221.1 29%
22 Houston United States 6.0 7.7 341.1 559.9 218.8 64%
23 Dallas United States 6.4 8.6 324.9 541.2 216.3 67%
24 Xian China 6.5 9.1 40.6 253.3 212.6 523%
25 Washington United States 5.6 6.6 392.2 599.7 207.5 53%
26 Paris France 11.8 12.9 764.2 971.4 207.2 27%
27 Suzhou China 4.1 6.5 52.7 257.5 204.8 389%
28 Mexico City Mexico 20.1 21.6 255.1 459.5 204.4 80%
29 Riyadh Saudi Arabia 5.2 8.1 122.7 325.6 202.9 165%
30 Hong Kong China 7.1 8.2 224.5 423.6 199.1 89%
31 Bangkok Thailand 6.9 9.4 105.0 299.6 194.6 185%
32 Buenos Aires Argentina 13.1 15.2 191.7 384.3 192.6 100%
33 Doha Qatar 1.3 1.6 98.8 275.1 176.3 179%
34 Rio de Janeiro Brazil 11.8 13.6 180.9 356.1 175.2 97%
35 Dalian China 3.9 5.7 53.8 225.7 171.9 319%
36 Wuxi China 3.5 5.4 47.0 217.2 170.2 362%
37 Seoul South Korea 9.8 9.5 233.3 400.3 167.0 72%
38 Chicago United States 9.5 10.2 496.4 661.4 165.0 33%
39 Delhi India 16.3 21.4 47.6 211.4 163.9 344%
40 Ningbo China 3.5 5.1 45.0 205.7 160.8 358%
41 Jinan China 4.3 5.7 43.2 193.4 150.2 348%
42 Xiamen China 3.5 5.3 30.4 179.8 149.3 491%
43 Jakarta Indonesia 9.6 12.8 70.7 218.4 147.7 209%
44 Miami United States 5.6 7.2 235.9 380.2 144.34 61%
45 Kuwait City Kuwait 2.3 3.2 117.5 261.8 144.33 123%
46 Qingdao China 3.7 5.1 48.1 190.1 142.0 295%
47 Sydney Australia 4.6 5.8 268.9 410.6 141.8 53%
48 Atlanta United States 5.3 6.8 249.7 391.4 141.7 57%
49 Brasilia Brazil 3.7 5.0 101.6 242.6 141.03 139%
50 Taipei Taiwan 6.8 6.9 160.3 301.3 141.00 88%
51 Rhine-Ruhr Germany 11.3 11.1 484.6 625.0 140.4 29%
52 Toronto Canada 5.7 7.0 270.0 409.9 139.9 52%
53 Mumbai India 18.2 22.5 55.9 192.7 136.8 245%
54 Phoenix United States 4.2 5.9 181.6 317.5 135.9 75%
55 Harbin China 5.9 7.6 38.8 172.9 134.0 345%
56 Changzhou China 3.3 4.8 34.3 166.2 131.9 385%
57 San Francisco United States 4.3 5.0 283.3 410.7 127.3 45%
58 Hefei China 3.4 4.8 31.2 154.8 123.6 396%
59 Jeddah Saudi Arabia 3.5 5.2 75.9 196.9 121.0 159%
60 Melbourne Australia 4.1 5.2 221.4 341.7 120.3 54%
61 Luanda Angola 4.8 8.9 38.6 155.6 117.0 303%
62 Xuzhou China 3.1 4.5 22.4 134.1 111.7 499%
63 Tel Aviv-Jaffa Israel 3.3 4.3 114.8 225.9 111.0 97%
64 Changsha China 3.1 4.3 40.3 150.1 109.8 272%
65 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates 0.8 1.6 67.1 175.9 108.8 162%
66 Lima Peru 9.2 11.8 77.3 184.7 107.3 139%
67 Belo Horizonte Brazil 5.4 6.6 78.5 185.3 106.9 136%
68 Fuzhou China 2.9 4.2 23.4 130.0 106.6 456%
69 Ankara Turkey 4.1 5.7 64.9 170.3 105.4 162%
70 San Diego United States 3.1 3.9 172.9 277.5 104.6 61%
71 Philadelphia United States 6.0 6.3 314.5 418.6 104.1 33%
72 Tangshan China 3.0 3.7 33.6 137.6 104.0 309%
73 Santiago Chile 6.1 7.3 93.0 196.8 103.8 112%
74 Seattle United States 3.4 4.1 211.0 314.3 103.3 49%
75 Bangalore India 8.2 11.3 28.6 128.8 100.2 350%

Ranked by projected absolute GDP growth 2012-2025 at predicted real exchange rates.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute Cityscope database 2.0. 

About the index: Developed using McKinsey Global Institute's Cityscope database of 2,600 cities, the index represents one possible scenario of the urban world's evolution. Cities refer to integrated metropolitan areas, aggregating neighboring cities into a single urban center where appropriate. Estimates are based on underlying demographic and GDP per capita growth projections, and subject to significant uncertainty in evolution of everything from population and migration patterns to per capita GDP growth and exchange rate outlook. For more on data sources and methodologies, please see the appendix of "Urban World: Cities and the Rise of the Consuming Class" at www.mckinsey.com/mgi.