Top 15 richest cities in the world with the highest GDP in 2021 ▷ Kenya News

Top 15 richest cities in the world with the highest GDP

Growth Domestic Product (GDP) is a crucial indicator of how much wealth a city possesses. A city with a higher GDP means it has more wealth than one with a low GDP. Today, urban centres generate more GDP for many countries. That is because cities have become centres of innovation, creativity, and culture and are the focal points for finance, business services, corporate headquarters, and government. But because of the many activities going on in cities, it has become challenging to determine the richest cities in the world.

Moscow in Russia. Photo: @chrumo

The richest cities in the world all come from developed countries. Some of these cities have so much wealth that they are significant economies on their own and are even more remarkable than some national economies. One factor that has made some cities grow is that they have large populations of people willing to spend more money, thus attracting more business investments and government spending.

15 richest cities in the world

Where do rich people live? Rich people live in cities with the highest GDP. Also, cities with strong tech sectors, lucrative industries, and large populations attract more wealthy people. Here is a look at some of the richest cities in the world based on their GDP.

1. Tokyo – $1,790 billion

Tokyo is the most populous city of Japan and the political and economic centre of the country. It is the richest place in the world, with a GDP of $1,790 billion. Tokyo was originally a fishing village in the 1600s but grew up to become the most populated city globally by the mid-18th century.

Tokyo has a high GDP compared to any other city globally because it is a major international finance centre that houses the headquarters of some of the world’s largest investment banks and insurance companies. Furthermore, the metropolis serves as a hub for Japan’s publishing, broadcasting industries, and transportation.

2. New York – $1,732 billion

New York is the most populous city in the United States and the second-wealthiest city globally. It has a GDP of $1,732 billion as of 2021. Furthermore, New York is a city with the most millionaires per capita. New York serves as a centre of many industries, including international trade, financial technology, finance, real estate, fashion, manufacturing, entertainment, education, tourism, and biotechnology.

New York also generates lots of wealth because it is the headquarters for the United States financial industry, better known as Wall Street. New York’s financial sector is powerful in that it has become the world’s leading financial centre. Furthermore, the city hosts the world’s two largest stock exchanges by market capitalisation, NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.

3. Los Angeles – $1,048 billion

Los Angeles is the second-most populous urban region in the United States. It has a GDP of $1,048 billion, contributed by a productive entertainment industry. Los Angeles is also one of the biggest global centres of international trade, tourism, media, business, education, sports, and technology.

Los Angeles is home to many car manufacturers, including Honda, Mazda, Hyundai, Suzuki, and Mitsubishi. Despite being a manufacturing hub for the world’s most famous vehicles, Los Angeles’s economy heavily relies on the entertainment industry, with a sharp focus on TV, motion pictures, music, and interactive video games.

4. London – $937 billion

London is the capital of the United Kingdom, the financial centre of England, and one of the world’s global cities. It exerts significant influence on commerce, fashion, arts, finance, media, communications, entertainment, education, and tourism in England. As of 2021, London’s GDP is $937 billion, making it the biggest urban economy in Europe.

Apart from being a powerhouse in Europe, London is also a major financial centre globally, with over 450 banks hosted in the city. The city first became a financial muscle in the early 1800s. Furthermore, London has the highest concentration of higher education centres in Europe and has the world’s most expensive office market.

5. Seoul – $915 billion

Seoul is the most populous city in South Korea and forms the country’s cultural, commercial, financial, industrial, and residential centre. It has been the capital area of South Korea for around 2,000 years. As of 2021, Seoul has a GDP of $915 billion.

Seoul plays a crucial role in South Korea because it generates half of the country’s total GDP. During the 20th century, Seoul’s economy heavily relied on manufacturing. But the economy has been changing from a manufacturing hub to a knowledge hub. As a result, many high-tech business parks have come up in the city to serve as business incubators.

6. Paris – $866 billion

Paris is the capital of France and the most populous city in the country. It also serves as one of the richest places in the world, with a GDP of $866 billion. Paris has been one of the most powerful financial centres of Europe since the 17th century.

Furthermore, the city has been the centre for diplomacy, fashion, science, and the arts. The economy of Paris heavily relies on commerce, services, transportation, construction, and industry. But in recent times, Paris has gradually shifted its economy to high-value-added service industries like finance, IT services, and high-tech manufacturing.

7. Osaka-Kobe – $781 billion

Osaka-Kobe is the second-most populated urban region in Japan. It has a GDP of $781 billion, making it one of the most productive regions globally. Osaka has a strategic location that makes it ideal for international companies to invest with local partners. The city is home to many skilled manufacturers in different industries, including pharmaceuticals, electronics, machinery, construction, device, food, and chemical.

Osaka has a diverse economy, thus ranking in the top ten cities of the world. For example, it has many trading houses, specialised trading companies, and department stores. Furthermore, the city is home to many financial and service industries, high-tech, and information and communications.

8. Chicago – $619 billion

Chicago, or the City of Chicago, is one of the largest urban areas in the world, with a GDP of $619 billion. It first became a city in 1837 and grew in the mid-19th century to become one of the most populated cities in North America. After the 1871 Great Chicago Fire that left thousands of people homeless, Chicago started a rebuilding plan that resulted in the construction boom.

Chicago has the most balanced economy in the USA because of its diversification. Some of its most significant industries include manufacturing, publishing, printing, and food processing.

9. Shanghai – $608 billion

Shanghai may not be the richest city globally, but it has a GDP of $608 billion, more than the GDPs of many national economies. Shanghai started as a fishing village and market town. It grew throughout the 19th century because of domestic and foreign trade, especially its strategic port location.

Today, Shanghai is Asia’s commercial and financial hub and a significant player behind China’s booming economy. Furthermore, the city has become a global centre for innovation and finance and a national focal point for commerce, transportation, and trade. Shanghai is also home to the Port of Shanghai, the world’s busiest container port.

10. Moscow – $604 billion

Moscow is one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world. It first came into existence in the 1100s and grew to become Russia’s political and economic centre. Today, Moscow has a GDP of $604 billion.

Moscow is also a wealthy city because it ranks among the top ten cities with the highest number of billionaires. Furthermore, Moscow has many financial centres that contribute to the city’s GDP. The most significant industries in Moscow are chemical, energy production, software development, food, furniture, and machinery industries.

11. Beijing – $554 billion


Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and the most populous national capital city in the world. As of 2021, Beijing has a GDP of $554 billion. Furthermore, the city is the world’s billionaire capital, ranking first on the list of cities with the most billionaires.

Beijing has grown tremendously over the years to become a global city. It is also one of the leading cities in the world for culture, politics, diplomacy, business, economics, science, and technology. Apart from being a global city, it is home to the largest state-owned companies in China and the highest number of Fortune Global 500 companies globally.

12. Washington DC – $541 billion

Washington DC is the capital city of the United States of America and the seat of the United States Federal Government and international organisations. Washington has a GDP of $541 billion and plays a significant role in the country’s tourism. Unlike other cities in the USA, Washing leads in the number of tourists or visitors it receives every year.

Although Washington attracts many tourists, it enjoys a diversified economy. Some of its industries include finance, education, scientific research, and public policy. Furthermore, Washington DC is among the most competitive financial centres in the world.

13. Houston – $479 billion

Houston is the fifth-most populous city in the United States. Historically, Houston has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA. As of 2021, it has a GDP of $479 billion.

Houston’s major economic activity is banking. But Houston also has the Port of Houston, which serves as one of the most significant shipping hubs of the USA and the world. Also, the metropolitan area is home to the largest petrochemical manufacturing companies, including fertilisers, insecticides, and synthetic rubber.

14. Dallas-Fort Worth – $472 billion

Dallas-Fort Worth is the economic and cultural hub of North Texas and the fourth-largest city in the USA. It has a GDP of $472 billion, contributed by various economic activities such as banking, commerce, insurance, telecommunications, technology, and energy.

Dallas-Fort Worth’s economy has been performing well in the past few years because of proper business management and operations. Also, the city contains the largest Information Technology industry and has the fourth-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the United States.

15. Sao Paulo – $409 billion

Sao Paulo is the city of Brazil and the fourth-largest city in the world by population. Apart from being populous, Sao Paulo is the wealthiest state in Brazil that exerts rooted international influences in finance, commerce, and entertainment.

Sao Paulo has a GDP of $409 billion. Banks and financial institutions contribute significantly to the city’s GDP. Also, Sao Paulo is the third-largest exporting municipality of Brazil and hosts the country’s official stock and bond exchange.

The three richest cities in the world by GDP are Tokyo ($1,790 billion), New York ($1,732 billion), and Los Angeles ($1,048 billion). These cities also happen to be among the most populous worldwide. Furthermore, the cities derive their wealth from huge populations that have increased consumer spending, government spending, and business investments, thus growing their GDPs. shared an article on the top 15 cleanest cities in Africa 2020. Africa is home to some clean cities which offer sustainable development, prosperous farming, and clean air to residents. This has been contributed by the fact that these states prioritize cleanliness.

Most of the cleanest cities in Africa have put up policies governing littering and pollution which have, in turn, made sure the places are as tidy as possible. The conurbations also collect and dispose of solid waste regularly at designated dumping sites.


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