The worldwide distribution of the richest urban areas shows the prominent importance of the United States for the global economy. Of the 21 cities listed, twelve alone are in the United States, with Toronto in Canada also included in this cluster. All the urban areas, recorded in 2005, had a gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity (PPP) of more than 215 billion U.S. Dollars. The PPP allows a comparison of metropolitan areas even if actual price levels differ widely. The two leading positions are taken up here by Tokyo and New York, each of which generated more than one trillion U.S. Dollars. The lowest rates were Seoul with $218 billion (U.S.).
Strength by Regions In addition to New York, other U.S. cities represented in the top ten are Los Angeles ($639 billion.), Chicago ($460 billion), Philadelphia ($312 billion) and Washington DC ($299 billion). Together, these five cities by PPP reached a GDP of $2.8 trillion, which exceeded the values for Germany ($2.4 trillion U.S.). In the map showing U.S. cities, with an approximate total of $4.3 trillion, it can be seen that a third of the total GDP of the USA ($12.4 trillion) was generated in just twelve urban areas. The southern half of the American double continent rarely plays a significant role in rankings of economic strength. However, looking at the urban areas, Buenos Aires ($245 billion) and São Paulo ($225 billion) are also in the top league. They have prominent importance for the economic power of their countries: The capital city of Beunos Aires generated over 40% of Argentina's GDP and the corresponding value for São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, was approximately 14%. The only European world cities included in the first-tier group of the richest urban areas are Paris ($460 billion) and London ($452 billion.) occupying positions five and six. These two cities are also of paramount importance for their countries: Paris has a one fourth share of France's GDP and London has just over one fifth of the appropriate value for the UK. Asia is spanned by a triangle between the South Korean capital of Seoul (which has 20% of the country's GDP), China's Hong Kong ($244 billion which is 2% of the country's GDP) and the two Japanese areas of Tokyo ($1191 billion) and Osaka / Kobe ($341 billion) which together generated 38% of Japan's GDP.
GDP per capita Differences within the group of the world's richest agglomerations can be put into perspective when one considers the per capita GDP. With over 35 million inhabitants, Tokyo loses its top position: Per capita value of only U.S. $ 33,835 ensures that the city is in the midfield. New York now occupies the first rank with $60,588 per capita. Only London, Chicago and Los Angeles are close to this value, each with about $ 50,000 (per capita). Ranked last is São Paulo with $12,295 U.S. (per capita). D. Falk; Ü: C. Fleming