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McKinsey: Global cities of the future

Within 15 years, 600 cities will account for more than 60 percent of GDP growth, according to McKinsey's "Global cities of the future" study. In 2025, a quarter of the world's population, or 2 billion people, will live in the 600 cities the study considers. McKinsey expects these urban locales to produce 60 percent of the world's GDP in 2025, or $64 trillion. Unsurprisingly, Chinese cities dominate the rankings of top hotspots in terms of GDP growth for that date. Of the top 10, nine metros are located in China; only New York broke into the list.


1. Shanghai (1/11)

Several factors propelled Shanghai to the top of McKinsey's survey. Nearly 30 percent of its work force has a college education, and every year, at least 100,000 graduates from 60 higher education institutes enter the labor pool. It also attracts foreign workers, with 500,000 expatriates currently in the city. Since it is a large city, it inherently attracts more foreign direct investment. Its location at the heart of an economic cluster on the Yangtze River Delta also spurs economic development.

Next: Beijing

2. Beijing (2/11)

Beijing is among three global cities that will experience the strongest growth in housing demand. The Chinese capital will see six million new households by 2025. Volume of housing demand will rise by a million households. Beijing and Shanghai will be the sites of more than five times the number of consuming and global households in 2025 compared to current figures. By 2025, Beijing will represent 55 percent of China's consuming bracket, compared to the country total of just over 20 percent. According to McKinsey, "In this new landscape of urban economic power, Shanghai and Beijing will outrank Los Angeles and Paris."

Next: New York

3. New York (3/11)

McKinsey expects New York to have nearly eight million households in significant income brackets by 2025. The Big Apple, along with Los Angeles, will anchor large North American urban clusters. New York will contribute approximately $550 billion by 2025 to global GDP growth.

Next: Tianjin

4. Tianjin (4/11)

McKinsey labels Tianjin a developing megacity. With an economy driven by heavy industry, it is located on China's northern coast and has a strong manufacturing base. The city produces a plethora of critical goods: Machinery, electronics, chemicals, petroleum, textiles, and micro and mini computers are just some of its wares.

Next: Chongqing

5. Chongqing (5/11)

More than half of Chongqing's population already lives in urban areas. The city is banking on emerging industries - such as IT, which the municipality is incentivizing - as well as its manufacturing base of automotives, light industry, and petrochemicals. FutureGov says the city government's economic development efforts are "paying off so far." In 2010, its economy grew by 17.6 percent.

Next: Shenzhen

6. Shenzhen (6/11)

This developing megacity, immediately north of Hong Kong, is expected to overtake that island's economic output within 10 years, according to a city official in the Chinese People's Daily newspaper. Shenzhen is emphasizing tech-based growth for its future economic strategies.

Next: Guangzhou

7. Guangzhou (7/11)

Although the Pearl River Delta, where this developing megacity is located, was significantly affected by the recession, Guangzhou resisted some of the downturn's bumps. The city focused on leveraging leading enterprises and megaprojects, as well as pushing manufacturing to the high-end and encouraging local innovation, according to GDNews.

Next: Nanjing

8. Nanjing (8/11)

Located in East China, Nanjing's robust manufacturing industry encompasses 36 sectors with more than 200 categories of goods produced, according to a government website. The city emphasizes innovation, too: It is home to 29 research institutions in the field of electronics alone. It is also a top petrochemical producer for China, ranking second in the nation for overall production capacity.

Next: Hangzhou

9. Hangzhou (9/11)

South of Shanghai on China's central coast, this developing megacity has focused on infrastructure over the past five years to organize urbanization. Economically, Hangzhou leads Zhejiang Province in gross output and doubled its GDP in five years.

Next: Chengdu

10. Chengdu (10/11)

The capital of Sichuan Province, this developing megacity is West China's most important commercial center, according to a government website. Already strong in manufacturing sectors such as electronics, machinery, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, metallurgy, and food processing, Chengdu is now focusing on the IT sector for growth.

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