The richness of a city can be measured in so many ways. The diversity of its population, the quality of life it offers residents, and even its carbon neutrality are all valid ways to measure richness. However, the overall GDP of a country is the best, and most objective, way of deciding what the richest cities in the world are. Paris, London and Los Angeles are obvious contenders, but you might be surprised by what other cities make it onto the list!

Chicago, USA

People who are unfamiliar with Chicago are often surprised to see it on a list of rich and influential cities. This Illinois city sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, and with a population of just over 2.7 million, it’s one of the largest cities in the United States. The city boasts a GDP of 524.6 billion dollars, and it has one of the largest business districts of any U.S. city. Not only is Chicago a financial powerhouse, but it’s also a hotspot for both American and international arts and culture.

Chicago cityscape Mlenny / Getty Images


Paris, France

The capital of France and its largest city, Paris, is also the European capital of fashion, art, and gastronomy. The cultural icon of a city has a population of 2.14 million and an impressive GDP of around 669 billion dollars. Apart from financial and tech-related industries, tourism, unsurprisingly, brings a lot of money into the city. Looking to move to the city of love? Paris is also one of the most expensive cities to live in, so make sure you save up!

Paris, France Orbon Alija / Getty Images


Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is South Korea’s powerhouse capital. The city is huge, and it has an estimated population of 10 million people! As far as GDP goes, Seoul is one of the richest of the rich with over 779 billion dollars. Although the city suffered a lot of damage during the Korean War, it began to grow and prosper very quickly from the 1960s. Today, the city attracts tourists from all over the world, and it has major electronic, textile, and steel industries.

Seoul, South Korea Mlenny / Getty Images


Moscow, Russia

Russia is a major player when it comes to the richest cities in the world. The capital city of Moscow is located on the Moskva River, and it’s home to many of the country’s historic sites. The city has a population of 11.9 million and a GDP of over 520 billion. Although there is some tourism, most of the GDP comes from industries related to food production, steel, and energy. Not only is this one of the richest cities in the world, but it also provides most of Russia with essential supplies.

Moscow, Russia in the winter Mordolff / Getty Images


London, England

The capital of England and its financial and cultural center, London is an obvious pick for this list. London is a small city with an area of only 607 miles squared, but it makes up for its size with its industry. The city of 8 million residents brings in a whopping 731.2 billion dollars in GDP. Tourism is popular in London, but finance and banking are the major industries that have made London what it is today.

Big Ben in London, England mammuth / Getty Images


Tokyo, Japan

The capital of Japan has a huge population of over 13 million and an outstanding GDP of 1.5 trillion dollars. The major industries include electronics and tech, along with telecommunications. The city has been nearly demolished on a few occasions in its long history, including during the 1923 earthquake and during WWII, but it’s been successfully rebuilt into the thriving and progressive city that we currently see.

Tokyo skyline and Mt. Fuji yongyuan / Getty Images


Los Angeles, USA

Los Angeles is the second of three American cities that are some of the richest in the world. Not only is entertainment a major earner for this sprawling metropolis, but the banking and financial industries bring in billions of dollars every year. The city has a population of 4 million and brings in a GDP of around 780 billion dollars.

Downtown Los Angeles, California adamkaz / Getty Images


Shanghai, China

Although Beijing is China’s capital and cultural center, Shanghai is largely considered its industrial and commercial capital. Its major industries include steel production as well as chemical manufacturing. It is also home to many foreign embassies and enjoys a large amount of tourism every year. All of these influences combine to give Shanghai a GDP of 516 billion dollars.

Shanghai, China skyline Yongyuan Dai / Getty Images


New York City, USA

NYC is home to major financial and entertainment industries that also bring in some major cash. Not only is it one of the cities with the most billionaires, but the city’s GDP is also an incredible 1.2 trillion dollars. Tourism plays an obvious role in the city’s GDP, but banking and financial industries are also big contributors.

Lower Manhattan, New York, USA Eloi_Omella / Getty Images


Osaka, Japan

Osaka is a true financial powerhouse. The city is surrounded by rural land, and agriculture reigns supreme just outside the city limits. Osaka is a port city, and it has a population of 2.69 million. With a GDP of over 650 billion dollars, the city thrives in metal and textile production as well as tourism. Home to the Osaka Castle, the city has been a major city since the Edo Period, and tourists flock to see the sights!

Osaka, Japan



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