Major global cities

Competitive Alternatives 2016 includes business cost rankings for more than 100 cities in 10 countries. This page highlights the results for a select grouping of the largest cities from each of the study countries.

Major global cities
RankCityCountryIndex1
1MonterreyMexico76.5
2Mexico CityMexico78.6
3MontrealCanada85.2
4TorontoCanada85.6
5VancouverCanada86.2
6ManchesterUK86.4
7RotterdamNetherlands87.5
8AmsterdamNetherlands87.8
9MelbourneAustralia88.8
10RomeItaly89.1
11MilanItaly89.5
12SydneyAustralia90.1
13ParisFrance91.7
14OsakaJapan91.8
15BerlinGermany91.9
16FrankfurtGermany92.8
17TokyoJapan93.6
18AtlantaUS95.1
19MiamiUS95.4
20LondonUK95.4
21Dallas-Fort Worth2US96.2
22HoustonUS97.6
23Chicago2US98.3
24North Virginia, Metro DCUS99.4
25PhiladelphiaUS99.8
 US BASELINE2100.0
26Los Angeles2US100.8
27BostonUS101.2
28San FranciscoUS104.5
29New York City2US104.7
1  Business costs are expressed as an index. An index below 100 indicates lower costs than the US baseline. An index over 100 indicates higher costs than the US baseline. (e.g., an index of 95.0 represents costs 5.0% below the US baseline.)
2  US Baseline is the average of the four largest US metro areas.

Among major global cities, all cities outside the US have experienced gains in cost competitiveness relative to the US in 2016, based on the surging value of the US dollar. However, changes in local cost factors also impact the competitiveness of these cities. For example, declining utility rates together with static costs for employee benefits help Sydney (Australia) move ahead of Osaka (Japan), where these same cost factors have seen sizable increases.

Among the major US cities, since 2014 Miami has experienced the lowest increase in business costs, and moves up in the rankings. Recent reductions in transportation costs and suburban office lease costs both help Miami, along with enhancements in Florida state tax incentives.

Moving in the opposite direction, New York City has seen the largest increase in business costs among the big US cities, falling behind San Francisco in this year’s rankings. Rising labor costs—both salaries and benefits—are an issue for NYC, and more than offset gains from recent state tax reforms that assist New York firms.

These examples highlight the depth of analysis available in this study.

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