Ipsos Top Cities 2017 Ranking

Global survey finds New York is still the best city for living, working and visiting.

Ipsos Top Cities 2017 Ranking

The author(s)

  • Elen Alexov Director of Marketing Operations, North America, Ipsos
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The 2017 edition of the Ipsos Top Cities Index finds that New York is the world’s most popular city, retaining the title it claimed when the survey was first run in 2013.

This year also sees Abu Dhabi leapfrogging London and Paris into second position while Tokyo ties with Zurich and Sydney to round out the top five global cities.

People in 26 countries were asked to list, out of 60 cities, the metropolises they felt were best to live in, do business in, and visit. The scores from the three questions were then added together to create the Ipsos Cities Index. The full results are available at: https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/ipsos-top-cities-2017

Each of the top global cities have unique strengths; New York and Abu Dhabi are unparalleled as centers for business but they score less strongly as a place to live or visit, while Paris tops the global list of tourism destinations but rates comparatively poorly as a business hub. London and Tokyo have rounded profiles, scoring more evenly across the three dimensions, while Zurich and Sydney’s strengths are derived from their high scores as top cities to live in.

The remaining top ten positions this year are occupied by Rome, Los Angeles and Amsterdam. The cities at the bottom of this year’s ranking are Nairobi and Tehran. 

Top Cities Index 2017 Scores

Looking at each of the three dimensions, different cities come out on top:

  • New York is the most popular city to do business in, with 23% of the global sample selecting it from the list. Abu Dhabi is second with 21%, followed by London and Hong Kong (both on 16%), and Tokyo (15%).
  • Paris is seen as the best city to visit; 21% say it is one of the best destinations for tourism. Rome comes second on this measure with 20%, overtaking New York which scored 16% this year.
  • Zurich is the top destination to live in. Selected by 18% of our sample, it is narrowly ahead of Sydney – the city that also came second on this measure in 2013 – on 17%. Abu Dhabi has moved from seventh to third on this measure over the same period.

The view from North America

New York City also tops the list of favorite cities among U.S. residents. And while other North American cities made the list, notably absent from the U.S. top ten is Chicago, the only North American city included in the survey that didn’t crack the top of the rankings.

Ipsos Cities Index 2017: USA Top Ten

The two Canadian cities in the poll, Toronto and Vancouver, topped the list among Canadians. The ranked numbers 11 and 12 respectively in the overall global list, as well. The rest of the top ten spans the globe.

Ipsos Cities Index 2017: Canada Top Ten

Generation strains

Different generations have different views of what makes a top city. Zurich is the favorite city for Baby Boomers (those born 1945-65), while the three younger generations – Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z – are consistent in placing New York and Abu Dhabi as their top two.

Sydney appears to have more limited appeal to younger people. While it is the second-favorite city for Baby Boomers and third-favorite for Generation X, Millennials (aged 22-37) rank it as their ninth-favourite, While the iGen (aged 21 and under) put it eighth. Other cities that have greater youth appeal include Los Angeles and Tokyo.Top Cities Index: Rank by Generation

“America is still great, with two cities in the top-ten global cities of the 2017 Ipsos Top Cities Index,” said Chris Jackson, vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs, U.S. “We are the only country occupying two top spots. But while New York comes out near the top with young and old people alike, Los Angeles exhibits a powerful appeal to younger people around the world.”

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,782.7 million in 2016.

The author(s)

  • Elen Alexov Director of Marketing Operations, North America, Ipsos

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