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Opinion
Tyler Cowen

This Philippine City Is the Most Typical Place in the World

By a variety of measures, Cebu is remarkably representative of the rest of the globe.

The most typical city in the world?

The most typical city in the world?

Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg

I’ve long wondered what might be the most typical place in the world, and I believe I now have an answer. It is Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines, from which I have just returned.

What do I mean by the world’s most typical place? On a variety of measures — economic, demographic and cultural, to name a few — Cebu is remarkably representative of the world as a whole.