U.S. Cities Are Economic Giants: Ritholtz Chart

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He blogs at the Big Picture and is the author of “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy.”
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About 1.5 billion people, or 22 percent of the world's population, lives in 600 cities. They account for an outsized portion of global wealth.

According to a new report by McKinsey & Co.:

Half of global GDP in 2007 came from 380 cities in developed-regions, with more than 20 percent of global GDP coming from 190 North American cities alone.

These urban areas are, in McKinsey's words, "economic giants."

To put the scale of urban economies into context, consider the largest cities in the U.S. The New York metropolitan area (which includes parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania) is the economic equivalent of Australia.

Economically, Chicago's metro area is roughly the size of Sweden and the Washington metro area is equivalent to Argentina.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Barry L Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net