Source: “Global MetroMonitor 2012: Slowdown, Recovery, and Interdependence” (Washington: Brookings Institution).
Large metropolitan areas are the foci of global commercial activity as well as global economic output. The world’s 300 largest metropolitan areas account for 19% of the global population but for 48% of the global GDP. They tend to dominate national economies, particularly primate cities such as London, Paris, Moscow, Mexico City, Bangkok, Lima, and Tokyo. Compared with their urban population figures, the economic weight of metropolitan areas in developing economies is less prevalent. The global economy is thus more a network of interacting cities than of nations trading. A similar rationale applies at the national level, which is composed of a system of cities.