Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

An aerial photo of downtown Calgary in 2012.

Chris Bolin/The Globe and Mail

In 2014 Calgary ranked as one of the world's richest cities, but that ranking is almost certain to slip this year as a result of the oil price drop.

In a study of the world's 300 largest cities, released Thursday by the Washington-based Brookings Institution, Calgary came 14th in the measure of GDP per capita, at $64,540 (U.S.). At the top of the list was Zurich, at $82,410, and Oslo, at $82,040.

Calgary was also the best performing of eight Canadian cities in the Brookings report's broader rankings, which measured cities by "economic performance." That includes employment growth as well as expansion in GDP per capita. Calgary came in 53rd, Edmonton was at number 62, and Vancouver was at 74.

Story continues below advertisement

Many of the top performing cities in the overall rankings have a concentration in the commodities business, the Brookings researchers say, but they acknowledge that things could change dramatically this year because of the slide in oil prices.

There is a "significant possibility" the crash in oil prices will dent growth in some of the commodity-dependent cities, said Jesus Leal Trujillo, one of the authors of the report. The exposure to energy extraction is "both a curse and a blessing," he noted.

Macau came first in the Brookings overall rankings of economic performance, followed by three Turkish cities: Izmir, Istanbul and Bursa. Fifth was Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The fastest growth rates are in the developing world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The bulk of the slower growing metropolitan economies are in Western Europe, North America and the developed parts of the Asia-Pacific region.

The report noted that growth is uneven in every major region of the world, with some cities doing well and others underperforming sharply. In Canada, for example, Winnipeg and Montreal came far down the list, at number 279 and 285 respectively, a contrast to the Alberta and B.C. cities which are closer to the top.

Developing markets have the fastest overall growth, the report said, but there, too, expansion is uneven. Many cities in central China are growing very fast, for example, because of government-funded infrastructure linking them to the coast. Those in the northeast part of the country are growing much more slowly.

The majority of the 300 cities surveyed have finally reached or surpassed the levels of employment and income they had before the 2008-2009 recession, the report said. But that is not the case in significant parts of the developed world. Fifty-seven per cent of cities in North America, and 65 per cent of those in Western Europe, have not yet seen a full recovery from the recession, it said.

Story continues below advertisement

Canada's rankings*

53. Calgary

62. Edmonton

74. Vancouver

80. Quebec City

197. Toronto

Story continues below advertisement

229. Ottawa

279. Winnipeg

285. Montreal

*based on growth in employment and GDP per capita, among 300 cities

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies