Best cities worldwide

Ranking of cities: demographics, economy, infrastructure, and more

Best cities of 2020 (1 - 5)
city comparison
Comparison winner
city comparison
Comparison winner
Tokyo
Comparison winner
Sacramento
Comparison winner
San Jose, CA, United States
Comparison winner
Delhi
Comparison winner
London
Comparison winner
Shanghai
Comparison winner
Mexico City
Comparison winner
New York
Comparison winner
Baltimore
Comparison winner
Beijing
Image
Tokyo
100points
Sacramento
99points
San Jose, CA, United States
99points
Delhi
98points
London
97points
Shanghai
97points
Mexico City
96points
New York
95points
Baltimore
94points
Beijing
94points
Summary
Summary
  • Demographics (62)
  • Quality of living (84)
  • Environment (78)
  • Leisure (44)
  • Transportation (67)
  • General info (100)
  • Demographics (66)
  • Quality of living (100)
  • Environment (56)
  • Leisure (17)
  • Transportation (63)
  • General info (65)
  • Demographics (61)
  • Quality of living (88)
  • Environment (94)
  • Leisure (5)
  • Transportation (62)
  • General info (35)
  • Demographics (68)
  • Quality of living (78)
  • Environment (85)
  • Leisure (23)
  • Transportation (50)
  • General info (39)
  • Demographics (66)
  • Quality of living (73)
  • Environment (67)
  • Leisure (100)
  • Transportation (74)
  • General info (73)
  • Demographics (97)
  • Quality of living (76)
  • Environment (68)
  • Leisure (18)
  • Transportation (82)
  • General info (35)
  • Demographics (65)
  • Quality of living (77)
  • Environment (81)
  • Leisure (79)
  • Transportation (82)
  • General info (54)
  • Demographics (68)
  • Quality of living (84)
  • Environment (65)
  • Leisure (42)
  • Transportation (72)
  • General info (62)
  • Demographics (59)
  • Quality of living (88)
  • Environment (90)
  • Leisure (6)
  • Transportation (39)
  • General info (65)
  • Demographics (77)
  • Quality of living (74)
  • Environment (79)
  • Leisure (31)
  • Transportation (68)
  • General info (47)
Pros
Pros
  • Lower cost of one single transportation ticket
  • Smaller humidity rate
  • Higher GDP (PPP)
  • Lower income inequalities
  • Seaside beach
  • Drinking alcohol allowed in public places
  • Higher average temperature
  • Higher average maximum temperature
  • Smaller humidity rate
  • Younger population
  • Shorter average commuting time
  • Higher average maximum temperature
  • Higher average salary
  • Seaside beach
  • Higher proportion of women
  • Cheaper monthly public transport ticket
  • Higher average temperature
  • Higher average maximum temperature
  • Lower cost of one single transportation ticket
  • Lower population density
  • Higher population growth rate
  • Higher GDP (PPP)
  • Lower income inequalities
  • Better globally connected
  • More landmarks from UNESCO World Heritage list
  • More airports
  • More billionaires from annual Forbes report residing within the city
  • Higher average temperature
  • Lower cost of one single transportation ticket
  • Higher GDP (PPP)
  • Seaside beach
  • Lower population density
  • Younger population
  • Cheaper monthly public transport ticket
  • Higher average temperature
  • Higher average maximum temperature
  • Lower cost of one single transportation ticket
  • Smaller humidity rate
  • Higher GDP (PPP)
  • Higher average salary
  • Higher GDP (PPP)
  • Seaside beach
  • Better globally connected
  • More airports
  • More billionaires from annual Forbes report residing within the city
  • Seaside beach
  • Lower population density
  • Younger population
  • Higher proportion of women
  • Lower cost of one single transportation ticket
  • Smaller humidity rate
  • Lower income inequalities
  • Lower population density
  • Drinking alcohol allowed in public places
  • More landmarks from UNESCO World Heritage list
Cons
Cons
  • Annual population growth rate
  • Average maximum temperature
  • Median age of population
  • Number of billionaires
  • Population
  • Population density
  • Population
  • Annual population growth rate
  • Average salary
  • Cost of the monthly public transport ticket
  • Price of a single transportation ticket
  • Population
  • Population density
  • Average temperature
  • Gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Cost of the monthly public transport ticket
  • Price of a single transportation ticket
  • Population
  • Number of international embassies
  • Gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Female population
  • Global Cities Index
  • Number of billionaires
  • Average commuting time
  • Humidity rate
  • Female population
  • Population
  • Population density
  • Cost of the monthly public transport ticket
  • Female population
  • Global Cities Index
  • Green area per person
  • Humidity rate
  • Income inequalities
  • Number of billionaires
  • Population
  • Population density
  • Global Cities Index
  • Number of billionaires
  • Number of international embassies
  • Female population
  • Population
  • Annual population growth rate
  • Average maximum temperature
  • Population density
  • Median age of population
  • Average temperature
  • Population
  • Annual population growth rate
  • Average temperature
  • Average maximum temperature
  • Gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Number of public Wi-Fi spots
  • Average maximum temperature
  • Average temperature
  • Female population
  • Number of museums
  • Number of international embassies
  • Average salary
Demographics
Annual population growth rateThe average population growth rate reflects the annual increase or decrease in population. Currently, the world’s population is growing at a rate of approximately 1.07% per year. The higher the growth, the more dynamic society feels. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.
Annual population growth rateThe average population growth rate reflects the annual increase or decrease in population. Currently, the world’s population is growing at a rate of approximately 1.07% per year. The higher the growth, the more dynamic society feels. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.0.77%1.27%N.A.3.8%1.4%22.15%1.8%0.9%-0.2%3.7%
Female populationThe percentage of female residents, according to the city's official statistics. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; UNData, 2020.
Female populationThe percentage of female residents, according to the city's official statistics. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; UNData, 2020.52%51.3%54.6%46%51.1%49.56%51.1%52.51%53.4%49.56%
Median age of populationCities or countries with younger population have usually better development perspectives. Young societies are more dynamic and creative. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.
Median age of populationCities or countries with younger population have usually better development perspectives. Young societies are more dynamic and creative. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.44.7 years33.2 years35.2 yearsN.A.36.4 years32.26 yearsN.A.35.5 years35 yearsN.A.
PopulationPopulous cities or countries usually offer better employment opportunities because of their large economies. Big cities attract companies and business investment, and are usually important cultural centers and research hubs. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.
PopulationPopulous cities or countries usually offer better employment opportunities because of their large economies. Big cities attract companies and business investment, and are usually important cultural centers and research hubs. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.13.18 million0.49 million0.98 million16.79 million8.6 million23 million8.84 million8.5 million0.62 million21.5 million
Population densityPopulation density shows how cramped or spread out inhabitants are. Cities or countries with high population densities can be considered overpopulated, but this becomes an issue if the infrastructure is underdeveloped. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.
Population densityPopulation density shows how cramped or spread out inhabitants are. Cities or countries with high population densities can be considered overpopulated, but this becomes an issue if the infrastructure is underdeveloped. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.6000 people/km²4800 people/km²5400 people/km²3886 people/km²5518 people/km²3600 people/km²6000 people/km²10194 people/km²2970 people/km²1300 people/km²
Total score for "Demographics"
Total score for "Demographics"
Quality of living
Cheaper cost of one-bedroom apartment in the city centerThe average price of a single-bedroom apartment located in the city center shows how much of your salary would be allocated in rent expenses, and is an indicator of the cost of living of the city. Source: numbeo.com, 2020.
Cheaper cost of one-bedroom apartment in the city centerThe average price of a single-bedroom apartment located in the city center shows how much of your salary would be allocated in rent expenses, and is an indicator of the cost of living of the city. Source: numbeo.com, 2020.1 162.14$1 133.33$2 454.16$242.57$2 145.13$1 003.19$459.18$3 001.28$1 318.20$984.82$
Average salarySource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official stats, 2020.
Average salarySource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official stats, 2020.2 895.20$2 966.99$5 414.69$653.21$2 773.00$1 356.92$697.49$4 370.90$3 251.43$1 248.56$
Gross domestic product (GDP)The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reflects the value and productivity of an economy. It measures the market value of all the final goods and services produced annually. To reflect the differences in the cost of living and inflation rates, we show the GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP). Sources: Wikipedia, CIA World Factbook, 2020.
Gross domestic product (GDP)The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reflects the value and productivity of an economy. It measures the market value of all the final goods and services produced annually. To reflect the differences in the cost of living and inflation rates, we show the GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP). Sources: Wikipedia, CIA World Factbook, 2020.910.9$ billion N.A.147$ billion 110$ billion 565$ billion 297$ billion 390$ billion 1280$ billion 138$ billion 174$ billion
Income inequalitiesThe Gini coefficient is a measure of dispersion, in this case used to show the variation in income. A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality. A Gini coefficient of one expresses maximal inequality. Lower income inequalities indicate a more equal distribution of wealth and better opportunities for the average citizen. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.
Income inequalitiesThe Gini coefficient is a measure of dispersion, in this case used to show the variation in income. A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality. A Gini coefficient of one expresses maximal inequality. Lower income inequalities indicate a more equal distribution of wealth and better opportunities for the average citizen. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.0.250.380.38N.A.0.350.44N.A.0.470.380.22
Public health carePublic health care is more affordable for an average citizen and usually guaranteed for everyone. Source: city's official website, 2020.
Public health carePublic health care is more affordable for an average citizen and usually guaranteed for everyone. Source: city's official website, 2020.
Total score for "Quality of living"
Total score for "Quality of living"
Environment
Average maximum temperatureSource: Wikipedia, 2020; WMO, 2020.
Average maximum temperatureSource: Wikipedia, 2020; WMO, 2020.19.9°C24.3°C22°C31.4°C15.2°C20.2°C23.4°C17.1°C19.8°C17.9°C
Average temperatureSource: Wikipedia, 2020; WMO, 2020.
Average temperatureSource: Wikipedia, 2020; WMO, 2020.16.4°C17.1°C16.1°C25.2°C11°C16.55°C16.5°C12.7°C15.6°C12.55°C
Green area per personMore m² of green areas per person indicates that a city has more green areas like parks, forests, ect. in its administrative borders which makes city more inhabitants friendly. Source: WHO, 2020.
Green area per personMore m² of green areas per person indicates that a city has more green areas like parks, forests, ect. in its administrative borders which makes city more inhabitants friendly. Source: WHO, 2020.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.27m²1.15m²N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
Humidity rateHumidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. High relative humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture from the skin. In general, higher humidity makes climate harder to stand for people. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; WMO, 2020.
Humidity rateHumidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. High relative humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture from the skin. In general, higher humidity makes climate harder to stand for people. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; WMO, 2020.61.9%67%N.A.N.A.92.3%76.8%56%68%68%56.8%
Seaside beachSource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.
Seaside beachSource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.
Total score for "Environment"
Total score for "Environment"
Leisure
Number of cinemasSource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.
Number of cinemasSource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.N.A.N.A.55N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
Number of museumsSource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.
Number of museumsSource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.24017N.A.89N.A.23
Number of public Wi-Fi spotsCity with more public wireless spots provides easier and wider internet access. Source: city's official website, 2020.
Number of public Wi-Fi spotsCity with more public wireless spots provides easier and wider internet access. Source: city's official website, 2020.N.A.550N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.124N.A.
Number of theatersSource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.
Number of theatersSource: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.104N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
UNESCO World Heritage landmarksThe World Heritage List includes 962 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. Source: UNESCO, 2020.
UNESCO World Heritage landmarksThe World Heritage List includes 962 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. Source: UNESCO, 2020.0N.A.N.A.24N.A.21N.A.3
Total score for "Leisure"
Total score for "Leisure"
Transportation
Average commuting timeCities with shorter average commuting time have usually better organized public transportation system which allows citizens to waste less time in a traffic. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official stats, 2020.
Average commuting timeCities with shorter average commuting time have usually better organized public transportation system which allows citizens to waste less time in a traffic. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official stats, 2020.N.A.26 minutesN.A.N.A.46 minutes50.4 minutesN.A.45.5 minutesN.A.43.6 minutes
Bike sharing systemBike sharing system makes a city more cyclist friendly, shows city’s pro cyclist attitude and gives new touristic opportunities. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.
Bike sharing systemBike sharing system makes a city more cyclist friendly, shows city’s pro cyclist attitude and gives new touristic opportunities. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.
Cost of the monthly public transport ticketCost of the monthly public transport ticket indicates affordability of public transportation for an average inhabitant. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; city's public transport website, 2020.
Cost of the monthly public transport ticketCost of the monthly public transport ticket indicates affordability of public transportation for an average inhabitant. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; city's public transport website, 2020.89.03$105$70$13.86$166.41$29.49$16.11$116.5$68$29.49$
Price of a single transportation ticketA cheaper single ticket will allow you to move through the city for less money. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, it will help your economy. Source: Official city's public transport website, 2020.
Price of a single transportation ticketA cheaper single ticket will allow you to move through the city for less money. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, it will help your economy. Source: Official city's public transport website, 2020.1.64$2.75$2$0.38$3.2$0.44$0.27$2.75$1.7$0.52$
Number of airportsThe presence and number of airports shows how good is connection of city with different international destinations and its international accessibility. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.
Number of airportsThe presence and number of airports shows how good is connection of city with different international destinations and its international accessibility. Source: Wikipedia, 2020.2111521311
Total score for "Transportation"
Total score for "Transportation"
General info
Total surfaceIt can be nice to live in big cities or countries, as a larger space may offer more options for residents and visitors.
Total surfaceIt can be nice to live in big cities or countries, as a larger space may offer more options for residents and visitors.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.1 572 km²N.A.N.A.1 214 km²N.A.N.A.
Global Cities IndexThe Global Cities Index is unique in that it measures global engagement of cities across five dimensions: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement. Source: ATKearney, 2020.
Global Cities IndexThe Global Cities Index is unique in that it measures global engagement of cities across five dimensions: business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement. Source: ATKearney, 2020.4.99N.A.N.A.1.555.792.732.186.35N.A.3.05
Drinking alcohol allowed in public placesIn general, cities with possibility of drinking alcohol in public places have more thriving nightlife. It's easier to organize parties in public places. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.
Drinking alcohol allowed in public placesIn general, cities with possibility of drinking alcohol in public places have more thriving nightlife. It's easier to organize parties in public places. Source: Wikipedia, 2020; city's official website, 2020.
Number of billionairesNumber of billionaires can indicate if the city has significant agglomerations of personal wealth. Source: Forbes, 2020.
Number of billionairesNumber of billionaires can indicate if the city has significant agglomerations of personal wealth. Source: Forbes, 2020.11N.A.N.A.127288103N.A.14
Number of international embassiesThe number of international embassies indicates the importance of a city for political, diplomatic and lobbying issues. Source: city's official website, 2020.
Number of international embassiesThe number of international embassies indicates the importance of a city for political, diplomatic and lobbying issues. Source: city's official website, 2020.N.A.N.A.N.A.145160N.A.79N.A.N.A.132
Total score for "General info"
Total score for "General info"

How to choose the best city to travel to or live in

Have you ever asked yourself which city to visit next?
Whether it is a longer vacation or just a short city trip, it is hard to decide when there are many things that have to be taken into account and when there is so much choice. New York vs Chicago, London vs Paris, a smaller or a bigger city, in the north or in the south? There are a few important factors that can greatly influence your city experience and should be taken into consideration when you choose your next trip like the weather, the population, the transportation and the cultural activities in the city.
Maybe you are thinking about a life changing decision and you are asking yourself:
Where should I live next?
It is a difficult question, when you have to decide which city fits you the best, when you could choose between the best city to live in Europe or the USA. But what is the best city and how can you find out? To help you make this life changing decision, we have compiled a list with the most important criterias (voted by our users) that have to be taken into consideration when you want to find a new home for yourself as a single or together with your family.

1. Climate

There is a saying that there is no bad weather but rather the wrong clothing,
but the bottom line is:
The weather is one of the most important criteria, whether you are deciding on a city to live in or you simply want to enjoy a city trip. Especially if you are booking your trip in advance and you don’t know how the weather will be, the average temperature and the rainy days can give you a helpful estimation. If you are thinking about a city trip in the summer, it is important to consider that especially southern states like Arizona, Nevada, California and New Mexico and cities like Rome, AthensMarseille, Seville, Madrid, Naples, etc. can get up to 40°C/ 104° F and sometimes even more. This can be pretty exhausting when running around for sightseeing, especially for people who are very sensitive to heat. In this case, a trip to the beach or a trip to northern cities can be more pleasant, since the average maximum temperature doesn’t often go higher then 15°C/59°F, for example in Berlin, London, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm, Amsterdam or Boston, New York, Detroit and Chicago. If you want to know more details, check out extreme temperatures in the USA and the weather extremes in Europe.
While northern cities sometimes get pretty rainy and cold during spring and autumn, cities in the south are still pleasant in months like October and March. It is also important to consider if you like to participate in activities that need cold weather, like skiing, or if you prefer activities for warm temperatures, like hiking or swimming. Concerning precipitation, regions, like the west coast of Scotland, the west coast of Norway and the south of the Alps have the highest number of rainy days. So if you like to have it dry during your trip, cities like Athens, Madrid, SkopjeLas Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles will most probably offer you a hot and dry weather.

2. Demographics

When choosing a city to live in or a city to visit, the population makes a difference. Cities with a lower population can offer a familiar atmosphere whereas individualism is bigger in cities with higher population like in New York or Tokyo, where people are more self-reliant and self-centered. As a single, a big city can be interesting for its big variety, but as a family a smaller city could offer you tranquility, comfort and most probably more nature than there is in a bustling city. For further information, check out the best cities to live in Europe or the best cities to travel in the USA and in EuropeIf you are with a family, check this out to find more information about the best cities to raise a family in the USA and in Europe or the best cities to travel with your family.
The answer to the key question for any traveler - a big city or a small city- depends on the activities you are more interested in. For instance, cities with a higher population will often offer more cultural activities like museums, landmarks, theater plays or concerts, whereas smaller cities will most often offer you more nature with possibilities for hiking, climbing, skiing and even for wellness. Of course there are big cities with a seaside, beaches and a beautiful nature in their surrounding areas, like mountains, natural heritages, forest, lakes etc. for example New York, Munich, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Athen. Check the most beautiful mountain towns and the best cities by the sea.
In cities with a bigger population you will often find a more international population. For instance nearly two thirds of the international migrants live in Europe (76 Mill. ) or Asia (75 Mill.). In terms of population density Asia has the highest density followed by Europe, beeing the second smallest continent in the world and at the same time the third most populous continent after Asia and Africa. On the other hand Europe has the smallest annual population growth, whereas Africa has the biggest.

3. Culture & education

Cultural activities are one of most important reasons when choosing a city, if it is for a concert, an opera, a theater play, museums or even your favourite sports team, there are many possibilities for new experiences. If you are someone who is constantly looking for a new event, if you are a huge fan of a particular music scene or a sports team, or you have a favourite hobby or a religious community, that you want to be close to, a bigger city with lots of cultural offerings and sporting availabilities, would be the right choice for you. A good indicator for the cultural engagement of a city can be the number of museums. The cities with the highest amount of museum are London (162); Berlin (140) and New York (126). London and Paris have the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (4) followed by Berlin with 3. Check this out to find out more about the best cities for cultural activities.

The number of universities in a city can indicate the median age of population as well as a general cultural activity. A city with more universities is always more attractive for younger people. Almost every big city in Europe and the USA (more than 1 Mill. habitants) have more than four universities. For more details, check out the best cities in Europe and the USA for students.
If you are a student and you want to have a nice city trip but you don’t want to spend much money, a cheap city is the best way to get some fresh air and change your mind. Check out the cheapest cities in Europe to find out more about the prices in some cities concerning cheap transportation, food, housing etc.

4. Transportation

If you don’t plan to take the car to do your city trip or you cannot afford having a car in a city, the public transportation becomes a very important factor. But what are the cities with an outstanding transportation system, that facilitate your vacation and offer you a higher life quality and which ones are affordable? Check out the best transportation systems worldwide and continue for more info.
The cheapest cities to travel around in Europe are in the east like in Russia, Bulgaria and Poland, the most expensive ones are Venice and cities in northern Europe. While a 24-hour tram/metro pass in Prague costs 4,38 Euro, a 72-hour tram/bus pass in Amsterdam costs 17,74. When you are living in a city a monthly ticket could be a good solution. For example, the price of a monthly ticket in Berlin is 81,00 Euro, in New York 89,00 $ and in Paris it’s even cheaper with 73,00 Euro.
Some cities offer a even cheaper way to travel: Bicycles.
You can rent a bike for a whole day from a shop or in some places they even have a city bike sharing system. If you like to discover a city by bike or if you prefer the bike as your transportation mode, check out the best bike-friendly cities in the world.

5. Cost of living

The cost of living has a great influence on the quality of your trip and especially on the quality of life when staying for longer. When moving to a new city, factors like the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), as well as the minimum and maximum income tax have to be taken into consideration. The Gross domestic product (GDP) is a way of measuring the market value of all final goods (like food, housing, clothes etc.) and services produced in a country in a year and can tell the economical performance of a city or country (Wikipedia). Considering the GDP the best countries to live in are the USA, China, Japan, Germany and the UK. Additionally, if you are interested to know which cities have the lowest cost of living, which might be interesting when you want to travel cheap, check out the cheapest places to live in the USA and in Europe. If you are looking for a new job in a new city, factors, like the highest and lowest income tax rate and the unemployment rate might be important. Countries that are greatly affected by unemployment problems are, for example, South Africa, Greece and Spain.

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