Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jul 21st 2011 at 10:00am UTC

If Metros Were Countries

Based on new data from the United States Conference of Mayors and The Council for the New American City annual U.S. Metro Economies Report

The above map highlights some of the U.S.’s largest metropolitan areas, comparing their Gross Metropolitan Products to the nearest Gross Domestic Product equivalents of countries. If nothing else, it provides an insight into the sheer scale of the U.S. economy, even when it is in crisis.  As I noted in an earlier post, 37 of the world’s 100 largest economies are U.S. metros.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA: $1.28 trillion, the NY metro is the equivalent of the 13th largest nation in the world, bigger than Australia’s $1.23 trillion and South Korea’s $ 1 trillion GDP, and just under India’s ($1.6 trillion), Canada’s ($1.57), and Russia’s ($1.47).
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA: With a GMP of $737.9 billion, the LA metro’s economy is the equivalent of the 18th largest nation in the world—bigger than Turkey’s ($732.2) and slightly smaller than the Netherlands’ ($782.3).
  • Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI: At $531 billion, Chicago’s metro is the equivalent of the 21st largest economy in the world—larger than Switzerland’s ($523.3), Poland’s ($469.4) and Belgium’s ($466.3).
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VAMD-WV: With a GMP of $426 billion, the metro around the US’s capitol is also the 28th largest economy in the world, a little smaller than Saudi Arabia’s ($434.7 billion) and Taiwan’s ($431.7 billion), bigger than Norway’s ($414.3) and Iran’s ($385.7).
  • Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX: With $378.9 and $376.8 billion in GMP, the Houston and Dallas metros are the world’s 31st and 32nd largest economies. Each is bigger than Austria’s ($375.5), Argentina’s ($368.9), and South Africa’s ($363.7).
  • Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD and San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA: With GMPs of $347.7 and $337.4 billion respectively, the U.S.’s seventh and eighth largest Metropolitan areas are the 36th and 37th largest economies in the world. Each of them have more output than Thailand ($318.9) and the United Arab Emirates ($317.1).
  • Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH: The city of Boston has shrunk considerably over the last five decades, but its metropolitan area is the nation’s ninth largest. With $311.3 billion in Gross Metropolitan Product, it is the 40th largest economy in the world—bigger than Denmark’s ($310.1) and Greece’s ($303.4).
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA: The Atlanta metro’s $270.6 billion in GMP gives it a worldwide rank of 44—just a little below 43rd –ranked Colombia, which has a GDP of $288 billion. Atlanta’s GMP surpasses Venezuela’s GDP ($241.1 billion) and Finland’s ($270.6).

4 Responses to “If Metros Were Countries”

  1. Joe Brown Says:

    Tell Richard I really love this analysis: parallelling GDP cities metro areas with countries. The peace rating is not as impressive. Have you seen the happiness ratings of countries? A while back Libya equaled Mexico. Hmmmm….??? How about combining GDP, peace and happiness. Tell Richard hello. Always enjoy him even when I’m asked to publicly make entertaining critiques. Regards, Joe Brown

  2. Alexander Quinn Says:

    You might want to consider joining the SF – Oakland MSA with the San Jose – Santa Clara MSA, as a CMSA, which they are essentially one economic area. My guess is the two combined are more on par with D.C. or Chicago.

  3. Michael Wells Says:

    There was a map like this on the site a year or two ago that compared every state with a country. There was the number saying California was the world’s 7th largest economy, don’t know if it’s still true. Taking it to the Metro level is even more interesting.

  4. Scott Savola Says:

    This reflects Jane Jacob’s argument in Cities and the Wealth of Nations that cities are the engines of economic development, not nation-states. I wonder what a world of Hong Kongs and Singapores would look like?