Global Cities Quiz

Can you name the "Alpha" world cities listed in the 2020 GaWC global cities report?
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: September 24, 2020
First submittedSeptember 20, 2010
Times taken122,024
Rating4.68
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Tier
City
Alpha++
London
Alpha++
New York City
Alpha+
Beijing
Alpha+
Dubai
Alpha+
Hong Kong
Alpha+
Paris
Alpha+
Shanghai
Alpha+
Singapore
Alpha+
Tokyo
Alpha
Amsterdam
Alpha
Brussels
Alpha
Chicago
Alpha
Frankfurt
Tier
City
Alpha
Jakarta
Alpha
Kuala Lumpur
Alpha
Los Angeles
Alpha
Madrid
Alpha
Mexico City
Alpha
Milan
Alpha
Moscow
Alpha
Mumbai
Alpha
São Paulo
Alpha
Sydney
Alpha
Toronto
Alpha-
Bangkok
Alpha-
Bangalore
Tier
City
Alpha-
Boston
Alpha-
Buenos Aires
Alpha-
Delhi
Alpha-
Dublin
Alpha-
Guangzhou
Alpha-
Istanbul
Alpha-
Johannesburg
Alpha-
Lisbon
Alpha-
Luxembourg
Alpha-
Manila
Alpha-
Melbourne
Alpha-
Montreal
Tier
City
Alpha-
Munich
Alpha-
Prague
Alpha-
Riyadh
Alpha-
San Francisco
Alpha-
Santiago
Alpha-
Seoul
Alpha-
Shenzhen
Alpha-
Stockholm
Alpha-
Taipei
Alpha-
Vienna
Alpha-
Warsaw
Alpha-
Zurich
+11
Level ∞
Sep 24, 2020
I deleted the old comments because most of them don't make sense in the context of the new report.

I'm happy that the GaWC finally made a new report after 8 years. We were able to ditch the crappy A.T. Kearney report that we used in the mean time.

I mostly like the GaWC report, but there are a few changes I would make personally.

  • I'd demote Luxembourg to Gamma level.
  • Berlin should promoted to Alpha level.
  • Both Australian cities should be Beta level. A country as small as Australian can't have two Alpha-level cities.
  • And of course Brussels should be downgraded to Omega level.

There's a few oddities lower down on the list as well, but overall, I think it's a very solid list!

+10
Level 50
Sep 24, 2020
Wuhan certainly deserves a place in there.
+23
Level 79
Sep 24, 2020
I agree. Wuhan has certainly had a huge impact on the global economy (and many other aspects of daily life) this year.
+1
Level 62
Oct 4, 2020
Lol yep
+4
Level 79
Sep 25, 2020
Alpha+++++++++ to the googolth
+16
Level 83
Sep 24, 2020
Dublin but not Rome? Prague but not Berlin?
+11
Level 81
Sep 24, 2020
Washington, D.C. is less influential than Lisbon.
+17
Level 80
Sep 25, 2020
... if the list was last updated in 1460.
+1
Level 72
Oct 3, 2020
DC doesn't really have much of an economy outside of the government sector. Dublin has a lot of international companies headquartered there due to Ireland's tax laws. Milan and Naples are more important in Italy's economy than Rome is.
+3
Level 67
Sep 25, 2020
No DC is strange to say the least.
+6
Level 70
Sep 25, 2020
I don't think DC is too relevant, at least economically, on an international stage. Though I think that could be said for other cities on this list as well. Personally, if I were to include more US cities I'd add Atlanta, Dallas, and possibly Miami and Houston over DC.
+1
Level 48
Oct 5, 2020
Even if the overall economy of DC isn't that big, the political decisions made there affect billions of people's economic conditions. Furthermore, organizations like the CIA have massive influence over the ways goverments conduct business. If you don't play ball with American economic interests, you might just go the way of Mossadegh and Allende.
+8
Level 82
Sep 25, 2020
Biggest surprises for me was the absence of Rome, Berlin, Washington DC, Geneva and Tel Aviv. Particularly surprised by Rome, as I'd have thought the presence of the Pope would give them a bit of a bump! On the flip side, Dubai is too high for a city with zero cultural output (I'd swap them with Sao Paulo), not sure that Melbourne is more influential than any of my missing 5, same perhaps for Boston (even with their universities), Dublin, Prague and Warsaw. Still, it's a provocative list which is always a good thing!
+4
Level 54
Sep 25, 2020
True, but I'd throw Rio de Janeiro in there. Dubai is a center of wealth, so that could be why it's on the list.
+4
Level 44
Sep 25, 2020
I wonder if the Australian ones get a bit of a time zone bonus - especially Sydney, first major stock exchange to open
+6
Level 79
Sep 25, 2020
The list is baffling at least.
As Mexican, the fact that Querétaro is a Gamma- city, and the fourth of Mexico, is truly worthy a "WTF?". I know it has grown, but not that much.
Seriously, if you ask any Mexican "Which cities are the most economically important cities beyond the usual suspects (Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara)?", I'm pretty sure they're gonna list 5-10 cities before Querétaro.
+3
Level 80
Oct 3, 2020
Agree it makes no sense. I mean... Prague over Mumbai or Washington? How?
+2
Level 72
Oct 3, 2020
Prague is the economic hub of Central Europe. Due to its location, it is kind of a transition between Western Europe and Eastern Europe. It is also affordable to live in and is the fourth or fifth most visited European city, depending on if you count Istanbul as European or Asian. Also, half of the Czech Republic's tourism income is in Prague. DC on the other hand doesn't really have an economy outside of government. A lot of people visiting DC don't stay in DC and instead stay in Virginia or Maryland, and only spend the day in DC. Just a guess.
+1
Level 80
Oct 3, 2020
There used to be other comments on this quiz I think that have been lost.. but even putting DC aside, and I could argue against the arguments against DC, too, Prague over Mumbai makes zero sense. Being affordable to live in a city doesn't make it a global city.
+1
Level 79
Oct 6, 2020
Exactly! There are many affordable places that are only small towns with little to no impact on the global scope. On the other hand, Tokyo is a gargantuan player in the global networks, yet is everything but affordable.
+1
Level 80
Oct 25, 2020
With the new source/update Mumbai is on now. Finally. Though the current list still puts many European cities too high. And many Asian cities too low. This will be more and more apparent as time rolls on.
+3
Level 79
Sep 25, 2020
QM, I think they went easy with Brussels and Luxembourg for holding several EU institutions. Although, by that logic, Strasbourg should also be a Global City (it only hit "High Sufficiency" level).
Perhaps Brussels got its place because it's often use as a synonym of "European Union" (like during Brexit, where "negotiations between London and Brussels" had place). And Luxembourg got its place because their main crop is money.
Also, yeah: they should've chosen Sydney or Melbourne as Alpha, but not both.
+3
Level 67
Sep 27, 2020
I think Luxembourg is there because it's also one of the de facto capitals of the EU..
+1
Level 79
Oct 6, 2020
As I said, following that idea, Strasbourg should also be at least a Gamma city (since is the third city of the EU trifecta, with Alpha Brussels and Alpha Luxembourg)
+2
Level 83
Sep 25, 2020
I love how we can always count on QM to mix in a little Belgian trash talk. :-)
+4
Level 74
Sep 25, 2020
Brussels isn't known as "The Heart of Darkness" for nothing. They've worked hard to earn the nickname.
+1
Level 76
Oct 4, 2020
I'm interested to know why, by the way. I could understand if it was because of some Benelux rivalries but isn't Quizmaster actually from Seattle?
+3
Level 60
Sep 29, 2020
Before anyone criticising why one city is in the list and another city is not, it's worthwhile to note the methodology used by GaWC. The list depends on interconnectivity and reliance of a city in relation to other global cities e.g. it's counting the number of international flights, bilateral trade, number of embassies/consulates and international institutions etc. Therefore some major cities such as Washington and Osaka don't make the list because they are dwarfed by their neighbouring cities such as New York and Tokyo. Also this list favours some small capitals, e.g. Prague is deemed the most significant city economically and culturally for the Czech, while big cities like Houston is relatively less important in the English speaking world.
+1
Level 57
Sep 29, 2020
Wow no Berlin, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Washington DC..
+1
Level 79
Sep 29, 2020
The explanation provided on GaWC's web site is helpful: "Results are derived from the activities of 175 leading firms providing advanced producer services... The results should be interpreted as indicating the importance of cities as nodes in the world city network (i.e. enabling corporate globalization).
+1
Level 72
Oct 1, 2020
I'm not sure why Quizmaster singles out Australia's cities for demotion, though I'll agree Luxembourg seems like a strange inclusion and I think certain tax haven factors are skewing things in its favour. But both Sydney and Melbourne are major regional corporate and financial services hubs. Unlike the US where companies have far more choices in terms of major metropolitan centres, there aren't many globally connected, English-speaking and sufficiently large cities to choose from for operations in Asia-Pacific. Sydney and Melbourne's relative isolation from any similarly large developed metropolises gives them an edge in global importance over slightly larger US centres like Dallas, for example. Plus, on a per capita basis Australia isn't unique in Alpha cities. I'd say in terms of international commerce, population within national borders matters less than the characteristics of an individual city.
+1
Level 57
Oct 3, 2020
Some cities I think should be added are Rotterdam (the largest port in Europe and in the same metro area as The Hague) and a lot of African cities such as Addis Ababa, Cairo, Lagos, and Durban. But of course, that's just my opinion and I'm sure that the GaWC guys probably put a whole lot of research into this :)
+1
Level 57
Oct 3, 2020
Africa cities doesn't really have much of a global influence
+1
Level 55
Oct 3, 2020
Who cares ?
+2
Level 67
Oct 3, 2020
I do! Also, what kind of comment is this?
+8
Level 77
Oct 3, 2020
How'd you get to level 55 on a trivia quiz site without caring about trivia?
+1
Level 59
Oct 3, 2020
Got 46 first try, little disappointed though after seeing which ones I missed (Mumbai, Johannesburg, Luxembourg, Stockholm). Should have gotten them all. Tried Oslo but no Stockholm, got both the other Benelux capitals etc...
+1
Level 73
Oct 3, 2020
Someone fill me in. Why is Brussels terrible?
+1
Level 64
Oct 9, 2020
yes i'd like to know too as I live there since birth ..
+2
Level 61
Oct 3, 2020
It would be helpful for those of us who are unfamiliar with GaWC or Alpha cities to include an explanation in the quiz description. Something like "These are the cities determined to have the most influence on the global economy." I was just trying to guess cities based on size/general fame/whatever criteria seemed like it was fitting the list; probably would have had better guesses if I'd known what the heck I was aiming for.
+1
Level 48
Oct 4, 2020
oof I got luxembourg but forgot Tokyo and Seoul
+1
Level 40
Oct 9, 2020
this list is garbage
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