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Sydney’s a ‘global superstar’, but Melbourne’s just a ‘regional hub’

Sydney and Melbourne are neck and neck in many ways – but not economically.<i> Photos: Getty</i>
Sydney and Melbourne are neck and neck in many ways – but not economically. Photos: Getty

Melbournians and Sydneysiders have no shortage of things to bicker about: which city has the better coffee, food, culture, art, sport or architecture.

While Melbourne can take the crown on some of these aspects, when it comes to economic might, the Victorian capital is simply no match against Sydney.

That’s because Sydney is among an exclusive 50 top “global superstar cities”, rubbing shoulders with London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Mexico City, Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Istanbul, Hong Kong, and Singapore, according to a new report by McKinsey.

<i>Source: McKinsey Global Institute</i>
Source: McKinsey Global Institute

Emerging market cities are among the fastest-growing contributors to global GDP thanks to a combination of population growth and per capita GDP growth.

This trend is also evident in some superstar cities in advanced economies – cities such as Boston, Seattle, Singapore, and, of course Sydney, have made substantial gains in GDP in the past decade.

Thanks to strong population growth, these cities have actually increased their share of world GDP by an impressive 20-30 per cent.

Second-tier cities

But it’s not all bad news for Melbournians.

The “second-tier” cities that don’t make the top 50 instead fall under the slightly-lesser status of “regional economic hub”, earmarked for future growth.

Melbourne sits here, alongside San Diego, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi, Nairobi, Lagos, and Chengdu.

These cities are smaller but could become global economic hubs in the future given they account for 5 per cent of the world’s population but contribute nearly twice as much in GDP, the report said.

While issue of which city has the better culture will continue to be fought over, at least this is settled.

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