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London Tops List of Best-Performing Cities in Europe

Press Release
London Tops List of Best-Performing Cities in Europe

LONDON, December 4, 2017 – Inner London-East, with its dynamic economy, flourishing information and communication technology sectors, and skilled international workforce is Europe’s Best-Performing City, according to the Milken Institute’s inaugural Best-Performing Cities Europe Index. In fact, three of London’s component regions classified by Eurostat’s Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics ranked among the top tier of 279 regions evaluated in the report released today.

Stockholm, with its thriving tech community and advanced manufacturing sector, ranked a close second, while Budapest, which has been creating new jobs at an unparalleled pace, came in third. Overall, five U.K. cities/regions ranked in the top-20 while four were in Poland.

Best-Performing Cities-Europe Rankings


Large Cities/Regions


Inner London-East, United Kingdom


Stockholm, Sweden


Budapest, Hungary


Pomorskie, Poland (includes Gdańsk)


Nord-Vest, Romania


Dolnoslaskie, Poland (includes Wrocław)


Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire, United Kingdom


Oberbayern, Germany (includes Munich)


Outer London-West and North West, United Kingdom


Yugozapaden, Bulgaria (includes Sofia)


Östra Mellansverige, Sweden


Jihovýchod, Czech Republic


Berlin, Germany


Leicestershire, Rutland, and Northamptonshire, United Kingdom


Eastern and Midland, Ireland (includes Dublin)


Bucuresti, Romania (includes Bucharest)


Wielkopolskie, Poland (includes Poznań)


Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom


Hovedstaden, Denmark (includes Copenhagen)


Malopolskie, Poland (includes Krakow)


“Inner London-East is among the most dynamic economies in Europe, leading all large metro areas in job growth over the last five years,” said Minoli Ratnatunga, Milken Institute director of regional economic research and co-author of the study. “We trace its economic rejuvenation to a combination of direct policy implementation—including the Big Bang that aided financial services and related growth in Canary Wharf—and organic entrepreneurial-led growth in a variety of digital content and technology areas.” She notes, however, the majority of the data was drawn prior to the Brexit vote and the economic impact of that upcoming transition is yet to be fully assessed. 

“Being recognised as the best performing city in Europe by the Milken Institute is testament to London's economic dynamism, diversity, and position as a global investment hub," said Jasmine Whitbread, CEO of London First. "East London's particular success shows how political will can underpin entrepreneurial zeal to create growth, investment, and jobs across a number of major sectors. But, as we navigate Brexit, we will have to work hard to keep our capital at the top—and that means Government delivering the right policies for continued access to talented people and building the homes and transport links they need. Not just in London, but across the whole of the U.K.”

The Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities (BPC) Europe index provides an objective benchmark for examining which regional strategies are succeeding. Based on the Milken Institute’s long-standing evaluation of U.S. metropolitan areas (, BPC Europe uses outcomes-based metrics including job creation, wage gains, manufacturing, and skilled service industry concentration to evaluate the relative performance of European regions.

“While global politics and business cycles are key external forces acting on regional economies, top performing regions invest in strategies that capitalize on competitive advantages and weather challenges better than their peers,” explains Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics. “Our goal is to help businesses, investors, industry associations, development agencies, government officials, academics, and public-policy groups monitor and evaluate how well their region is adapting to and planning for both current and future economic trends.”

The full report, including tables of all 279 large and small regions evaluated, is available online at

London’s future post-Brexit will be the focus of a session at the Milken Institute London Summit on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Bruce Carnegie-Brown, chairman of Lloyd’s, Hubertus Väth, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance, Howard Shore, executive chairman of Shore Capital Group will join Ms. Whitbread and Mr. Klowden for a conversation moderated by Francisco Guerrera of Dow Jones Media Group. For more information, visit