The ten richest and poorest cities in the world in 2023 - ForumDaily
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The ten richest and poorest cities in the world in 2023

The world is a huge place, there are cities that boast enormous wealth, and others that struggle with extreme poverty. In 2023, it is important to understand what economic differences exist. In this article edition South West Journal looked at the ten richest cities in the world by gross domestic product (GDP) and compared them with less successful ones.

Photo: IStock

While cities like Tokyo and New York dominate in terms of GDP, it is interesting to note that there are countries where you can experience a rich culture and lifestyle without the accompanying high living costs.

The richest cities in the world

1. Tokyo, Japan

  • GDP: $1 billion

Tokyo, Japan's bustling capital, will become the world's richest city in 2023. Tokyo is home to between 13,1 and 13,7 million people and is the largest urban economy on the planet. As the industrial, cultural and scientific center of Japan, Tokyo is home to some of the world's most renowned companies. Along with New York and London, it is recognized as one of the world's leading financial centers.

  • Tokyo is the world's largest city.
  • World famous companies and the largest financial center are located here.

2. New York, USA

  • GDP: $1 billion

Coming in second place is iconic New York City, with its diverse economy spanning the arts, finance, medicine, fashion, media and more. With a population of about 8,6 million, the average salary in the city exceeds $60 per year. Dynamic, vibrant, full of attractions and opportunities, New York continues to attract people from all over the world.

  • New York's economy is diverse and spans a variety of industries.
  • The average salary in the city is more than $60 per year.

3. Los Angeles, USA

  • GDP: $ 789,7 billion

Los Angeles, often called the City of Angels, is the third wealthiest metropolitan area in the world. With a population of just over 4 million people, its budget income comes from industries such as tourism, medicine, information technology, scientific research, finance, cinema and music. As the epicenter of American pop culture, Los Angeles continues to influence global trends.

  • Los Angeles is a major center for the entertainment industry.
  • The city plays a key role in shaping global pop culture.

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4. Seoul, Republic of Korea

  • GDP: $ 779,3 billion

Seoul, the vibrant capital of the Republic of Korea, is a hub of culture, finance, science and politics. Seoul is a bustling metropolis with a population of 10,6 to 10,9 million people, including about 360 thousand foreigners. The city is home to the headquarters of such global giants as Kia, Hyundai, Samsung and LG Electronics, providing jobs for tens of thousands of specialists.

  • Seoul is a major center for global corporations and technological innovation.
  • The city's economy is supported by giants such as Samsung and Hyundai.

5. London, England

  • GDP: $ 731,2 billion

With its rich history and cosmopolitan charm, London is one of the most visited cities in the world. More than 19 million tourists come to the UK capital every year. With a population of approximately 9,2 million, London is Europe's largest city and a major center of trade, finance and international business. Its appeal attracts hundreds of thousands of job seekers.

  • London is one of the world's major tourist centers and a hub of business activity.
  • The city's economy is diverse and includes such areas as finance, trade and culture.

Photo: IStock

6. Paris, France

  • GDP: $ 669,2 billion

Paris, often called the City of Love, is known not only for its romantic appeal, but also for its significant financial potential. Paris is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and its economy is heavily dependent on the tourism industry, which accounts for about 25% of France's GDP. With a population of approximately 2,2 million, Paris remains a beacon of art, fashion and culture.

  • The economy of Paris is largely driven by the tourism industry.
  • The city is a world center for art, fashion and culinary delights.

7. Osaka, Japan

  • GDP: $ 654,8 billion

Osaka, one of the oldest cities in Japan, takes an honorable seventh place in the list of the richest cities in the world. As the commercial, shipping, industrial, transport and communications center of western Japan, Osaka's economic power is undeniable. The historical significance of the city, whose population exceeds 2,6 million people, is organically combined with its modern economic activity.

  • Osaka is a major commercial and industrial center in western Japan.
  • The city's rich history complements its modern economic advantages.

8. Chicago, USA

  • GDP: $ 524,6 billion

Chicago, aka the Windy City, became the third US metropolis to make the list. With a population of about 2,7 million people, Chicago's economy is a melting pot of industries ranging from food processing and insurance to transportation, financial services and trade services. The city is home to major American corporations such as United Airlines, Boeing, Sears, as well as more than 1800 international companies.

  • Chicago is a diversified economic center with strengths in a variety of industries.
  • The city is a major center for both domestic and international business.

9. Moscow, Russia

  • GDP: $ 520,1 billion

Moscow, the vast capital of Russia, is a testament to the country's economic power. The city with a population of more than 12 million people is not only the largest populated area in Europe (not counting Istanbul), but also the main scientific, educational, cultural, industrial and financial center of Russia. Moscow is a magnet for large Russian businesses and is often ranked among the most expensive cities in the world.

  • Moscow is the epicenter of Russia's economic, cultural and political activity.
  • Many of Russia's richest people and enterprises are concentrated here.

10. Shanghai, China

  • GDP: $ 516,5 billion

Shanghai, China's global financial center, rounds out the list of richest cities. Shanghai, with a population of more than 24 million, is not only one of the most densely populated cities, but also an important transport hub, home to the world's busiest container port. The city is home to up to 800 financial institutions, with 170 of them having foreign investment, reflecting its global economic influence.

  • Shanghai is the most important financial and transport hub of China and the whole world.
  • The city's port plays a vital role in global trade, which further enhances its economic importance.

Concentration of wealth

In these wealthiest cities, wealth is not just a number, but a reflection of opportunity, innovation and strategic decisions made over the years. According to Forbes, each of these metropolitan areas is home to between $1 trillion and $3 trillion in private assets. This concentration of wealth demonstrates the economic power of these cities on the world stage.

The poorest cities in the world

The world's economic inequality extends beyond the wealthiest cities. There are cities that, due to various circumstances, find themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum. Often plagued by problems such as conflict, lack of infrastructure and limited access to education, these cities face significant challenges.

1. Monrovia, Liberia

  • Population: over 1 million people

Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is located on the west coast of Africa. Although Monrovia is the political and economic center of Liberia, it faces serious challenges.

Economic landscape

The city's economy grows thanks to the Monrovia Free Port and various government agencies. However, a significant portion of the city's residents work in the informal sector of the economy, often resorting to petty trading and part-time jobs.


Years of civil unrest and the fallout from a decade of war have left the city with infrastructure deficits and a struggling economy.

Photo: IStock

2. Conakry, Guinea

  • Population: about 1,7 million people

Conakry, a city rich in culture, is the capital and most significant city of Guinea.

Economic landscape

The city's port plays an important role in the country's economy by transporting agricultural exports such as bananas, pineapples and citrus fruits. However, due to the lack of infrastructure, many trips around the country are made on foot.


Inefficient transportation and limited access to modern amenities hinder economic development.

3. Gitega, Burundi

  • Population: 135 467 people

Gitega, the administrative capital of Burundi, is located on a plateau near the confluence of the Ruwiironza and Rurubu rivers.

Economic landscape

The town is home to several government offices, but tourism, especially in Ruvubu National Park, contributes to the economy. The informal sector plays a significant role, including street trading and transport services.


Limited infrastructure and lack of capacity for large-scale agriculture constrain economic growth.

4. Mogadishu, Somalia

  • Population: about 2,4 million people

Mogadishu, an ancient city with a rich history, is the capital of Somalia.

Economic landscape

Historically, Mogadishu's economy has flourished due to its strategic location as a coastal city. However, years of conflict and instability have taken their toll.


Civil wars and lack of focused leadership hamper economic development and growth.

5. Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR)

  • Population: 889 231 people

Bangui, located on the banks of the Oubangui River, is the capital of the Central African Republic.

Economic landscape

The majority of the CAR population lives on subsistence farming, receiving little or no support from the central government.


The lack of organized large-scale agriculture and necessary infrastructure constrains economic growth.

6. Kinshasa, Congo

  • Population: about 17 million people

Kinshasa, the largest city in Congo and Africa, has a rich history.

Economic landscape

Despite its size and potential, the majority of Kinshasa's population lives on about $1 a day. However, there are signs of growth in the manufacturing, banking and services sectors.


Years of stagnation and decline have left the city experiencing economic difficulties.

Photo: IStock

7. Juba, South Sudan

Juba, the capital of South Sudan, is a city with enormous potential but faces challenges due to its dependence on oil.

Economic landscape

The city's economy is largely dependent on oil. However, sharing revenues with Sudan, through whose territory most oil pipelines pass, creates certain problems.


Political instability and conflict affect economic growth and development.

8. Niamey, Niger Republic

  • Population: 1 026 848 people

Niamey, the largest city in the Republic of Niger, is located in an arid region.

Economic landscape

The city's economy is based on agriculture and small-scale production, including ceramics and cement.


An arid climate and lack of investment limit the city's growth potential.

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9. Bamako, Mali

Bamako, located on the banks of the Niger River, is a major city in West Africa.

Economic landscape

Although Bamako accounts for much of Mali's economic activity, it is informal, with residents engaged in crafts, agriculture and petty trading.


Heavy dependence on the informal economy and lack of modern infrastructure negatively impact economic growth.

10. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

  • Population: about 6 million people

Dar Es Salaam, East Africa's largest city, is a hub of activity and potential.

Economic landscape

Despite its size and potential, large parts of the city are made up of informal settlements and slums.


Rapid urbanization in the absence of adequate infrastructure has created economic imbalances and problems.

Economic imbalances

The cities listed above, despite their economic problems, are rich in culture, history and potential. Many of these cities are located in countries that have vast natural resources, but due to factors such as conflict, corruption and lack of infrastructure, they have not been able to exploit their full potential. It is important to understand that although these cities currently face economic challenges, with the right investments, policies and leadership they can pave the way to a brighter future.

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