Moscow City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Moscow: how does the capital of Russia, one of the world’s geopolitical leaders, perform in studies of economic competitiveness? Is the twelve million city a global leader in terms of talent and innovation? How good is Moscow’s reputation abroad, and what are its best brand assets? Find the answers in this overview of Moscow’s performance, according to global rankings that measure city competitivity.

Learn about:

  • Moscow’s reputation and performance as city brand;
  • Place equity and economic performance of Moscow;
  • Moscow as a hub for creativity and innovation;
  • Moscow’s performance as a global financial center.

Moscow city brand performance and reputation

Despite being an important cosmopolitan city and the capital of the world’s largest country, Moscow is not among the most reputable cities. The 2017 City RepTrak study positioned it 55th, between Mexico City and Cairo.

Ranking 35th in the 2017 Global Power City Index, Russia’s capital is also positioned relatively low in terms of its global influence. In comparison, the big capitals of Europe – London (1st), Paris (4th) and Berlin (8th) — all rank much higher.

Moscow fails most strongly in the categories of environment (44th) and economy (34th). On the other hand, it received a high score for accessibility (12th), showing its international connectedness.

According to the same study, Moscow is most valued among artists and researchers (both ranking the city 25th), and least favored by managers, who rank it 38th on their list of preferred places for work and residence.

The performance of Moscow has seen a rather important decline during the ten years of this index. Its initial ranking in 2008 was 23rd , dropping to 32nd the next year, followed by the lowest position (37th) in 2012.


Place equity in Moscow

Resonance Consultancy‘s World’s Best Cities Report, based on the opinions of U.S. participants, shows a very different tendency regarding the popularity of Moscow.

In 2018, Moscow ranked as the 4th best city, being the global leader in the category of “product”. While this shows high regard for Moscow’s key institutions and infrastructure, its “place” factor also gets a solid 12th position, expressing the strong place essence of Moscow. On the other hand, Moscow still has work to do in the field of promotion (31st) and prosperity (25th), where it received lower scores.

In terms of expensiveness, Moscow ranks 17th in the 2018 Mercer Cost of Living Survey, which looks at 200 goods and services that affect cost of living.

Security, another important aspect of life quality, is studied in the Safe Cities Index (2017), where Moscow ranks 41st. This index is calculated taking into consideration four dimensions of safety: digital, infrastructural, health and personal security.

Another way of looking at place equity is through social, economic and environmental sustainability. The Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index ranks Moscow 57th in its 2016 study. The city scores 35th in the people sub-index, 87th in the planet sub-index and 44th  for profit.


Innovation and global finance in Moscow

Moscow has dropped five positions in the 2018 Innovation Cities Index by 2thinknow, now ranking 48th for its potential as an innovation economy.

However, the Global Cities Index (2017) puts Moscow in a much more favorable position, ranking it 18th overall, with a special mention of its many museums and rich cultural experience. The city does even better on the outlook section of the index, where it ranks 10th for its future potential to disrupt through innovation, largely thanks to the high number of university-sponsored incubators.

Finally, Moscow’s ranking in the latest Global Financial Centers Index  is 83rd, six positions higher than in the previous edition.


Analysis by Maria Lindmäe. Last updated September 2018.


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