New York City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

New York, considered America’s cultural mecca and global financial hub, has won over the years the title of capital of the world. With many of the largest creative events taking place in the city, world-renowned landmarks and tons of references in music and pop culture, New York has arguably one of the strongest city brands.

New York was one of the first cities to develop a formalized branding strategy, having benefited greatly from the “I Love New York” campaign, developed by the state of New York in 1977 (the city of New York doesn’t actually own the rights nor does it use the slogan itself).

But how is New York doing according to international rankings measuring reputation, sustainability and innovation? Let’s explore deeper how New York positions itself on the world stage, drawing insights from data provided by TPBO partners and other reputable institutions.

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • New York City’s competitiveness and financial performance
  • New York City’s brand strength and global attractiveness
  • Livability: New York City’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

New York City’s competitiveness and financial performance

How attractive is New York City as a place to work and do business? 

The Global Financial Centres Index 34 continues to rank New York City 1st. New York City ranked as 8th center most likely to become more significant. It ranks first in all areas of competitiveness: Human Capital, Reputational & General, Business Environment, Infrastructure, and Financial Sector Development. It also leads all of the following industry sectors: Investment Management, Insurance, Government & Regulatory, Finance, Fintech, Professional Services, Trading, and Banking.

According to 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023 New York City continues to rank 3rd. The city sits right behind London (2nd) and above, Paris (4th).


New York City’s brand strength and global attractiveness

Which subfactors hurt and help the brand of New York City?

Resonance’s 2023 World’s Best Cities Report ranks New York City 3rd, sitting in between Paris (2nd) and Tokyo (4th). It scored the following in the Place Power Score subfactors: 12th Prosperity, 2nd Lovability, and 6th in Livability. It also ranked in the following Place Power Highlights: 1st for Google Trends and 2nd for Culture.

Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report continues to rank New York City 1st. Moreover, the city ranks 17th in the Global Cities Outlook, a drop of 11 positions since the previous ranking.

The comprehensive ranking of the Global Power City Index ranks New York City 2nd. In terms of function-specific rankings, the city ranks 1st in terms of Economy, 1st in R&D, 2nd in Cultural Interaction, 38th in Livability, 28th in Environment, and 3rd in Accessibility. New York City ranks 2nd in Variety of WorkPlace Options, 3rd in Winners of Prizes in Science and Technology, 5th for Nightlife Options, 11th for Number of Retail Shops, 30th for Urban Greenery, and 38th for Average Driving Speed. Lastly, New York City positioned 2nd in the Highly-skilled Workers, 2nd in the Corporate Executive, 31st in the Resident, and 6th in the Tourism categories.

According to Brand Finance’s City Index 2023, New York City ranks 2nd in the global ranking with a score of 83/100. NYC also ranks 3rd globally in familiarity and secured the 2nd spot in three out of the seven key dimensions: invest, study, and visit. Moreover, NYC ranks 2nd as the best city to invest in and 1st for the city of global significance, easy to do business in, and strong and stable economy attributes. It has also been recognised as the 2nd best city in the world to study, behind London.

It holds the 2nd position for the great universities and leader in science and technology attributes, and comes 4th for great private schools, but falls short on great publicly funded schools, ranking 41st overall.

NYC is perceived as the least affordable city in the world according to this ranking. Lastly the city comes 1st for great shopping, restaurants and nightlife, 2nd for great theaters and music venues, home to Fifth Avenue shops and Broadway theaters. Consequently, NYC ranks as the 2nd best city in the world to visit.


Livability: New York City’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

Which aspects of New York City’s urban living make it an attractive place to live, work and study?

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places New York City 40th, sitting in between Lisbon (39th) and Boston (41st). The Mercer Cost of Living Ranking ranks New York City 6th, a jump in one position from the previous ranking. It now sits behind Basel (5th), and above Bern (7th). The cost living survey reports that factors such as currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices are key to determine the cost of expat packages for employees on international assignment.

According to the Best Urban Cities for Digital Nomads ranking by Spot a Home, New York City ranks 54th out of 56 global cities. It currently sits between Tokyo (53rd) and Singapore (55th).

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks New York City 15th overall, sitting in between Los Angeles (14th) and Frankfurt (16th). New York City’s pillar rankings are the following: Planet 36th, People 42nd, Profit 14th.

Lastly, New York City is home to some of the best universities in the world. According to The Times Higher Education ranking, Columbia University ranks 17th, Cornell University 20th and New York University ranks 27th. Whereas, The QS World University ranking ranks Cornell 13th, Columbia University 23rd, and New York University 38th.


Last updated in January 2024. More city profiles here.


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