Osaka Economic Performance, City Brand Strength and Reputation

Osaka is a vibrant nexus of commerce, cuisine, and entertainment. Japan’s third-largest city, Osaka has been historically a key economic engine and the home to several major company headquarters such as Panasonic, Sharp, and Sanyo.

Situated on the coast, Osaka is criss-crossed with canals and bridges forming districts like the one famous tourist and nightlife – Dōtonbori – that offers a vast selection of shopping and food. The city has been a popular venue for international events ever since the 1970 World Expo, the first in Asia.

With Osaka hosting the upcoming World Expo 2025, the government is primed to invest in the region’s development. A notable initiative includes the establishment of the country’s first casino resort on the artificial island Yumeshima to attract future business and tourism to the region.

But how does Osaka perform in terms of economic stability, city brand strength and reputation, according to leading rankings and indices?

Let’s explore:

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

Competitiveness and Financial Performance

The Global Financial Centres Index 35 ranks Osaka 47th, between Vancouver (46th) and Tel Aviv (48th), placing it in the top 15 centres in the Asia/Pacific region.

Osaka is ranked 35th in the 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023, between Oslo (34th) and Dublin (36th).

Brand Strength and Global Attractiveness

Which subfactors hurt and help the brand of Osaka?

Resonance’s 2024 World’s Best Cities Report places Osaka 45th, between Oslo (44th) and Hong Kong (46th). Osaka is famous for its food and entertainment culture, resulting in the city ranking 2nd in Restaurants, 40th for Lovability, and 45th for Prosperity.

Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report ranks Osaka 52nd, between Santiago (51st) and Mumbai (53rd). Moreover, in Kearney’s Global City Outlook ranking, Osaka makes significant strides among Asian cities, rising 13 positions to claim the 28th spot.

The comprehensive ranking of the Global Power City Index ranks Osaka 37th, between Washington, DC (36th) and Bangkok (38th). In function-specific rankings, Osaka performs well in Livability (12th), R&D (18th), and Cultural Interaction (25th).

Brand Finance’s City Index 2023 positions Osaka 27th, between Abu Dhabi (28th) and Luxembourg (26th).

Livability: Osaka’s Appeal for Digital Nomads and Locals

Which aspects of Osaka’s urban living make it an attractive place to live and work?

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Osaka 58th, between Leipzig (59th) and Washington D.C. (57th). Osaka is ranked 3rd in Japan for quality of living. The Mercer Cost of Living Ranking places the city at 93rd, between Canberra (94th) and Lyon (92nd).

In the Best Urban Cities for Digital Nomads ranking by Spot a Home, Osaka ranks 44th, between Zurich (45th) and Budapest (43rd). The city ranks highly in Average Rental Cost for a 1-Bedroom Apartment, Migrant Acceptance, and Quality of Coworking Spaces.

In 2024, the Times Higher Education ranking placed Osaka University 175th. The QS World University ranking positions Osaka University 80th, between Trinity College Dublin (81st) and Korea University (79th).

Last updated in June 2024. More city profiles here

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