Paris: the French capital is one of the best-known cities and among the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. It has for centuries been a global reference for culture, travel, art, and commerce. Events such as the yearly Fashion Week, the defining COP21 summit, and the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games guarantee continued international attention.

But what do leading rankings say about the reputation of Paris, its innovation capacity, business attractiveness, and sustainability?

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • Paris’s economic competitiveness and financial performance
  • Its city brand strength and global attractiveness
  • Livability and urban sustainability

Paris’ economic competitiveness

How attractive is Paris as a place to work and do business? 

The Global Financial Centres Index 34 ranks Paris 15th, falling one position from the previous ranking. It is currently sitting between Frankfurt (14th) and Luxembourg (16th). Paris ranked as 10th center most likely to become more significant. It ranks 14th in the Business Environment area of competitiveness. It also performs very well in the Banking (15th) industry sector. The French capital holds the 4th position in the Western European region.

According to 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023 Paris ranks 4th, a jump of six positions from the previous ranking. The city now sits in between New York (3rd) and Singapore (5th).

City brand strength and global attractiveness 

Resonance’s 2023 World’s Best Cities Report ranks Paris 2nd, scoring the following in the Place Power Score subfactors: 14th in Prosperity, 3rd in Lovability, and 2nd in Livability. It also ranks first for the following Place Power Highlights: Sights and Landmarks and Walking Score. It currently sits just behind London (1st), and above New York City (3rd).

Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report continues to rank Paris 3rd. Also, the city ranks 5th in the Global Cities Outlook, a drop of three positions since the previous ranking.

The comprehensive ranking of the Global Power City Index ranks Paris 4th. In terms of function-specific rankings, the city ranks 16th in terms of Economy, 9th in R&D, 3rd in Cultural Interaction, 1st in Livability, 27th in Environment, and 5th in Accessibility. It ranks 15th in Variety of Work Place Options, 4th in Winners of Prizes in Science and Technology, 12th for Nightlife Options, 1st for Number of Retail Shops, 38th for Urban Greenery, and 43rd for Average Driving Speed. Lastly, the city is positioned 3rd in the Highly-skilled Workers, 7th in the Corporate Executive, 6th in the Resident, and 3rd in the Tourism categories.

According to Brand Finance’s City Index 2023, Paris ranks 3rd in the global ranking with a score of 79.7/100, sitting in between New York City (2nd) and Los Angeles (4th). Paris ranked as the world’s 2nd most familiar city and 3rd best city in the world to visit. It also ranked 1st in the Culture & Heritage pillar. The French capital also performed strongly in People & Values, ranking 2nd globally, but fell short on the friendliness pillar where it ranks 25th.


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

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Paris 32nd, sitting in between Nuremberg (31st) and Toulouse (33rd). The Mercer Cost of Living Ranking ranks Paris 35th behind Helsinki (34th), and above Guangzhou (36th). 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, Paris ranks 48th out of 56 global cities. It currently sits between Milan (47th) and Oslo (49th).

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks Paris 8th overall, sitting in between Seattle (7th) and San Francisco (9th). Its pillar rankings are the following: Planet 2nd, People 43rd, Profit 31st.

Lastly, the French capital is home to some of the best universities in the world. According to The Times Higher Education ranking, Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) ranks 40th, Université Paris-Saclay ranks 58th, Institut Polytechnique de Paris ranks 71st, and Sorbonne University 75th. Whereas, the QS World University ranking ranks PSL in 24th, Institut Polytechnique de Paris in 38th, Sorbonne University 59th, and Université Paris-Saclay ranks 71st.

Last updated in January 2024. More city profiles here.

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