Sydney City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

With over five million inhabitants, Sydney is by far the largest metropolis in Australia. Considered one of the wealthiest and most dynamic cities in Oceania, how does Sydney perform in international rankings measuring economic competitiveness, sustainability, innovation, and global influence? Let’s explore deeper how Sydney 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:

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

Sydney’s competitiveness and financial performance

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

The Global Financial Centres Index 34 ranks Sydney 22nd, a drop in seven positions from the previous ranking. It is currently sitting in between Dubai (21st) and Berlin (23rd). London ranked as 5th center most likely to become more significant. It ranks 14th in the Infrastructure area of competitiveness. It also ranked 12th in the Insurance industry sector. Sydney ranks 8th in the Asia/Pacific region.

According to 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023 Sydney ranks 18th, a drop of 14 positions from the previous ranking. The city now sits right behind Vienna (17th) and Madrid (19th).


Sydney’s brand strength and global attractiveness

Which subfactors hurt and help the brand of Sydney?

Resonance’s 2023 World’s Best Cities Report ranks Sydney 35th, it currently sits in between Seattle (34th) and Doha (36th). It scored the following in the Place Power Highlights: 16th for University and 17th for Outdoors.

Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report ranks Sydney 18th, a drop of one position from the previous ranking; it now sits below San Francisco (17th), and above Washington DC (19th). Moreover, the city ranks 24th in the Global Cities Outlook, a jump of 11 positions since the previous ranking.

The comprehensive ranking of the Global Power City Index ranks Sydney 12th, it sits in between Copenhagen (11th) and Vienna (13th). In terms of function-specific rankings, the city ranks 14th in terms of Economy, 15th in R&D, 20th in Cultural Interaction, 24th in Livability, 7th in Environment, and 29th in Accessibility. Sydney also ranks 8th for Urban Greenery. Lastly, Sydney positioned 19th in the Highly-skilled Workers, 16th in the Corporate Executive, 15th in the Resident, and 20th in the Tourism categories.

According to Brand Finance’s City Index 2023, Sydney ranks 5th in the global ranking with a score of 77.9/100, right below Los Angeles (4th), and above Singapore (6th). Sydney is considered as the best city to live in, 2nd best to work and retire in, 3rd best to study and invest in, and 5th best to visit.


Livability: Sydney’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

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

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Sydney 9th, sitting in between Vancouver (8th) and Dusseldorf (10th). The Mercer Cost of Living Ranking ranks Sydney 56th behind Qingdao (55th), and above Taipei (57th). 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, Sydney ranks 27th out of 56 global cities. It currently sits between Rome (26th) and Los Angeles (28th).

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks Sydney 33rd overall, sitting in between Manchester (32nd) and Leeds (34th). Sydney’s pillar rankings are the following: Planet 42nd, People 15th, Profit 46th. Its main strength is air pollution; while environmental exposure, and bicycle infrastructure are two areas which could be improved.

Lastly, London is home to a couple of the best universities in the world. According to The Times Higher Education ranking, The University of Sydney ranks 60th and UNSW Sydney ranks 84th. Whereas, The QS World University ranking ranks both The University of Sydney and UNSW Sydney in 19th and The University of Technology Sydney 90th.


Last updated in January 2024. More city benchmarking insights, profiles and reports in our City Observatory.


Enjoyed our summary of global rankings and indices on Sydney’s economic performance, its sustainability, attractiveness for digital nomads, brand strength and reputation? Thanks for sharing!

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