The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the market value of all goods and services remains the standard by which wealth is measured. As of today, these are the top 10 richest cities in the world based on their 2013 GDP.
10. Shanghai, China
GDP: $516.5 billion, area: 6,340.5 square kilometers, population: 23,019,148
The only Chinese city on the list is also the economic center of the country. This city on the Eastern Coast of China can trace its earliest history to 960 AD, although it was not upgraded from a fishing village to a market town until 1074 during the Song Dynasty. It eventually rose to become a very important port city, as it was readily accessible for foreign ships when foreigners came to China in the early 20th century.The city is known for several tourist attractions like The Bund, where several foreign embassies are still in office, and the districts of the different foreigners who came to do business with the Chinese. The city is also known for the Orient Pearl TV Tower, a building of unique and distinct architecture. Its biggest industries are in steel production, oil and chemicals.
9. Moscow, Russia
GDP: $520.1 billion, area: 2,510 square kilometers, population: 11,503,501
Located in western Russia, records referring to Moscow go as far as 1147, although the earliest known construction of a wall around the city was only recorded in 1156. It was sacked and conquered over the centuries by invading powers including the Mongols, the Swedes, the Poles and the French. The city was stripped of its title as Russian capital after the founding of St. Petersburg before being reinstated as capital after the revolution of 1917. The city is known for several attractions like the Kremlin, Red Square, the BolshoiTheater and the mausoleum housing Vladimir Lenin’s preserved corpse. Its biggest industriesinclude chemicals, metallurgy and food production.
8. Chicago, USA
GDP: $524.6 billion, area: 606.1 square kilometers, population: 2,707,120
Also known the Windy City, Chicago, in the US state of Illinois, first started out as an area occupied by Native Americans. French explorer Robert dela Salle first referred to the area as ‘Checagou’, from the native word ‘shikaakwa’, meaning “wild onions” or “wild garlic”. The founding of modern Chicago was in 1833, but only as a town. Rapid population growth necessitated its naming to a city in 1837, but still it continued to develop to become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country for several more decades.Its attractions include the Chicago Theatre, the Field Museum of Natural History and Wrigley Field. Its biggest industries are manufacturing, printing and publishing.
7. Osaka, Japan
GDP: $654.8 billion, area: 552.26 square kilometers, population: 1,545,410
The site where Osaka, in southern Japan, is now located was believed to have been settled in by humans as early as 6BC.But it was not until the Edo period from 1603 to 1867 that it grew into one of the country’s major cities and not until 1889 that the modern municipality was established and expanded. Of its total area, only 223 square kilometers is actually designated as a city. Osaka’s attractions include Osaka Castle, Universal Studios Japan and the Kiyomizu Temple. Its biggest industries are metal, textile and plastic production.
6. Paris, France
GDP: $669.2 billion, area: 105.4 square kilometers, population: 10,413,386
Around 250 BC a Celtic sub-tribe known as the Parisii established a settlement near the Seine River in France. Their settlement will later be named after them –Paris.Also called the City of Lights, it is now one of the most-visited places in Europe, although it had a turbulent past with the plague and occupations by invading armies from Russia, Prussia and Germany.The attractions of Paris include the world-famous Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees, the Louvre Museum and the Arc de Triomphe. Its biggest industries are tourismand the clothing business as many designer clothes brands have their main office in Paris.
5. London, England
GDP: $731.2 billion, area: 1,570 square kilometers, population: 8,173,194
London has been settled as early as the Roman era when it was referred to as Londinium.It slowly grew to the city it now is, although it was nearly destroyed by a huge fire in 1666 and ravaged by plague a century later. Modern London became the world largest city from 1831 to 1925 with people of different cultures from all over the world settling there.London is still known to be a cultural melting pot and accepting of many youth cultures from all over the globe. London’s attractions include Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, the London Eye and the world-famous Big Ben clock tower. Its biggest industries are finance and banking.
4. Seoul, South Korea
GDP: $779.3 billion, area: 605.21 square kilometers, population: estimated 10 million
Located in northwestern South Korea, Seoul was believed to have been settled in as early as 17 BC. The city rose to become the capital of the Joseon Dyan 1394 and has stayed capital of the country since. It was credited as the first city in East Asia to have power, water and a phone system at the same time. In 1950 it was occupied by invading forces from North Korea who were later driven backin 1951. Its current boundaries were established only in 1995 and it has grown economically since. Its main attractions are the Korean War Memorial, Namsan Park, Changdeokgung Palace and the N Seoul Tower. Seoul’s main industries include electronic, textile and iron and steel production.
3. Los Angeles, USA
GDP: $789.7 billion, area: 1,302 square kilometers, population: 3,792,621
The glitzy, glamorous home of everything Hollywood started out as a settlement by the Native American Chumash tribe before the 16th century.In the 18th century the small village was called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles, shortened to Los Angeles eventually.In 1847 it was won by Americans from its Spanish-descendant settlers and its population steadily grew with the buildings of the railroad in 1876 to the city we know it today. The city is well known for its attractions like Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Santa Monica Pier. Like London, its main industries are banking and finance.
2. New York, USA
GDP: $1,210 billion, area: 1,213square kilometers, population: 8,244,910
Originally founded as the Province of New York by the English during the second Anglo-Dutch War, it was recaptured by the Dutch before being turned over the English via treaty in 1674. It was one of the states that endorsed Declaration of Independence in 1776 and was the scene of one first majorbattles of the American Revolution. From the 19th to the 20th century the city would become the main entry port of immigrants from all over the world and many of them eventually decided to settle there instead of moving on, giving the city a wide racial and cultural diversity.It has five boroughs or state counties, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Its attractions include Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building. Its biggest industries include publishing, finance and real estate.
1. Tokyo, Japan
GDP: $1,520 billion, area: 2,187.6 square kilometers, population: 13,185,502
Tokyo has come far from its humble origin as the fishing village of Edo. In 1590 it became the capital of the capital of the ruling dynasty.It later grew in area and population to become the identified capital of Japan, although the emperor took up residence in Kyoto.The city suffered a devastating earthquake in 1923 and extensive US bombing in World War II.After the war it was steadily rebuilt, finally taking center stage in 1964 when it hosted the Summer Olympics. Its attractions include Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Tower, the Tokyo Imperial Palace and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Its biggest industries are in electronics, telecommunications and publishing.
With a few exception most of these cities also make up last year’s list of top 10 riches cities in the world.Are you by any chance living in, or have been to, one of the current richest cities?