Nine Philippine cities among top 1,000 global urban economies

2024 Oxford Economics Global Cities Index

At a glance

  • Manila ranks 256th globally with strengths in economics and human capital but weaknesses in quality of life.

  • Cebu City is at 436th place, excelling in the environment but lacking in quality of life.

  • Other Philippine cities like Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, and Angeles City are also identified.

  • Bacolod shines in the environment but struggles with human capital.

  • Dagupan highlights strong environmental aspects.

  • Zamboanga excels in the environment but faces economic challenges.

  • General Santos thrives in the environment but faces challenges with human capital.

  • The 2024 Global Cities Index by Oxford Economics provides insights into urban environments worldwide, with New York, London, San Jose, Tokyo, and Paris leading the rankings.

UK-based think tank Oxford Economics has identified nine cities in the Philippines among the largest urban economies in the world.

In the Oxford Economics Global Cities Index, which ranks the 1,000 largest cities worldwide, Manila is the biggest city in the Philippines but is not considered a major player on the global scale.

The Oxford Economics report did not specify if "Manila" refers to just the capital city or includes the entire metropolitan area in the National Capital Region (NCR). The report did not list any other NCR cities besides Manila. 

Oxford Economics ranks based on five categories: economics, human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance.

“By analyzing these five dimensions in depth, the Global Cities Index provides a nuanced understanding of each city's strengths and areas for improvement, empowering policymakers, investors, employers, and residents to make informed decisions,” Oxford Economics said in a statement.

Among the 1,000 urban economies worldwide, Manila is ranked 256, placing it above the global average scores, although not among the top-performing cities.

Based on the report, Manila’s strength is human capital, ranking 101, followed by economics (150) and environment (238). However, its weakest points are quality of life (461) and governance (614).

Another city that has made it to the global rankings is Cebu City, which secured the 436th spot worldwide. The Queen City of the South excels in the environment (24) but lags behind in quality of life (684).

Cagayan de Oro ranked third in the Philippines, holding the 487th position globally. Similar to Cebu City, CDO’s strong suit lies in the environment (338), while its weakness is quality of life (626).

Davao City occupied the 500th position, with its main weakness being in human capital (645) and strength in the environment (229).

Angeles City has also been listed in the global rankings, securing the 502nd place. Its strength lies in the environment (191), while its weakest aspect is human capital (634).

Bacolod attained the 538th position among the 1,000 global urban economies. Its strength is in the environment (12) but shows weakness in terms of human capital (739).

Meanwhile, Dagupan ranked 604 globally, with its environment as a key advantage (220) and human capital is its weakness (701).

Zamboanga, positioned eighth in the Philippines, held the 695th global rankings. It excels in the environment (48) but faces challenges in economics (961).

General Santos, placed at 723 globally, known as the country's tuna capital, showed strength in the environment while encountering difficulties in human capital (915).

In the 2024 Global Cities Index, the first publication by Oxford Economics, New York leads the list, which also claimed the top position in the Economics category. 

London secures the second spot, followed by San Jose, Tokyo, and Paris.