Richard Florida along with his colleague Charlotta Mellander at U of T’s Martin Prosperity Institute have developed a new way to study and rank the economic power of cities in the 21st century. They’ve compiled their research and titled it the “Global Economic Power Index.”

How do Canadian cities fare in all this? Very well! The list sees three Canadian cities placing in the top 20 worldwide.

A write-up on the index was posted by Florida this morning on The Atlantic’s new website “The Atlantic Cities.” It explains that a city’s economic power is reflected by three dimensions: economic, financial, and innovative.

Toronto placed 12th on the list, Montreal nabbed the 19th spot and Vancouver came in at number 20.

Toronto’s economic output was $209 billion and the city placed 16th in the innovation rankings. Montreal’s economic output was much higher than Vancouver’s — $120 billion to $79 billion — but Vancouver placed ahead of Montreal in innovation, coming in at number 20 while Montreal was ranked 21st.

The top three spots in the index were occupied by Tokyo, New York City and London. No real curve balls there, though some may be a bit surprised that Tokyo beat out New York for the number one spot.

“With 35 million people and nearly $1.2 trillion in economic output… Tokyo is the world’s largest urban economy,” writes Florida.

“While New York and London are quintessential financial, knowledge-based, and creative economies (taking the two top spots on the Financial Power Index), Tokyo has a substantial base of world-class factories as well as cutting-edge research and development labs — putting it first on the Global Innovation Index.”

Pretty amazing figures from Tokyo, but anyone who has ever visited or lived there knows that it certainly looks and feels like a $1.2 trillion city.

Check out the rest of the top 25 here!

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