new york city skyline We stumbled upon an amazing chart created by the McKinsey Global Institute that compares the GDP of America’s 30 richest cities in 1978 with the richest cities in 2010.

The three richest cities — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — did not switch positions over the 32 year period, however, things get interesting when you move farther down the list. A few cities experienced modest declines, a few saw drastic drops and five dropped from the top 30 altogether.

Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh experienced the sharpest declines, moving down 9, 10 and 11 spots respectively.

Check out the full chart in all of its glory:

McKinsey Top 30 Cities

The chart highlights the changing economic landscape over the past three decades. Jordan Weissmann, an editor at The Atlantic, identified three trends in the data:

  • The fall of the Rust Belt and the rise of the Sun Belt illustrated by the inclusion of Riverside, Tampa, Orlando and Sacramento on the 2010 list
  • The dominance of finance with New York City and Chicago’s refusal to budge from the top three
  • The shift West: world trade moved from the Atlantic to the Pacific during this time

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