NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Mayors Contend Cities Produce The Goods And Services

July 10, 2001

Metropolitan areas produced more than 80 percent of the nation's growth in income, employment and production of goods and services in the 1990s, according to a new report by the economic forecasting firm DRI-WEFA for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The 319 metropolitan areas, which include core cities and their suburbs, produced nearly 85 percent of U.S. economic activity.

The report also says that U.S. cities outproduce many states and foreign countries.

  • For example, if considered by itself, the New York metro area would rank as the 14th largest economy in the world -- generating nearly $438 billion in output last year and topping Australia.
  • Second in economic output was the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, at nearly $364 billion -- followed by Chicago, which produced nearly $333 billion in 2000.
  • Boston, the nation's fourth-largest metro-area economy, generated almost $239 billion in output -- more than Belgium, Sweden or Turkey.
  • Together, the output of the nation's top 10 metro-area economies in 2000 was larger than the combined output of 31 states.

Source: Eric Schmitt, "Cities and Their Suburbs Are Seen Growing as Units," New York Times, July 10, 2001.


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