Ranked: 100 best cities in the world 2024

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6th October 2023
A city of London bus crosses a bridge in fron of Big Ben

The 100 best cities in the world have been ranked for 2024 based on livability, lovability and prosperity. We take a look at the results

In 2018, a UN study suggested that 55% (4.2 billion people) of the world’s population lived in urban areas.

This proportion is projected to increase to 68% by 2050. Wherever the world’s expats, digital nomads and remote workers choose to relocate, chances are it will be in a city.

With this in mind, Canadian consultancy film Resonance, which has offices in Vancouver, Montreal, Singapore and New York, has published its annual report ranking 100 cities with populations of over one million.

The firm’s analysis of 270 cities is now in its 15th year and is widely regarded as the most credible source of city performance.

Contrary to similar “best-of” lists, Resonance’s index assesses a city’s culture, diversity, prosperity, infrastructure and employment opportunities. The data comes from a combination of core statistics from 400 global cities as well as user-generated ratings and reviews.


This year, Resonance has taken a slightly different approach to its best cities in the world ranking and regrouped its 24 factors into three key categories: livability, lovability and prosperity. They call this the ‘Place Power Score’.

The 24 factors cover a range of criteria including climate, access to outdoor space, education and work prospects, population diversity, leisure options and online popularity.


  • Walk Score: a city’s walkability score on Walk Score
  • Biking: a city’s number of mapped bike routes per 1000,000 residents on Bikemap 
  • Sights & Landmarks: number of quality points of interest, neighbourhoods and landmarks recommended by locals and visitors according to Tripadvisor
  • Parks & Recreation: number of quality parks and outdoor activities recommended by locals and visitors according to Tripadvisor
  • Airport Connectivity: number of direct destinations served by the city’s airports on FlightsFrom.com
  • Museums: number of quality museums and arts institutions recommended by locals and visitors (Tripadvisor)
  • Higher Education: Score of the top local university according to their QS Rankings
A venn diagram of the the three factors that make up the best cities in the world ranking
Resonance The three key factors


  • Culture: number of quality performing arts and cultural experiences recommended by locals and visitors (Tripadvisor)
  • Nightlife: number of quality nightlife experiences recommended by locals and visitors (Tripadvisor)
  • Restaurants: number of quality restaurants and culinary experiences recommended by locals and visitors (Tripadvisor)
  • Shopping: number of quality shopping experiences recommended by locals and visitors (Tripadvisor)
  • Attractions: number of quality family-friendly activities recommended by locals and visitors (Tripadvisor)
  • Facebook Check-ins: number of Facebook check-ins (Facebook)
  • Google Search: number of Google search results (Google)
  • Tripadvisor Reviews: number of Tripadvisor reviews (Tripadvisor)
    • Instagram Hashtags: number of Instagram hashtags (Instagram)
  • Google Trends: Popularity on Google Trends in the past 12 months (Google Trends)


  • Educational Attainment: percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher (OECD/UNESCO Institute of Statistics/US Census, American Community Survey 2021)
  • Labor Force Participation: percentage of the economy’s active workforce (World Bank/OECD/Statistics Canada/U.S. Census, American Community Survey 2021)
  • GDP per Capita: value of goods and services produced per resident in the economy (McKinsey Global Institute)
  • Poverty Rate: percentage of the population living below the national poverty line (World Bank/Eurostat/UNICEF/OECD)
  • Fortune Global 500 Companies: number of Fortune Global 500 corporate headquarters (Fortune Global500) number of start-ups number of registered start-ups in a city (StartupBlink)
  • Convention Center Size: the size of the largest convention centre in a city (10times.com)

What is the world’s best city?

London is the best city in the world for the ninth year in a row. The ‘capital of capitals’ has taken the top spot despite concerns surrounding the city’s post-Brexit future. However, the report’s authors believe the city continues to draw talent and visitors en masse and will eventually weather the storm and even emerge stronger.

The 10 best cities in the world

  1. London, UK
  2. Paris, France
  3. New York, USA
  4. Tokyo, Japan
  5. Singapore, Singapore
  6. Dubai, UAE
  7. San Francisco, USA
  8. Barcelona, Spain
  9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  10. Seoul, South Korea

The UK capital scored highly in the programming, promotion, product and prosperity categories but was some way behind in the place category. Unemployment and a waning economy have meant the city’s number one position is under serious threat.

London is ranked no 1 best city in the world
London is ranked as the world’s best city

“As the “capital of capitals” deftly negotiates the uncharted, perilous terrain of a post-Brexit and pandemic world, it does so atop our ranking for the ninth straight year.”

– World’s Best Cities, Resonance

London is closely followed by the usual suspects of Paris and New York. Paris remains ahead of New York, thanks to its ambitious sustainability policies which have included expanding cycle routes, reducing city speed limits and tree planting as it aims to become Europe’s greenest city by 2030.

New York, America’s greatest city, is in third thanks to the high number of Global 500 companies located in the Big Apple as well as the city’s endless nightlife, shopping and attractions that sustain its ‘enduring allure’.

“The world’s urban centers are the engines of their regional and national economies and, importantly, the global economy. For centuries, they’ve been badges of human ingenuity. Yes, they’ve been hobbled this decade, exposing the long-ignored foundational and institutional problems that manifested on their streets and in their hospitals. But they’re also leading—like they always have—the recovery and future-defining next stages of
innovation, livability and sustainability”

– World’s Best Cities, Resonance
New York and the Hudson River
Thorsten Weinert/Shutterstock New York remains one of the world’s great cities

Tokyo in Japan is Asia’s highest-ranked city in fourth place and the safest metropolis on the planet. The city is poised to benefit from the range of new infrastructure constructed for the Olympics which will no doubt come in handy in the future.

“The futuristic metropolis is tapping its ancient feudal roots by investing in street-level livability and resident well-being – in the wake of the Olympics.”

World’s Best Cities, Resonance

The report also highlights Tokyo’s popularity with shoppers as well as the city’s relentlessly expanding foodie scene. The metropolis offers as many restaurants as the top five cities combined – more than 100,000 in total!

Tokyo city during the blossom
Richie Chan/Shutterstock Tokyo is the world’s fourth-best city

This year, the city-state of Singapore has moved into the top five. It has been recognised for its prolific modern shopping malls, frequently touted as some of the world’s best. The city has also won praise for its new cycling routes and green spaces. Traditionally known for its manicured approach to nature, recent efforts have seen the city’s cycling and hiking infrastructure improved. Most notably, the 24km-long Rail Corridor – traversing the city from south to north along the former railway line that linked Singapore to Malaysia – is now among the city’s most popular cycling and hiking trails.

Dubai skyline at night
RED87PUTRA/SHUTTERSTOCK Dubai is the world’s sixth-best city

Dubai in the UAE is the sixth best city in the world thanks to its ‘alluring blend of over-the-top experiences, Arab heritage and luxury shopping’. The city is arguably the globe’s most cosmopolitan with almost 83% of its population foreign-born – the highest proportion of any city in the world. Many of its expat community tend to be well-educated – performing consistently well for Educational Attainment globally.

best cities in the world – complete ranking

Below you can view the complete ranking of the best cities in the world by their three key categories: livability, lovability and prosperity – AKA their ‘Place Power Score’.

1London, UK11312,434,823
2Paris, France231413,114,718
3New York, USA621219,768,458
4Tokyo, Japan341137,732,000
5Singapore, Singapore171425,983,000
6Dubai, UAE35546,404,000
7San Francisco, USA202854,623,264
8Barcelona, Spain107485,111,749
9Amsterdam, Netherlands522242,891,907
10Seoul, South Korea2631823,016,000
11Rome, Italy461504,303,821
12Prague, Czechia1217392,259,981
13Madrid, Spain1810437,005,286
14Berlin, Germany1415384,979,867
15Los Angeles, USA19133012,997,353
16Chicago, USA1516449,510,390
17Washington DC, USA3023156,358,652
18Beijing, China11781618,522,000
19Istanbul, Türkiye8818115,636,000
20Dublin, Ireland284622544,107
21Vienna, Austria1332721,890,000
22Milan, Italy9241414,961,743
23Toronto, Canada4725256,771,000
24Boston, USA4058184,899,932
25Abu Dhabi, UAE2368411,374,000
26Budapest, Hungary4130313,002,758
27São Paulo, Brazil27916123,086,000
28Riyadh, Saudi Arabia14010577,237,000
29Stockholm, Sweden39100202,308,143
30Munich, Germany2261403,016,834
31Melbourne, Australia3437534,721,000
32Lisbon, Portugal16391123,013,027
33Zürich, Switzerland42112211,936,563
34Seattle, USA5353264,011,553
35Sydney, Australia5529514,712,000
36Doha, Qatar14614991,886,000
37Brussels, Belgium2343813,331,496
38San Jose, USA16321462,025,000
39Bangkok, Thailand461215518,007,000
40Warsaw, Poland5460273,189,533
41Copenhagen, Denmark3280371,928,612
42Taipei, Taiwan5252429,079,000
43Austin, USA6056292,352,426
44Oslo, Norway33134281,278,827
45Osaka, Japan73404515,126,000
46Hong Kong SAR, China49191387,450,000
47Tel Aviv, Israel8695232,799,000
48Athens, Greece29471073,154,000
49Frankfurt, Germany2597652,678,557
50Vancouver, Canada4368622,460,000
51San Diego, USA8144543,286,069
52Orlando, USA68261012,691,925
53Helsinki, Finland44126361,551,959
54Miami, USA51331136,091,747
55Buenos Aires, Argentina382714916,710,000
56Hamburg, Germany5957663,421,692
57Brisbane, Australia24851092,628,083
58Kuwait, Kuwait25367104,289,000
59Las Vegas, USA154111422,292,476
60Montreal, Canada7050753,707,000
61Glasgow, UK6489471,830,710
62Shanghai, China216313924,073,000
63Rio de Janeiro, Brazil312120712,592,000
64Auckland, New Zealand4586801,446,000
65Atlanta, USA9151616,144,970
66Houston, USA12238637,206,841
67Busan, South Korea149140173,814,000
68Philadelphia, USA6373746,228,601
69Naples, Italy7342443,298,730
70Denver, USA11083352,972,567
71Nashville, USA7965692,013,506
72Manchester, UK5676883,348,274
73Dallas, USA10564527,759,615
74Liverpool, UK5088971,533,860
75Minneapolis, USA95147323,690,512
76Mexico City, Mexico574513721,804,000
77Minsk, Belarus184133192,147,000
78Lyon, France8494702,280,845
79Portland, USA12879492,510,696
80Rotterdam, Netherlands89178411,890,814
81Bogotá, Colombia884811810,085,000
82Kraków, Poland36661521,423,451
83Valencia, Spain48741341,768,205
84Santiago, Chile71551277,171,000
85Birmingham, UK69871002,643,000
86New Orleans, USA83491281,261,726
87Bucharest, Romania9793672,478,618
88Leeds, UK87111712,619,128
89Muscat, Oman220242131,332,000
90Ottawa, Canada116119581,085,000
91Cologne, Germany761081082,215,509
92Charlotte, USA98120732,701,046
93Calgary, Canada182101331,319,000
94Nagoya, Japan144116469,197,000
95Düsseldorf, Germany621661066,237,000
96Hanoi, Vietnam61411847,547,000
97Gothenburg, Sweden10422960629,000
98Sapporo, Japan117148682,028,000
99Bilbao, Spain123191561,048,966
100Baltimore, USA112135772,838,327

More rankings and articles can be found in our remote work area:
► Most dangerous countries in the world
► Countries with the best healthcare in the world
► World’s worst countries to drive in
► Best countries for women
► Happiest countries in the world
► World’s most powerful passport
► Countries with the fastest internet in the world
► Most stressed countries in the world
► Most expensive cities for expats
► World’s most democratic countries

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Lead image: Dafinka/Shutterstock