Los Angeles Moves Up to 12th Place in PwC’s Cities of Opportunity Study of Global Centers of Business, Finance and Culture

London posts the highest score; New York takes second

Competition for talent, capital and economic clout drives cities to build and maintain resilient urban communities


LOS ANGELES, June 10, 2014 – Los Angeles advances to number 12 among the 30 cities studied by PwC US in the sixth edition of its Cities of Opportunity report. Los Angeles made impressive gains in economic clout, cost effectiveness, and sustainability, to move up one place after slipping to number 13 in 2012. The city placed in the top 10 in five of 10 indicators and in more than half of the variables, including ranking highest as the lowest cost city overall.

Cities of Opportunity analyzes the trajectory of global cities across the world, all capitals of finance, commerce, and culture—and, through their current performance, seeks to open a window on what makes cities function best. PwC created Cities of Opportunity as a continually evolving project for cities, their leaders, businesses and citizens seeking to improve their economies and quality of life.

Los Angeles beats all cities in costs and jumps six places to number one. The city also beats all North American competitors with its number two finish in purchasing power indicator and fourth place in business occupancy indicator, with only Chicago inching ahead of Los Angeles’s 13th place in the cost of living indicator.  The city also did well in several variables linked to living standards, including ranking third for its climate, third in housing, and fifth for cultural vibrancy behind cultural powerhouses like New York, London, Paris and Berlin. It also ranks seventh overall for sustainability.

“Los Angeles continues to be one of the world’s preeminent capitals of finance, commerce and culture,” said Brian Cullinan, Managing Partner of PwC’s Southern California, Arizona and Nevada Market. “It’s a growing city that is vibrant, affordable and a sustainable place to live and work.  Los Angeles’s success in becoming a hotbed of technology, intellectual capital and innovation as well as its efforts to further develop its local economy, has put the City of Angels in a much stronger economic position than in years past.”

Los Angeles placed third in entrepreneurial environment and moved up one spot in intellectual capital and innovation for a robust number seven ranking. In addition, it finishes seventh overall in technology readiness. The city also finishes very well in ease of doing business, placing sixth overall and advances to number 15 from number 26 in economic clout.

The Cities of Opportunity key indicators and top three cities within each are:

  • Intellectual capital and innovation: Paris, London, San Francisco
  • Technology readiness: London and Seoul (tied for first place), Stockholm
  • City gateway: London, Beijing, Singapore
  • Transportation and infrastructure: Singapore, Toronto, Buenos Aires and Seoul (tied for third)
  • Health, safety and security: Stockholm, Sydney and Toronto (tied for second)
  • Sustainability and the natural environment: Stockholm and Sydney (tied for first), Paris and Berlin (tied for third)
  • Demographics and livability: Sydney, London, San Francisco
  • Economic clout: London, Beijing, New York
  • Ease of doing business: Singapore, Hong Kong, New York
  • Cost: Los Angeles, Chicago, Johannesburg

The full report is available at http://www.pwc.com/cities. The site also features in-depth video interviews with leaders including Bob Moritz, PwC’s US Chairman and Senior Partner, Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT’s Center for Digital Business and Ulla Hamilton, Deputy Mayor of Stockholm for entrepreneurism.

Cities of Opportunity 6: We, the urban people

In June, PwC will release Cities of Opportunity 6: We, the urban people, which will include findings from a global survey of 15,000 PwC professional staff—comprised of an average of 20 percent of staff in each of the 30 cities. The study,  which was used to enrich the data of the main Cities of Opportunity 6 report, will provide an in-depth look at demographics and quality of urban life, including responses on commuting, urban priorities, likelihood of remaining in the city, preferences for relocation, and spending patterns, among other revealing points.


Cities of Opportunity is based on publicly available data, using three main sources: global multilateral development organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; national statistics organizations, such as National Statistics in the UK and the Census Bureau in the US; and commercial data providers. The data was collected during the third and fourth quarters of 2013. Besides adding Jakarta, Nairobi, and Rio de Janeiro to the study, PwC also replaced Abu Dhabi with Dubai, which brought the study to 30 cities total, the largest to date. The scoring methodology was developed to facilitate transparency and simplicity for readers, as well as comparability across cities.

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