Where Moscow Ranks
Downtown Moscow near the Kremlin
Photo by: Yuri Mamchur
Newsweek Interactive, the consulting firm A.T. Kearney and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs have published an index of the world's top global cities in the Nov/Dec 2008 issue of Foreign Policy magazine. The FP is a publication of the Washington-D.C. based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
According to the A.T. Kearney survey, a global city is defined as an urban center that "excels across multiple dimensions" of human achievement, with different rankings for leading cities in business, finance, education, and governance. Some cities came off better in the rankings due to their historic position as global economic hubs, such as New York, London, and Tokyo, while others offered more lifestyle attractions, such as Toronto and Los Angeles. But all of the established megacities in the developed world have increasing competition from emerging market boomtowns like Beijing, Bangalore, Sao Paulo, and Shenzhen. As the capital of the Russian Federation, Moscow found its spot in the combined rankings at #19 out of 60 global cities, situated in between Vienna and Shanghai.
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Bloomberg news Moscow bureau chief near the Kremlin, 2007
Moscow scored highest on "the best cities to get culture" ranking, at no. 6, and no. 15 on "the best cities to get a degree". While the cultural category may seem subjective, depending on one's definition of culture, the educational rankings are based on objective criteria such as the percentage of inhabitants with university degrees, and the number of international students, international schools, and top global universities in each city. Moscow State University (MSU) and other institutions in the Russian capital have attracted large numbers of foreign students, particularly in engineering and medical sciences.
In recent years Moscow's retail, industrial, service and construction industries have drawn thousands of expats from Europe and hundreds of thousands of migrants from Russian regions to the city. According to the 2006 census, the number of legally registered residents in Moscow city limits exceeded 10.4 million people. The actual population, including undocumented workers from the former Soviet republics, could be substantially higher. The Moscow region surrounding the city has 6 million inhabitants.
Of cities ranked by A.T. Kearney in the U.S., New York (still no. 1 in spite of the financial crisis), Los Angeles (6), Chicago (8), Washington (11), and San Francisco (15) scored the highest in the overall rankings.