Skip to navigationSkip to content
SEEING GREEN

Detroit will make more money this year than the whole of Ireland

View of downtown Detroit behind some abandoned buildings.
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Not quite as green, though.
  • Richard Florida
By Richard Florida

Urban studies theorist

This article is more than 2 years old.

More and more, the US economy is defined by its metropolitan areas, which produce 90% of its output. On an individual level, some of these metros are themselves quite large. The map below lays this out geographically, including a sampling of how ten cities stack up economically against major nations of the world.

The map, by my colleague Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute, compares the 2014 projections of gross product for US metropolitan statistical areas to national GDP levels for 2012, the most recent year available worldwide.

Zara Matheson, Martin Prosperity Institute
  • The greater New York metro, far and away America’s largest and richest, is projected to produce $1.4 trillion dollars in GMP in 2014. This makes it about the same size as Australia, equivalent to the world’s 12th largest economy.
  • LA, projected to account for almost $830 billion in GMP, has a larger economy than that of the Netherlands, and would therefore number among the world’s top 20 economies.
  • Chicago, with more than $610 billion in GMP, is about the same size as Switzerland and significantly bigger than Sweden.
  • Houston, approaching $490 billion in economic output, is comparable to Poland or Taiwan.
  • Greater Washington, DC, with nearly $480 billion in GMP, and Dallas, with $460 billion, are larger than Austria and about on par with Argentina.
  • Philadelphia and San Francisco, with about $400 billion in GMP each, are comparable to Thailand.
  • Greater Boston, with $360 billion, is larger in economic size than Denmark, and produces slightly less than Colombia.
  • Atlanta, with $320 billion in economic output, and Miami, with almost $300 billion, are comparable to Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Seattle, with $280 billion in GMP, is comparable to Hong Kong or Chile.
  • Detroit, with $220 billion in output, is projected to produce more than Ireland.

Each of these metros would rank among the 50 largest economies in the world.

And even far smaller metros can outpace some substantial national economies. With $180 billion in GMP, Denver’s economy is comparable to that of the entire country of New Zealand. Even Anchorage, Alaska, projected to produce nearly $30 billion in GMP, is about the same size as Latvia.

This post originally appeared at CityLab. More from our sister site:

Why every city needs a yoga tax

Want your job to scare you? Try studying distracted driving

Google Street View is finally in Athens, and it was well worth the wait

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.