New York City ranks top in the first ever ‘American Cities of the Future’ ranking compiled by fDi Magazine, followed by Chicago and Houston. The new ranking focuses on a mixture of data and expert opinion to rank cities which have the best prospects for inward investment, economic development and business expansion.

Cities based in the US and Canada dominated the overall American Cities of the Future rankings as New York, Chicago and Houston claimed the top three positions in 2011.

The ranking combines a North American ranking with a new Latin American ranking by compiling research on over 400 cities from fDi Benchmark and fDi Markets database tools.

New York also ranked top of the North America regional city rankings, with Santiago, Lima and Monterrey snatching the top three positions in the Latin America city ranking. While New York City dominated the major city category, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, came top among the large cities. 

Highlights include:-

  • Santiago top in Latin America. Santiago was crowned fDi Magazine’s first ‘Latin American City of the Future’. Santiago has attracted 84 FDI projects since 2003, with almost a fifth of these projects involving a capital investment of over $100m, according to the fDi Markets database which tracks crossborder greenfield investment.  
  • Lima, Monterrey, Bogota and San Jose completed the top five Latin American Cities of the Future. Mexican cities made up four of the top ten cities in the Latin America category whereas the Colombian cities of Bogota and Barranquilla also featured, ranking fourth and eighth respectively.
  • Although North American cities dominated many major city categories, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires held their own, ranking second and fifth respectively in the economic potential category. Sao Paulo, Lima, and Buenos Aires ranked fourth, fifth and seventh in the business friendliness category.
  • Pittsburgh climbed from ninth position in the 2009/10 ranking to be crowned as the top large American City of the Future 2011/12. Halifax, Nova Scotia ranked second followed closely by Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Seattle ranked as the top large city in both the economic potential and infrastructure categories.
  • Richmond, VA – Best Small City with Santa Clarita, California, and Columbia, South Carolina ranking second and third respectively. Pilar, Argentina, Potosi, Bolivia, and Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, ranked as the top three small cities in the cost effectiveness category. According to the judging panel, Huntsville, Alabama; Dayton, Ohio; and Richmond, Virginia, had the best FDI strategy amongst the small cities.
  • Canadian cities dominated the quality of life category accounting for nine of the top ten micro cities in this category with North Vancouver coming out on top. The Costa Rican cities of Alajuela, Heredia and Santa Ana ranked as the top three most cost effective micro cities in 2011.

An awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday 29th June in Washington, DC to celebrate the success of cities across the Americas.


For further information please contact Tamsin Purchase, or +44(0)20 7775 6342 for the full report.  The full results are available on – please register to be able to download the full results for free. 

Notes to editors

About American Cities of the Future 2011/12

  • The ‘American Cities of the Future 2011/12’ focuses on a mixture of hard data and expert opinion to rank cities which have the best prospects for inward investment, economic development and business expansion.
  • Combines  fDi Magazie’s North American ranking with a new Latin American ranking by compiling research on over 400 cities from fDi Benchmark and fDi Markets specialist FDI tools
  • Methodology: fDi Cities of the Future shortlists are created by an independent collection of data by fDi Intelligence division across 405 cities across North and South America. This information was set under six categories: Economic Potential, Human resources, Cost Effectiveness, Quality of life, Infrastructure and Business Friendliness. A seventh category was added to the scoring – FDI  promotion strategy. In this category, 100 cities submitted details about their promotion strategy and this was judged and scored by our independent judging panel.
  • Full results available on and in fDi Magazine – April / May 2011 issue

About fDi Intelligence

  • fDi Intelligence, from The Financial Times Ltd, is the leading provider of foreign direct investment  intelligence. The portfolio encompasses world class products, services and business tools that allow companies and EDO’s alike to make informed decisions regarding foreign direct investment. 
  • Products within the portfolio include fDi Markets, a database tracking crossborder greenfield investment on a real time basis; fDi Benchmark, a database which benchmarks global locations on their attractiveness to foreign investors; and fDi Magazine.

About TheFinancial Times

  • The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing extensive news, comment and analysis, is the definitive home for business intelligence on the web, providing an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community


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