Milan City Review

October 2017

Milan is not just the "fashion capital of the world" - it is the economic centre of Italy. In 2016, Milan generated 12% of national GDP, while Rome accounted for 9%. Due to the ongoing Italian banking crisis, Milan's economy contracted by 5.1% in real terms over 2011-2016. However, with major corporations (Microsoft; Whirlpool; JP Morgan) expanding, and innovations being implemented (Italy's first fintech hub, for example) in Milan, 2017 already saw good foundations for growth over 2016-2021.

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Milan's labour productivity (GVA per employee) in 2016 reached USD94,400, which was 34% higher than the rest of Italy's. The difference stems from Milan's strong focus on the productive sector of business services, as the city hosts 85% of foreign banks operating in Italy. 40% of total GVA in Milan was generated by business services in 2016 versus 28% in the rest of the country.

Labour productivity advantage and lower unemployment rate boost disposable income

The advantage in labour productivity and the lower unemployment rate (7.8% unemployment in Milan versus 12% in the rest of the country) led Milan's households to boast 33% higher levels of disposable income than other Italian households in 2016. However, due to the recession, the Milanese level of income dropped by 11% in real terms over 2011-2016.

significant spending on education and communications compared with the rest of the country

The households of Milan allocated 30% higher levels of annual expenditure (excluding transport and housing) than other Italians in 2016. The largest differences in spending habits between Milan and the rest of Italy are seen in the categories of education and communications, with households in Milan allocating 43% higher expenditure in both categories in 2016.

Greater spending on housing and transport

Household spending on housing and transport in Milan was 26% above the average elsewhere in the country in 2016. However, given the disposable income advantage of 33%, Milan can be considered an affordable city.

The Milan City Review market research report includes:

  • Major Milan cities scorecard
  • Detailed ranking of cities in terms of future growth, wealth, labour and other key consumer and economic indicators
  • Historic data on population, consumer expenditure, digital consumer and other indicators
  • Five-year forecasts of trends and city growth

The Milan City Review in Milan report answers: 

  • How does a specific city fair in terms of consumer market attractiveness compared to a country/region?
  • Which cities will be the fastest growing in Milan?
  • What is the consumer market potential in specific cities?
  • Which cities in “Country” have the largest number of wealthy consumers?
  • How does the city affordability differ across country and region?
  • How does labour productivity differ across cities?
  • What is the household profile in different cities?


Understanding Milan Review structure
Chart 1 Overview
Key facts on Milan
Summary 1 Key Facts On Milan 2011, 2016, 2021


Delimitation of the metropolitan region
Chart 2 Map Of Milan Metropolitan Area
Main business districts


Industrial make-up
Chart 3 Industrial Composition Of Milan 2016 Chart 4 Labour Productivity: Selected Cities 2016
Recent developments and outlook
Chart 5 Dynamics Of Real GDP In Milan, Italy And Other Cities In Western Europe, 2011-2021 Summary 2 Labour Market Changes In Milan 2011, 2016


City demographics
Chart 6 Population By Age 2016 Chart 7 Drivers Of Population Growth In Milan 2011-2016
Household income
Chart 8 Household Distribution By Income In Milan 2016 And 2021


Structure of household budget
Chart 9 Comparison Of Household Expenditure In Milan And Italy, 2016 Summary 3 Milan Household Budget Structure By Consumer Expenditure Item, % of total, 2011, 2016, 2021
City lifestyle
Milan's Fashion Week Not As Profitable As Others Whirlpool Choosing Household Goods Savvy Milan As Local Headquarters
City affordability
Housing Chart 10 Household Expenditure On Housing: Selected Cities 2016 Transport Chart 11 Household Expenditure On Transport: Selected Cities 2016



Summary 4 GDP Development, 2011, 2016, 2021 Summary 5 GDP By Origin, Current Prices, US$, Million, 2011-2016 Summary 6 Population And Labour Force, 2011-2016 Summary 7 Employed Population By Economic Sector, % of total, 2011-2016 Summary 8 Population By Sex And Broad Age Groups, ‘000, 2011-2016 Summary 9 Population Growth, 2011-2016 Summary 10 Forecast Population Growth Summary 11 Population By Educational Attainment, 2011-2016 Summary 12 Structure Of Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, 2011-2016 Summary 13 Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, Per Household, Constant (2016) Prices, US$, 2011, 2016, 2021 Summary 14 Households By Income Band, % Of Total, Constant (2016) Prices 2011, 2016, 2021 Summary 15 Households By Income Band, ‘000, Current Prices 2011-2016 Summary 16 Inflation, 2011-2016 Summary 17 Transport Indicators, 2011-2016 Summary 18 Air Pollution, Concentration In Micrograms Per Cubic Metre, 2011-2016 Summary 19 Possession of Consumer Durables, % of Households, 2011, 2016, 2021

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Inform your marketing, brand, strategy and market development, sales and supply functions This cities review originates from Passport, our Cities market research database.


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