Phoenix City Review


About This Report

Oct 2017

Phoenix remains in the shadow of major US cities, with a total GDP of USD230 billion in 2016. However, the city is a hub for outsourced activities in business services and also a key centre for trade and tourism, owing to its favourable location. The city is undergoing economic diversification, thanks to considerable expansion in higher education, healthcare and technology to become a go-to tech and start-up destination.

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Phoenix City Review


Phoenix is an important business services centre; however, the main services provided are outsourced back-office functions, which sets Phoenix apart from the country's leading business hubs, such as New York or Chicago. In 2016, Phoenix's GVA per employee (labour productivity) markedly lagged behind the rest of the country's average, by 16%.

Lower average wages

In general, the outsourced functions generate less added value than traditional business services, which results in lower average wages in the city than in the rest of the US. In 2016, average household disposable income in Phoenix was 11% lower compared with the rest of the country.

Lower household expenditure compared with the rest of the country

Household expenditure (excluding transport and housing) was 7.7% less compared with the remaining parts of the country in 2016. Household spending is distributed unevenly between specific budget categories. Whilst education received 17% less household spending in Phoenix compared with the rest of the country in 2016, hotels and catering recorded 3.9% greater spending in the city than elsewhere in the country.

Affordable city to live in, compared with other major cities in the country

Phoenix is a more affordable place to live compared with other major cities in the US, such as New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. In 2016, spending on consumer household spending housing and transport combined in Phoenix was 3.7% less compared with the remaining parts of the US.


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


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


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


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


Structure of household budget
Chart 9 Comparison Of Household Expenditure In Phoenix And USA, 2016
Summary 3 Phoenix Household Budget Structure By Consumer Expenditure Item, % of total, 2011, 2016, 2021
City lifestyle
Outdoor Tourism Activities - A Boost To Phoenix's Economy
Electric Cars To Decrease Air Pollution
City affordability
Chart 10 Household Expenditure On Housing: Selected Cities 2016
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