Urban areas in Western Europe are dominated by London and Paris. However, there are numerous medium-sized cities, scattered across the region, which constitute important local markets. Globally, the consumer market size of Western European urban areas ranks third in terms of affluence - behind Australasian and North American cities.
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The population of Western European cities is relatively small (250 million), particularly when compared to other regions in the world. Western Europe hosts two very large urban markets (London and Paris), with Istanbul rapidly catching up, and a network of medium-sized moderately-large markets. A significant part of the moderately-large markets is located in the Europe‘s key urban corridor, which stretches from the UK to the northern part of Italy, covering densely-populated places in the Benelux countries and Rhine-Ruhr urban region.
Western Europe does have several cities with particularly high income, which could easily top the global rankings. However, most of these cities are in Switzerland, and a key proportion of Western European cities lag behind in terms of average income per capita when compared to North American or Australasian cities. In fact, globally, Japanese cities average income similar to that of Western Europe’s urban areas.
Istanbul, Turkey’s flagship city, posts outstanding growth rates over the 2005-2030. It has seen its population grow from 11 million to 15 million over 2005-2017, and it is forecast to reach 18 million, surpassing London by 2030. In terms of overall consumer spending, Istanbul will firmly stand in the region’s top three, leaving behind rivals from other relatively stagnant Western European countries.
Western Europe demonstrates very low differences between cities in the same country. Turkey, a developing country, stands out as an exception as average income and consumption can vary quite significantly from one city to another in the country.