Regional Overview of Western European Cities

Strategy Briefing

About This Report

Dec 2018

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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Regional Overview of Western European Cities

Key findings

Key urban markets in Western Europe are located in the industrial belt of the northwestern region

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.

Consumer income lags behind North America and Australasia

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 is the region’s future megacity

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.

Subnational differences are low in Western Europe

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. 


Key findings

Overview of Key Trends

Western Europe ’ s largest urban consumer markets
Global context
Some countries in region boast multiple urban cores
Some cities in Western Europe face stagnating household incomes.
Key indicators for Western European cities
Quick recap on key urban indicators

Consumer Profiles

Mapping major cities in Passport Western Europe an region
Turkish cities will post the sharpest population growth
Spending is forecast to grow at around 10% by 2030, in key cities
London and Paris concentrate region's richest households
Lifestyles, price effects skew normal income-necessity spending curve
Differences in consumer spending - key cities
Consumer spending
London, Paris at early demographic transition stage thanks to migration
Dependent population grows strongly in German cities
Natural increase: global comparison
Possession of durable goods: key cities
Key trends in household possession of durables

City Rankings

GDP rankings
High income household rankings
Education rankings
Rankings by household access to broadband internet
Quick recap on city rankings

Megacities Snapshot

Athens: city profile
Barcelona: city profile
Berlin: city profile
Copenhagen : city profile
Istanbul city : profile
London: city profile
Madrid : city profile
Milan : city profile
Munich: city profile
Paris: city profile
Rome : city profile