City Rankings

L.A. Is One of "The World's Most Influential Cities"

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Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 8:04 AM
click to enlarge RON REIRING/FLICKR
You probably think that Los Angeles is the center of the universe. And when it comes to entertainment, youth culture, and car fanaticism, you might be right.

But this month the folks at Forbes magazine looked at "the world's most influential cities" from a decidedly economic viewpoint. Despite our collective Angeleno ego, which thinks we should be number 1 on any list, we punched above our weight.

See also: L.A. Has the "Most Powerful" City Brand in the World

While we have the 16th largest economy in the world ...

 ... we still made number 10 on the Forbes list.

The magazine says it looked at ...
 ... the amount of foreign direct investment they have attracted; the concentration of corporate headquarters; how many particular business niches they dominate; air connectivity (ease of travel to other global cities); strength of producer services; financial services; technology and media power; and racial diversity.
Los Angeles doesn't have a lot of corporate headquarters, and the number of business niches we dominate has been downsized severely in the last generation (hey, we still have Hollywood and porn, barely).

But we do have media power (see above) and, arguably, racial diversity, though one ethnicity, Latinos, far outnumbers others at nearly half the population.

click to enlarge ERIC FISCHER/FLICKR
This list might have also benefited by the guy who helped put it together, longtime L.A. observer Joel Kotkin, an urban studies professor at Chapman University. He didn't appear to give us any, breaks, however.

Here's what he wrote about L.A.'s global influence:
... L.A.’s share of entertainment employment is shrinking and its former second industry, aerospace, has declined significantly, losing over 90,000 jobs since the end of the Cold War. Several key companies have decamped from the metro area in recent years — Nissan, Occidental Petroleum, Toyota — for more business-friendly places.
We tied in the Forbes rankings at number 10 with the Bay Area and Toronto. London, New York, and Paris—saying all three sounds like an '80s pop song—made first, second and third, respectively.

See the whole list here.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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