Global Metropolis: Assessing Economic Activity in Urban Centers Based on Nighttime Satellite Images

  • Florida R
  • Mellander C
  • Gulden T
  • 24


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 11


    Citations of this article.


This research provides new data and insight on metropolitan areas worldwide. It summarizes new data, derived from satellite images of the world at night, to provide systematic estimates of the economic activity generated by cities and metropolitan areas worldwide. It identifies 681 global metropolitan areas each with more than 500,000 people. Taken as a whole, these large global metropolitan regions house 24 percent of the world's population but produce 60 percent of global output, measured as light emissions. Asia leads the way in global economic urbanization according to our findings, followed by North America, the emerging economies, and Europe.

Author-supplied keywords

  • globalization
  • metro regions
  • nighttime lights
  • urbanization

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Richard Florida

  • Charlotta Mellander

  • Tim Gulden

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free