Anholt City Brands Index 2006: U.S. Mega-Cities Dominate Ranking

American pie ranks high: 30 percent of world’s top 10 cities U.S. destinations. A slice of life: tops for doing business, higher education and fitting in.

Seattle, WA, January 27, 2007 --( In the second annual brand ranking of major international cities, the Anholt City Brands Index (CBI) found that despite international disapproval over current U.S. foreign policy decisions, America’s top metropolises are still amongst the world’s most acclaimed mega-cities.

Three of the nation’s most notable cities – New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. – ranked in the global top 10, and a total of nine U.S. cities appeared in the top 15 percent of the rankings. All cities scored high as respected destinations for business, higher education and ease for visitors or recent transplants to fit in.

Developed by government advisor Simon Anholt and powered by global market intelligence solutions provider GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.), the CBI measured the brand of 60 cities around the world (visit for the full list of cities). 15,255 global citizens in 20 countries were asked for their opinions in six categories: Presence (contribution to culture/science), Place (physical aspects), Potential (job/education opportunities), Pulse (urban lifestyle), People (welcome/diversity), and Prerequisites (basic qualities).

U.S. city rankings:
• New York City 5th
• Washington, D.C. 6th
• San Francisco 7th
• Los Angeles 15th
• Boston 23rd
• Las Vegas 24th
• Seattle 25th
• Chicago 27th
• Atlanta 28th
• Philadelphia 31st
• Dallas 38th
• New Orleans 39th

A nation’s brand is only as strong as the sum of its parts
“It is crucial for political and business leaders to understand the brand of their respective cities and see how they are viewed by potential visitors, investors, customers and future citizens around the world,” explains CBI report author Simon Anholt. “If the image doesn’t match up to the reality, they need to decide what to do in order to close the gap between the two, or risk a decline in the city’s overall brand image.”

Countries from Spain to Singapore are outspending the United States in tourism marketing and advertising. For example, Australia’s jewel city Sydney topped the CBI rankings, and Australia placed just underneath the U.S. on the most recent Anholt Nation Brands Index (NBI, at 10th place. Australia spends about $250 million a year marketing itself as a tourist destination. Similarly, Spain, which placed 11th on the last NBI, with mega-cities Barcelona and Madrid ranking ninth and 12th in the CBI, spends more than $70 million. The U.S. Commerce Department spends only $10 million a year to promote the United States. Anholt concludes: “While world citizens seem to have a good knowledge and view of the nation’s landmark cities, my advice to the U.S. State and City Tourism Departments is, ‘You still need to invite them!’”

Key report findings: the executive summary report can be downloaded at

Top Ranking U.S. City – New York – Global Ranking #5
New York’s overall position was boosted by its place in the top 5 of the following categories:

• Good place to do business (1st)
• Diversity and variety of languages (fitting in) (1st)
• Higher education (3rd)

On the other hand, “The City That Never Sleeps” was also seen as:

• Polluted (51st)
• Expensive to live in (59th)

Highest Climbing City – Washington, D.C. – Global Ranking #6
Constant media coverage of U.S. foreign policy decisions has placed Washington, D.C. in the international spotlight, elevating the capital city’s overall ranking eight places in this year’s CBI. The city’s contribution to world politics also account for its number four ranking for Presence. In addition, the nation’s capital placed in the top ten for the following:

• Higher education (4th)
• Standard of public amenities (schools, hospitals, public transport, etc.) (9th)
• Easy to fit in with people and culture (7th)
• Good place to do business (9th)

Most Beautiful City – San Francisco – Global Ranking # 7
The “City By the Bay” is the only U.S. city to rank in the top 10 for:

• Scenic beauty (10th)
• Climate (9th)

It was also ranked among the top 10 in:

• Diversity and variety of languages (fitting in) (4th)
• Higher education (8th)
• Pulse (overall) (6th)
• Potential (overall) (5th)


About the Anholt City Brands Index
The first edition of the Anholt City Brands Index (CBI) was launched in December 2005, ranking 30 cities around the globe. This 2006 CBI edition was expanded to accommodate 60 cities. The index was compiled from the results of a survey conducted online between November 14th and December 27th, 2006 on the GMIPoll platform among 15,255 men and women aged 18-64 from a wide range of income groups. A 200-1,000 representative sample based on age, gender, and where applicable, geographical region, race and ethnicity, was collected in each of 20 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. For further information about the Anholt City Brands Index methodology, please contact GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) at or visit

About Simon Anholt
Simon Anholt is recognized as the world’s leading authority on the branding of countries, regions and cities. He is a member of the UK Government’s Public Diplomacy Board, and works as an independent advisor to around 20 other national, regional and city governments on brand strategy and public diplomacy. He is founding editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and the author of Brand New Justice, Brand America and Competitive Identity – the New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions. In addition to creating the Anholt City Brands Index, Anholt is the author of the Anholt Nation Brands Index ( and the Anholt State Brands Index ( For further information, please visit or email

About GMI
GMI (Global Market Insite, Inc.) is the only provider of comprehensive integrated solutions for global market intelligence for both market research firms and corporate market research departments at Global 2,000 companies. Solutions include Net-MR, a suite of software tools to manage and automate research throughout the project lifecycle, desktop analysis tools, 24/7 service bureau capabilities, and one of the world’s largest, highly profiled, double opt-in managed panels, providing reach to six million consumers and spanning across 200+ countries. In addition, GMI offers high-value, real-time enterprise feedback solutions for customer, partner and employee programs. Founded in 1999 with world headquarters in Seattle, Wash., GMI has operations on six continents. In 2006, the company ranked #93 in Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500, #4 in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 for Washington State and #105 in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 for North America. More information is available at or email them at
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