Here Are the U.S. Cities With the Most Money and Influence

February 28th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

It doesn't really come as a surprise that the bulk of the wealth in the United States is concentrated in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles. But the extent to which that wealth is concentrated gives us pause.

If you weigh the economic output of each county in the U.S. and size them proportionately on a map, the wealth disparity becomes abundantly clear. Metrocosm's Max Galka did just that.

Here's where all the wealth in the U.S. is concentrated


The takeaway here isn't just that the country's urban centers have the largest gross domestic product in the U.S. — it's also that these cities, independently, carry more economic clout than many entire countries. With a GDP of $1.5 trillion, for example, the greater New York metro area has more wealth than "all but 11 countries," Metrocosm reported. As a country, the Big Apple would rank just under Canada and Russia.

Even Atlanta — which sits at the bottom of the top 10 list of largest regional GDP — would rank among the top 50 economic powerhouses if it were a country.

Will the U.S. remain a dominant economic force forever? Probably not, according to analysts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The U.S. will nearly lose its edge over China by 2030, according to the agency's macroeconomic projections. India is expected to see impressive gains in GDP in that time, though not quite enough to overtake the U.S. or China.


What you find in the U.S. is a disparity between urban and rural regions. Ten cities appear to enjoy a far greater economic influence than the rest of the country, and whether or not that's a good thing really depends on whom you ask.

RELATED: This Map is a Powerful Illustration of the Wealth Gap in the U.S.