Globalization and World Cities Research Network

The Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) is a think tank that studies the relationships between world cities in the context of globalization. It is based in the geography department of Loughborough University in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. GaWC was founded by Peter J. Taylor in 1998.[1] Together with Jon Beaverstock and Richard G. Smith, they create the GaWC's biennial categorization of world cities into "Alpha", "Beta" and "Gamma" tiers, based upon their international connectedness.[2]

GaWC city classificationEdit

The GaWC examines cities worldwide to narrow them down to a roster of world cities, then ranks these based on their connectivity through four "advanced producer services": accountancy, advertising, banking/finance, and law.[3] The GaWC inventory ranks city economics more heavily than political or cultural factors.[why?] Beyond the categories of "Alpha" world cities (with four sub-categories), "Beta" world cities (three sub-categories), and "Gamma" world cities (three sub-categories), the GaWC cities include additional cities at "High sufficiency" and "Sufficiency" level.

GaWC has published city classifications in 1998, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2016, 2018 and 2020.[4] The 2004 rankings added several new indicators while continuing to rank city economics more heavily than political or cultural factors. The 2008 roster, similar to the 1998 version, is sorted into categories of Alpha world cities (with four sub-categories), Beta world cities (three sub-categories), Gamma world cities (three sub-categories), and additional cities with High sufficiency or Sufficiency presence. The list has been prone to change in the ranks. For example, some cities have been no longer classified as sufficient level that were selected prior 2018 like the United States cities, Greensboro and Providence.[5][6]

2020 city classificationEdit

The classification "results are derived from the activities of 175 leading firms providing advanced producer services across 707 cities worldwide (i.e. the input is 175 x 707 = 123,725 pieces of information). The results should be interpreted as indicating the importance of cities as nodes in the world city network (i.e. enabling corporate globalization)."[7] The cities in the 2020 classification are as follows.[8]

( 1) or ( 1) indicates a city moved one category up or down since the 2018 classification.[9]


Alpha level cities are linked to major economic states/regions and highly integrated into the world economy. Alpha level cities are classified into four sections: Alpha ++, Alpha +, Alpha, and Alpha − cities.

Alpha ++Edit

Alpha ++ cities are cities most integrated with the global economy:

Alpha +Edit

Alpha + are "other highly integrated cities that complement London and New York, largely filling in advanced service needs for the Pacific/Asia":[10]


Alpha −Edit


Beta level cities are cities that link moderate economic regions to the world economy and are classified into three sections, Beta +, Beta, and Beta − cities.

Beta +Edit


Beta −Edit


Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy and are classified into three sections, Gamma +, Gamma, and Gamma − cities.

Gamma +Edit


Gamma −Edit


Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities. This is sorted into High Sufficiency cities and Sufficiency cities.

High SufficiencyEdit


No longer classifiedEdit

The following cities were included in the 2018 edition, but not in the 2020 edition:

Climate edition citiesEdit

In addition to the ranked cities. GaWC acknowledged the very large cities in its climate edition.[11] The following cities were not ranked in the world of GaWC list but were on the climate edition (Note: Does not include Delhi since New Delhi is part of it):

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Added in the 2020 edition of the classification.


  1. ^ Taylor, Peter J. (2004). World city network: a global urban analysis. Routledge. p. ix. ISBN 0-415-30249-8. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  2. ^ Donald, Stephanie; Gammack, John G. (2007). Tourism and the branded city. London: Ashgate Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 0-7546-4829-X. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  3. ^ "GaWC City Link Classification 2018". 13 November 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  4. ^ "The World According to GaWC". GaWC - Research Network. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  5. ^ "GaWC - The World According to GaWC 2010". Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  6. ^ "GaWC - The World According to GaWC 2012". Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  7. ^ "GaWC - The World According to GaWC 2020: Classification of Cities". Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  8. ^ "The World According to GaWC 2020". GaWC - Research Network. Globalization and World Cities. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  9. ^ "The World According to GaWC 2018". GaWC - Research Network. Globalization and World Cities. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  10. ^ "GaWC - The World According to GaWC". Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  11. ^ "GaWC - The World According to GaWC: Climate Emergency Edition 2021". Retrieved 15 May 2022.

External linksEdit