The southern Indian city of Bengaluru is ranked 83rd on the index, scoring highly in particular in terms of affordability, with Delhi ranked 101st and Mumbai at 107th on the list. The index was commissioned by Basque institutions and was launched in Bilbao, Spain (Photo: MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images).


THE first-ever global index to measure economic and social inclusivity has ranked Bengaluru as India’s highest performing city.

The Prosperity & Inclusion City Seal and Awards (PICSA) Index, commissioned by Basque institutions and compiled by D&L Partners, ranks 113 cities across the globe in terms of their inclusive prosperity.

It shows not only the quantity of economic growth, but also its quality and distribution across their populations.

The southern Indian city of Bengaluru is ranked 83rd on the index, scoring highly in particular in terms of affordability, with Delhi ranked 101st and Mumbai at 107th on the list.

The index was commissioned by Basque institutions and was launched in Bilbao, Spain.

Usually, gross domestic product (GDP) figures are used to measure living standards in cities, but GDP is a crude measure that does not take into account the levels of inequality.

The PICSA Index instead measures factors such as the affordability of housing, and access to education and healthcare, as well as GDP per capita.

It is the first time that the world’s major cities have been ranked not just by the size and health of their economy, but for their efforts to build inclusive and prosperous environments for all of their citizens.

Zurich is ranked as the number one city, scoring strongly across all measures, particularly on quality of life, work, housing, leisure, safety, and education – with the Swiss higher education system attaining an especially high score.

Vienna is in second place, scoring close to top marks on healthcare. The Austrian capital has an extremely high density of physicians per capita, making it the home of one of Europe’s best healthcare systems, where there are virtually no waiting times for citizens.

Commenting on the launch of the PICSA Index, Asier Alea Castaños, Director of Strategic Programmes, Regional Council of Biscay, said: “…As the first ever non-commercial ranking index, PICSA provides a new measure of economic productivity that goes beyond GDP to provide a holistic account of how well people are doing in the economy and which have the populations that are most empowered to contribute to its economy and share in its benefits.

“This is crucial to cities succeeding in a competitive global economy where talented workers and entrepreneurs are highly mobile. These types of individuals are not only attracted to thriving city economies, but they are also looking for great places to live and where they feel welcome. A city that nurtures this kind of society, will reap the benefits of their creative imagination.”

A large number of cities in Africa, Asia, and South America are ranked towards the bottom of the index, underscoring the huge poverty and inequality challenges they face.