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Oxford Economics Says KL Is 2nd Best City In SEA!

Oxford Economics Says KL Is 2nd Best City In SEA!

Kuala Lumpur leads the Oxford Economics Global Cities Index 2024 compared to 12 other Malaysian cities.

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The Oxford Economics Global Cities Index 2024 placed Kuala Lumpur as the second-greatest city in the Southeast Asian region.

In the list, Kuala Lumpur placed 135th out of 1,000 cities worldwide with Singapore leading the region at 42nd in the index.

The other key cities in Southeast Asia included in the list are Bangkok (Thailand) at 192nd, Manila (Philippines) at 256th, and Jakarta (Indonesia) at 284th.

The list also included 12 other cities in Malaysia namely:

  • Georgetown – 351st
  • Malacca – 359th
  • Johor Bahru – 376th
  • Butterworth-Bukit Mertajam – 385th
  • Kota Kinabalu – 391st
  • Kuantan – 412th
  • Kuching – 419th
  • Kota Bharu – 433rd
  • Seremban – 447th
  • Kuala Muda – 459th
  • Ipoh – 465th
Kuala Lumpur. Image: TRP File

How are cities measured?

The index assesses and ranks cities in five categories: Economics, Human Capital, Quality of Life, Environment, and Governance.

The Economics category measures the city’s economic vitality in urban development, employment opportunities, access to goods and services and more.

The Human Capital category measures the city population’s collective knowledge and skills. This indirectly reflects the dynamics of educational attainment, innovation, and the number of diverse and highly skilled workforce.

Meanwhile, the Quality of Life category measures the population’s socioeconomics, including well-being, the city’s liveability, talent retention, and general happiness of the population. It also reflects on the city’s urban policies and cultural vibrancy.

Taman Negara. Image: TRP File

As for the Environment category, it measures the city’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its tendency to be affected by climate change risks.

Since it’s about the environment, the category rewards cities that benefit from outstanding natural environments whether through policymaking or geographical advantage.

Good governance fosters trust, social cohesion, and equitable access to opportunities. This means poor governance leads to inefficiencies, corruption, and social unrest.

Since a city’s governance is tied to the nation’s government, this category is assessed on a national level. Cities that score high in the Governance category feature institutions that protect the rights of their residents and foster political stability.

How did Kuala Lumpur do?

Kuala Lumpur ranked 106th in Economics, 21st in Human Capital, 391st in Quality of Life, 526th in Environment, and 334th in Governance.

The ranking showed that Kuala Lumpur, like any other city, has its strengths and weaknesses. With this data on hand, we can see the areas that need work and improvement.


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What are the top cities in the world?

In the 2024 ranking, the top cities are:

  • New York (United States) – Scored 100% in total overall score
  • London (United Kingdom) – 99.4%
  • San Jose (United States) – 98.5%
  • Tokyo (Japan) – 97.8%
  • Paris (France) – 96.3%
  • Seattle (United States) – 95.8%
  • Los Angeles (United States) – 95.4%
  • San Francisco (United States) – 94.7%
  • Melbourne (Australia) – 94.6%
  • Zurich (Switzerland) – 94.2%

The index emphasises that there’s no single formula to become a top city globally as it’s dependent on various factors.

For example, New York and London performed best in the Economics and Human Capital categories while San Jose and Paris have strong scores in the Quality of Life category.

Cities like Melbourne and Zurich aren’t as powerful economically but benefit from superior Environment or Quality of Life scores.

You can download the full Oxford Economics Global Cities Index 2024 here.

Here’s how else Malaysia fared in the other surveys

READ MORE: Malaysia Ranks 5th Happiest Country In The World, Some Netizens “Unhappily” Disagree

READ MORE: KLIA Commits To Improvements Following Asia’s 8th Worst Airport Ranking

READ MORE: Malaysia Ranks 3rd In Countries You’re Most Likely To Die On The Road

READ MORE: Study Finds Malaysia Ranks As The Second Worst Country For Transgender Community

READ MORE: Penang Ranked As The 11th Most Affordable Destination Globally For UK Tourists

READ MORE: Malaysia Ranked Top 50 Strongest Military Power In The World

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