Innovation Cities™ Indexes

Featuring all major global cities balanced across regions, makes this the world's largest and most diverse city index.

Available since 2007, and every year 2thinknow analysts improve the data, analysis, rankings and classifications.

Each year since 2009, 2thinknow publish 4 regional indexes, as well as the headline global index, to measure regional competing cities.

Measures city innovation across all industries

The Innovation Cities™ Index is designed to measure (and rank) what makes a city innovative using 162 indicators measuring across 31 segments of a well-rounded city economy.  This is a broad-based innovation measure rather than just technology, that classifies and ranks cities.

City Classification bands:

Top tier cities with the broadest performance based across most industries.

Nexus Cities

Challenger cities, innovating in key industries and areas with less breadth.

Hub Cities

Globally competitive cities for innovation. All cities should aspire to this level.

Node Cities

Cities that can be moving towards being globally competitive in future.

Upstart Cities

Investors & Business use Underlying Data

Major corporations use underlying data from 2thinknow City Benchmarking Data to invest in competing cities.

Investment includes site selection, infrastructure, retail stores, manufacturing facilities, trade, other investment, R&D and innovation purposes.

Business can purchase data sets on any city on any data point.

Structured Data Methodology

Using the full City Benchmarking Data set, as provided to corporations for investment.

To balance a cities performance, 162 indicators are scored from multiple data points per indicator.

2thinknow's 31 Segments model of industry codes classifies all commercial, government and community activities in a modern way.

3 Factor final City Score measures ideas progress from implementation to global communication.

10,000+ Media Mentions

Results of indexes and editorials are featured in 10,000+ media stories in 100+ languages.

Plan to Improve Each City

Since our 2005 R&D, 2thinknow (from our garage haha) have spent 12 years of Research & Development to develop a series of quantitative algorithms for cities, meaning our Index gives cities opportunities to improve over time.

Our analysis is different and enlightening as it defines based on cities' potential for creation, implementation and communication of ideas in their urban economies.

Other rankings and cities list do not have these features. This is the 'disruptive' ranking.


Cities to partner with us to ensure data is the most current possible, and giving us access to their data.


Improvements in the Index classifications and rankings tend to indicate early stage economic improvement in cities.

Declines can tend to indicate future economic decline. This is not hard and fast but is something we are working towards.