Major economies dominated (or not) by their capital cities
How different are capital cities from the nations they govern? This visualisation aims to track geographic economic dispersion in several major economies.
Major urban centres are placed on the Y axis according to their GDP per capita (which is also reflected in the bubble size). The larger an urban area is, the further right it is on the X axis.
Paris and London stand out as by far the largest cities in their countries. The French capital also dominates the rest when it comes to GDP. But Britons may be surprised to learn that there are a few cities with higher economic activity per capita than London. (Fast-growing Milton Keynes, home to head offices and manufacturing plants, tops the ranks.)
Germany is notable for the relative economic weakness of its capital. Though Berlin's tech scene and real estate have boomed in the two decades since its former mayor called the city "poor but sexy," its per capita GDP remains well under the national mean.
The US is a truly decentralised economy when compared to the Europeans: it has by far the biggest dispersion in both incomes and city size. Metropolitan Washington, DC, home to defense companies and well-paid government workers, is well above the national mean – but several areas are considerably richer when measured by the per-capita-GDP metric.