Barcelona leads the way towards the knowledge economy

The latest edition of “Barcelona in Figures”, the extensive annual publication of the city’s main economic indicators, puts Barcelona at the forefront of Spain’s advance towards the knowledge economy.

20/01/2024 11:18 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

This is the sixth year running that the StartUp Heatmap Europe lists Barcelona as the third most popular European city for establishing a start-up, with only London and Berlin ahead of it. The city ranks eighth in the world and third in Europe among the most attractive cities for visitors and entrepreneurs, according to the World’s Best Cities 2024, a classification by Resonance Consultancy which underlines the human capital and education, local and international connections, openness, tolerance and confidence of the Catalan capital.

Over half the jobs in the city (56.7%) correspond to activities involving high levels of knowledge, with the city home to as many as ten internationally renowned technical and scientific facilities, such as the Alba synchrotron and the Mare Nostrum supercomputer.

The city currently has various projects in progress to drive the ecosystem for science, knowledge and innovation, such as the Ciutadella del Coneixement knowledge hub, which will turn the area around the Parc de la Ciutadella into an urban knowledge centre focusing on biomedicine, biodiversity and planetary welfare, with 1,200 researchers expected to work there.

The European Committee of the Regions, in association with the European Commission, recognised the city with the European Entrepreneurial Region Award 2023, among other things for the Barcelona Green Deal, a strategy forming part of the urban and economic agenda.

Other notable rankings

  • Fourth city in the Top 100 for start-up ecosystems in the world, according to The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023.
  • Ninth most attractive city for digital talent and tenth most attractive for digital experts.
  • Top city in southern European for attracting and retaining talent, according to the City Talent Index 2022.
  • Top 25 for cities with the most global competitiveness for the eighth year running in the Global Power City Index by the Mori Memorial Foundation.
  • Consolidation of leadership as the European city with the best strategy for attracting foreign investment, according to the FDI report Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/2023, by the Financial Times group.
  • Fourth city in the world for organising congresses, according to the International Congress and Convention Association.

Barcelona in Figures” is compiled by the Department for Studies, part of the Area for Economy and Economic Promotion. You can view the document here.





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