The 50 most high-tech cities in the world in 2018

Skye Gould/Business Insider

Silicon Valley may be home to huge tech companies like Google and Facebook, but the San Francisco metro area isn’t the most innovative city in the world, according to annual rankings compiled by data firm 2thinknow.

Instead, the top spot belongs to Tokyo, Japan, according to the 2018 Innovation Cities Index. This is the first time that an Asian city has claimed the title as world’s most innovative city since 2thinknow first started compiling the annual rankings in 2007.

Of the top 50, the city with the biggest jump in the rankings was Austin, Texas, which moved up 18 spots from 2017 to claim No. 29. Meanwhile, Barcelona dropped to No. 30 in the index, a 17-spot decrease from last year.

Cities are assessed based on 31 segments of their industries and economy, and 162 indicators of innovation. However, the firm’s data analysts compile each city’s index score, out of 60, from three key factors: cultural assets, human infrastructure, and networked markets.

Here is the 2018 ranking of the 50 most innovative cities in the world:


50. Orlando, Florida

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Change from 2017 ranking: +11

Companies that call this city home: AAA, FreeCast, Immune Therapeutics, Solodev


49. Dublin, Ireland

Change from 2017 ranking: no change

Companies that call this city home: Accenture, Storyful, Zalando, Udemy


48. Moscow, Russia

Change from 2017 ranking: -5

Companies that call this city home: Yandex, Gazprom, Sistema, Mobile TeleSystems


47. Rome, Italy

Change from 2017 ranking: +4

Companies that call this city home: Telespazio, Leonardo, Enel, e-Geos


46. Helsinki, Finland

Change from 2017 ranking: no change

Companies that call this city home: Nokia, Rovio Entertainment, Supercell, Smartly.io


45. Osaka, Japan

Change from 2017 ranking: +5

Companies that call this city home: Panasonic, Capcom, Sharp Electronics, Sakura Internet


44. Tel Aviv, Israel

Change from 2017 ranking: -7

Companies that call this city home: Fiverr, Gett, Mindspace, Cortica


43. Oakland, California

Change from 2017 ranking: +12

Companies that call this city home: Pandora, VSCO, Ask.com, Kaiser Permanente


42. Hamburg, Germany

Change from 2017 ranking: -2

Companies that call this city home: Bauer Media Group, Jimdo, mytaxi, Wunder Mobility


41. Portland, Oregon

Josemaria Toscano/Shutterstock

Change from 2017 ranking: +7

Companies that call this city home: AWS Elemental, Tektronix, InFocus, Nike


40. Milan, Italy

Change from 2017 ranking: -11

Companies that call this city home: UniCredit, Prysmian, 505 Games, Pirelli


39. Copenhagen, Denmark

Change from 2017 ranking: -6

Companies that call this city home: Adform, Sitecore, Momondo, SYBO Games


38. Madrid, Spain

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Change from 2017 ranking: -15

Companies that call this city home: Telefonica, OnTruck, Cabify, fintonic


37. Beijing, China

Change from 2017 ranking: -7

Companies that call this city home: Baidu, Lenovo, Xiaomi, Weibo


36. Oslo, Norway

Change from 2017 ranking: +3

Companies that call this city home: Telenor, Opera Software, Kahoot!, Schibsted Media


35. Shanghai, China

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Change from 2017 ranking: -3

Companies that call this city home: Webi English, YI Technology, Motion Global, Clobotics


34. Manchester, United Kingdom

William McCue / Unsplash

Change from 2017 ranking: +11

Companies that call this city home: AccessPay, LADbible, AO World, Boohoo


33. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Change from 2017 ranking: -5

Companies that call this city home: Emirates Airline, Careem, Souq.com, Blink Studios


32. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Change from 2017 ranking: +2

Companies that call this city home: Comcast, Aramark, Lincoln National Corp., Crown Holdings


31. Denver, Colorado

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Change from 2017 ranking: +11

Companies that call this city home: Ibotta, MapQuest, FareHarbor, Catalyst Repository Systems


30. Barcelona, Spain

Change from 2017 ranking: -17

Companies that call this city home: Privalia, Wallapop, Typeform, TravelPerk


29. Austin, Texas

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Change from 2017 ranking: +18

Companies that call this city home: Dell, Indeed, National Instruments, HomeAway


28. Stockholm, Sweden

Change from 2017 ranking: +3

Companies that call this city home: Spotify, Ericsson, King (Candy Crush), NorthStar Group


27. Hong Kong, China

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Change from 2017 ranking: +8

Companies that call this city home: Yoswit, Klook, GoGoVan, WeLab


26. Miami, Florida

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Change from 2017 ranking: no change

Companies that call this city home: Magic Leap, WhereBy.Us, Lennar, CareCloud


25. Vancouver, Canada

Change from 2017 ranking: -1

Companies that call this city home: Hootsuite, PlentyOfFish, Cognitive3D, BroadbandTV


24. Washington, DC

Change from 2017 ranking: +3

Companies that call this city home: Lockheed Martin, Appian, HelloWallet, Rosetta Stone


23. San Diego, California

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Change from 2017 ranking: +13

Companies that call this city home: Qualcomm, Brain Corp, Classy, Illumina


22. Montreal, Canada

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Change from 2017 ranking: -3

Companies that call this city home: Element AI, Air Canada, Hopper, Transit


21. Munich, Germany

Change from 2017 ranking: -6

Companies that call this city home: Siemens, BMW, Tado, Allianz


20. Atlanta, Georgia

Change from 2017 ranking: -2

Companies that call this city home: Aptos, UPS, Bluefin, Cricket Wireless


19. Vienna, Austria

Change from 2017 ranking: -9

Companies that call this city home: TourRadar, Kompany, Tricentis, Robo Wunderkind


18. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Change from 2017 ranking: -6

Companies that call this city home: Booking.com, Philips, TomTom, BTC.com


17. Houston, Texas

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Change from 2017 ranking: +5

Companies that call this city home: Citgo, cPanel, FlightAware, Sysco


16. Melbourne, Australia

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Change from 2017 ranking: +9

Companies that call this city home: Redbubble, Telstra, Catapult Sports, CSL Limited


15. Seattle, Washington

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Change from 2017 ranking: +6

Companies that call this city home: Amazon, Zillow, Qualtrics, Rover


14. Berlin, Germany

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Change from 2017 ranking: +3

Companies that call this city home: SoundCloud, HelloFresh, Babbel, Zalando


13. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Change from 2017 ranking: +3

Companies that call this city home: AT&T, American Airlines, Texas Instruments, Energy Transfer Equity


12. Seoul, South Korea

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Change from 2017 ranking: -1

Companies that call this city home: Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG Electronics, SK Holdings


11. Chicago, Illinois

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Change from 2017 ranking: +9

Companies that call this city home: Grubhub, Boeing, Groupon, Motorola Mobility


10. Sydney, Australia

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Change from 2017 ranking: +4

Companies that call this city home: Canva, Atlassian, Zip Money, Nuix


9. Paris, France

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Change from 2017 ranking: no change

Companies that call this city home: Orange Communications, Deezer, Thales Group, DailyMotion


8. Toronto, Canada

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Change from 2017 ranking: no change

Companies that call this city home:Wealthsimple, InterAxon, Wattpad, The Stars Group


7. Boston, Massachusetts

Songquan Deng/Shutterstock

Change from 2017 ranking: -2

Companies that call this city home: General Electric, HubSpot, Bain Capital, Boston Dynamics


6. Singapore, Singapore

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Change from 2017 ranking: +1

Companies that call this city home: DBS Bank, Singtel, CapitaLand Limited, Flex


5. Los Angeles, California

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Change from 2017 ranking: +1

Companies that call this city home: Snap Inc., SpaceX, Riot Games, Hulu


4. New York, New York

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Change from 2017 ranking: -2

Companies that call this city home: WeWork, Verizon, IBM Watson, Citigroup


3. Silicon Valley (San Francisco-San Jose), California

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Change from 2017 ranking: +1

Companies that call this city home: Apple, Google (Alphabet), Facebook, HP, Intel, Netflix, Tesla


2. London, United Kingdom

Change from 2017 ranking: -1

Companies that call this city home: Barclays, TransferWise, BP, ASOS.com, Monzo


1. Tokyo, Japan

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Change from 2017 ranking: +2

Companies that call this city home: SoftBank, Hitachi, Toshiba, Sony Corporation, Mitsubishi

In a news release announcing the 2018 rankings, 2thinknow’s director Christopher Hire credited Tokyo’s “support of new technologies” in raising the city to the top of the 2018 rankings.

“They showed clear direction by embracing smart technology change to lead innovation, and leadership in what we have identified as the twin long-term globe shaking trends of robotics and 3D manufacturing,” Hire said.

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