Milan, GDP per capita double compared to the Italian average. But inequalities are growing: 9% of the inhabitants have a third of the wealth


Over the past five years Milan, thanks to the ability to attract businesses and capital, has grown double of the rest of Italy: +9.7% against the + 4.6% of the country. The per capita GDP of the Lombard capital, which concentrates more than a third of foreign direct investments made in the Peninsula, has exceeded 49 thousand euros against an Italian average of 26 thousand. But the last few years has also grown inequality: the 9% of the population of the Lombard capital it holds over today one third of the total wealth. The rate of unemployment it stops at 6.4% against 10.8% nationally, but 24.4% of young people are unemployed. It is the picture, with many lights and some shadows, that emerges from theMilan 2019 Observatory presented to Palazzo Marino by the mayor Giuseppe Sala and from Carlo Bonomi, president of Assolombarda.

The report sets up the main research centers in the area coordinated by the Assolombarda Study Center to measureattractiveness and the competitiveness of Milan in global comparison. The analysis is based on 224 indicators and identifies the five vocations of the city: life sciences, agribusiness, manufacturing 4.0, finance, art, culture and design. The Lombard capital shows “a good level of attractiveness, competitiveness, reputation", Says the study," But to set an example for the growth of the entire country, must build one inclusive and sustainable development that combines the environmental and economic dimension with the social one ”. The city reconquers the city due to its capacity to attract capital first position, surpassing Monaco thanks to a sustained increase in the number of estates owned companies operating in the area (about 10,700).

Milan also continues to stand out as a privileged gateway to foreign direct investment in Italy, with a concentration of all new projects rising to 34.2%. The entrepreneurial fabric confirms the strong point of the city. A remarkable dynamism emerges both in the ambit of academic scientific research, both in the widespread innovative capacity of the companies: here the 32% of Italian patents and 27% of the most cited scientific research at global level is carried out.

The strongest point is its production system manufacturing, able to create value and export in a logic of social and environmental sustainability. This dimension sees Milan maintain the first position, ahead of Munich and Stuttgart. Furthermore, the growth of the number of companies with over one billion turnover who are based in Milan (91), compared with 59 in Monaco (down from the previous 61) and 29 in Barcelona (down sharply from the previous 39). Among the factors of competitiveness, sectoral and business size diversification: industry, commerce, innovative services and finance coexist in the city, and small family businesses join foreign multinationals (4,600 of the 14,000 located in Italy), large companies (91 with annual turnover over one billion euros), medium-sized companies with a high international vocation, innovative startups.

The report also shows how Milan is the third by attraction of talents in universities and how it maintains the third position even when it concerns theattraction of tourists: in the last year it has recorded a growth higher than that of the other European benchmarks (+ 8.7%) which, with 7.6 million tourists a year, has steadily exceeded the peak reached with Expo. In international comparison, the inclusion of women in the labor market it is an area on which to improve performance, both in relation to the female activity rate (69%) and the gender gap in market participation.

In life sciences the quantity and quality of the various economic actors (pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, research centers, technology providers), together with the constant interaction with the subjects that gravitate around the patient and family members (from personal services to voluntary associations), is helping to confirm this area among the centers of socio-health excellence able to respond to the growing health needs of the population, and to the social challenges linked to demographic changes and the sustainability and accessibility of care. In this perspective, for example, they are inserted Human Technopole and the City of Health and Research.

Finally, as regards the cultural and creative ecosystem, the data recorded in this edition confirm that Milan is one of the major international destinations of the cultural tourism. Milan is in fact the only one of the sample cities to show comparable numbers among museum visitors (8.2 million) and theater spectators (7.2 million on a regional basis). A number slightly higher than the previous year, confirming a high level of attractiveness. And in the ability to integrate stable offer and temporary offer of culture that the city bet is played to be attractive for tourists and those who live there.

Another element of international attractiveness is i major sporting events: Milan is above average, after Barcelona. A positioning due to the fact that, while preserving some great recurring events, it has been able to attract world-class events for disciplines capable of moving so many fans. The Lombard capital, then, sees its reputation as a 'global city' expand: among the cities considered, not only does it take the others off with an index of 1.80 (Barcelona is second with only 0.95) but it is also the it is unique in having always increased its notoriety over the three-year period. Suffice it to say that McKinsey, in 2018, counts the Lombard capital among the 50 cities that centralize wealth and economic power on a global level, along with capitals of the caliber of London and Paris, and it is among the top 50 global areas still in 2025


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Peter Gomez

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