Toronto named first global ‘Youthful City of the Year’


Top three cities are Toronto, Berlin and New York

YouthfulCities Index ranked 25 cities from across the world using 16 criteria and 80 indicators


London, 25 November 2013: TORONTO was today named ‘Youthful City of the Year 2014’ by the first comprehensive index measuring the world’s top cities from the perspective of youth.


The Canadian city edged Berlin to take the top spot, with New York City in third place.

Youth analysts found Toronto was the most diverse city and also had high levels of youth employment, and digital access. Standards of living were high and the city scored highly for nightlife, film and music.


Part of a larger venture challenging youth to build better cities, the inaugural YouthfulCities Index -2014 edition- ranked 25 cities from across the globe using 80 different indicators across business, lifestyle and entertainment.


The initiative is the first attempt to quantify which cities are most attractive to young people aged 15-29. The index was created with the help of thousands of young people worldwide.


Robert Barnard, co-founder of YouthfulCities said: “More than half of the world’s population is under 30 and more than half live in cities. It’s clear that cities will shape our world. And it is clear that the cities that will thrive and prosper are those that are able to attract and empower young people.


“This venture is about building an unparalleled base of knowledge about the future of cities through the eyes of youth and at the same time amplifying the role youth play in building better cities to live work and play in. We want to ensure that young people are the driving force for urban success across the world.”


Toronto youth leader and Executive Director of TakingITGlobal, Jennifer Corriero said: “The approach of YouthfulCities is designed to provide a powerful framework for youth to contribute as researchers, influencers and developers of inclusive urban environments.  We are delighted to participate as a partner in this effort.” 


Scott Cain, Start-Up Director, Future Cities Catapult, said:  “The YouthfulCities Index shines a spotlight on an incredibly important issue. It is also a call to action for city leaders, businesses and organisations in the public and private sectors to put a focus on what they are doing to attract young people and to enable them to meet their potential.”




Notes to editors:


The full ranking list of 25 cities is:


1.              Toronto

2.              Berlin

3.              New York City

4.              Dallas

5.              Paris

6.              Chicago

7.              London

8.              Los Angeles

9.              Tokyo

10.            Seoul

11.            Buenos Aires

12.            Mexico City

13.            Rome

14.            Johannesburg

15.            Lima

16.            Mumbai

17.            Sao Paulo

18.            Bogota

19.            Istanbul

20.            Shanghai

21.            Cairo

22.            Manila

23.            Lagos

24.            Nairobi

25.            Kinshasa


Five cities were selected in each major global region based on population size – Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, English-speaking North America.


The cities were measured across the following categories selected by youth in all 25 cities:


·         Civic participation

·         Diversity

·         Internal transportation

·         Digital access                                                

·         Environmental sustainability

·         Safety & Mental Health

·         Access to education

·         Youth employment

·         Entrepreneurship

·         Financial access

·         Economic status

·         Food and nightlife

·         Music and film

·         Fashion and art

·         Regional and global connectivity

·         Public space, sport and gaming


Full details on methodology can be found here


About YouthfulCities:

YouthfulCities is a global social venture enabling youth to build better cities. It has three main programs: A) YouthfulCities Index – measuring the youthfulness of cities; B) YouthfulCities Urban Youth Survey – Gauging the attitudes of youth towards their city; C) YouthfulCities 30Network – 30 young leaders in each city generating new ideas to make their city more youthful. The venture has involved 2000 youth to date from around the world. Currently, YouthfulCities is operating in 25 large urban centres worldwide and collecting data on 80 indicators, grouped into 16 categories ranging from public space, transportation and affordability to employment and political participation. It plans to expand to 100 cities in 2014.

About Decode:

Decode is YouthfulCities’ founding partner. It is a youth innovation consultancy that has worked with youth since 1994 to generated new insights and ideas that change the marketplace, workplace and society. Decode’s work is global and transcends public, private and NGO sectors.  For more info see


Media contact:

Chaanah Crichton or Aoife McDonald @ Edelman