Metropolitan Indicators

The growth of large metropolitan areas like megacities, urban regions and corridors is reshaping governance and the urban landscape, presenting new challenges for the management of territories. Global comparative research on metropolitan activities and governance is also confronted with a substantial lack of data. Metropolis is focused on acquiring data about its members – major cities and metropolitan areas. A key objective for this project is developing a system of indicators that can effectively generate new empirical insights, comparable across jurisdictions. The project, driven with the collaboration of LSE-Cities, will also deliver a database for 50 metropolises around the globe.

The indicators will refer to six overarching themes: Metropolitan Governance, Economic Development, Social Cohesion, Gender Equality, Sustainability, and Quality of Life. The framework will also adopt a gender perspective, disaggregating data according to this descriptor, as far as possible.

Context and governance

  • 1. Metropolitan population **
  • 2. Metropolitan area
  • 3. Density
  • 4. Leadership of policy sectors (survey) ***
  • 5. Fiscal decentralisation
  • 6. Territorial fragmentation
  • 7. Metropolitan coordination
  • 8. National prominence (budget)
  • 9. Fiscal autonomy
  • 10. Total budget per capita

Economic development

  • 1. GDP per capita
  • 2. GDP or Employment share by sector
  • 3. Prominence (GDP)
  • 4. Unemployment***
  • 5. Economic density
  • 6. Informal economy (% of jobs)

Social cohesion

  • 1. Literacy rate*
  • 2. Poverty rate**
  • 3. Income inequality
  • 4. Foreign born population*
  • 5. Murder rate*

Gender equality

  • 1. Share of elected women in local government
  • 2. Women in work force
  • 3. Enrolment of female school-aged population
  • 4. Gender pay gap
  • 5. Legislation on gender equality (survey)****

Environmental sustainability

  • 1. Air quality
  • 2. CO2 emissions
  • 3. Car ownership
  • 4. Green space
  • 5. Waste generated per capita
  • 6. Wastewater collection (% access)
  • 7. Renewable energy (%)

Quality of life

  • 1. Life expectancy*
  • 2. Affordability of housing
  • 3. Affordability of transport
  • 4. Higher education enrolment*
  • 5. Urban fragility index

* Data disaggregated by sex

** Data disaggregated by sex and age

*** See next page

**** This indicator will be developed further based on discussions with Metropolis