33 Dublin

PopulationMetro: 1,220,000
The storied capital is made for flaneurs and entrepreneurs.

Dublin’s Docklands area, known as Silicon Docks, is home to major tech and digital players including Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Apple and Airbnb, to name just a few. And it’s not just household names setting up shop in the Irish capital.

Home to several internationally ranked universities (Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and Dublin City University), the city continues to attract smaller start-ups that choose it over traditional head office cities like London and New York. Among the many reasons is Ireland’s Local Enterprise Office, which supports international companies by providing mentoring and training as well as a number of financial grants. And, of course, there’s Dublin’s very attractive corporate tax rates—among the lowest in the world.

CITY PERFORMACE
Place
Place 34
Product
Product 27
Programming
Programming 16
People
People 56
Prosperity
Prosperity 74
Promotion
Promotion 14

Since 2013, Ireland’s GDP has grown by 50%, placing it ahead of China in growth. A slew of data published earlier this year shows that employment is growing faster than expected and is approaching record highs. Indeed, in 2017 nearly 1,300 jobs were generated per week; and despite fears that a weaker sterling might send shoppers across the border, retail sales also grew 6%. Dublin’s #7 Prosperity ranking is powered by its #2 finish in the subcategory of GDP per capita and #30 for Global 500 Companies.

“If you just concentrated on the labour market, it’s very clear there’s been a massive recovery in the economy. You might even say it’s booming again,” economist Dan McLaughlin noted earlier this year.

While employment continues to accelerate, wages have not—though this has been a feature of the global economy since 2008. Ireland finds itself with a low-wage, jobs-rich recovery that isn’t easily explained. The European Commission forecasts that the Irish economy will continue its record
growth into 2019. It predicts GDP growth of 5.6% for the Republic in 2018, compared to 2.1% for both the euro zone and the EU as a whole. Over the next two years, domestic demand is expected to be the
main contributor to growth, according to the Commission, which also cautioned that looming Brexit shockwaves could dampen all the good news.