The Creative Capitals of the World

Discover cities where creativity and art are celebrated.


From graphic designers and game artists to musicians and choreographers (and everything in between), the creative industry has a huge impact on the state of the economy. In fact, the UN has revealed that the creative economy is projected to reach a global valuation of $985 billion by 2023 and could represent 10% of global GDP before 2030. 

The global impact is undeniable, but which cities have the best prospects for creatives?

To reveal the creative capitals of the world, the team here at Business Name Generator ranked 50 cities based on a range of metrics:

  • Estimated number of ‘creative’ roles available 
  • Average yearly salaries advertised for them
  • Cost of living as a single person excluding rent
  • Number of museums and art galleries
  • Number of green spaces
  • Number of classes and workshops
  • Happiness score by country

Top Cities for Creatives

Tokyo is the best city in the world for creatives, followed by London and Paris

Japan’s fast-paced capital leads as the best city for creatives, topping the list for several metrics.

Top Cities for Creatives

Tokyo, Japan

Out of every city in our analysis, Tokyo has the highest number of creative jobs (54,871), green spaces and parks (671), museums and art galleries (918), and creative classes and workshops (113). Although the capital has a huge number of exciting creative roles, the salaries offered are far from the best. The average salary for creatives is the equivalent of $38,674 or $3,223 per month, which is around $13,000 less than what London creatives earn each year ($86,300) or around $1,100 less each month. 

London, United Kingdom

London takes second place with 300 green spaces and parks, 464 museums and art galleries, and the UK ranking as the 17th happiest country in the world. Although creative Londoners can benefit from higher salaries than those in Tokyo, the cost of living in London is a little higher at $1,046 without rent. The city has less than half the number of creative roles compared to Tokyo, with 19,632 to choose from. 

Paris, France

Paris has slightly fewer creative roles available than London with 19,130 and a lower average salary of $3,653. However, Parisians do benefit from a lower cost of living than Londoners at $990 per month excluding rent. The city is also home to 300 green spaces and parks, 358 museums and art galleries, 35 creative classes and workshops, and France ranks as the 20th happiest country in the world.

The Least Ideal City for Creatives

New Delhi is the least-desirable city for creatives, followed by Mumbai and Johannesburg

While many cities create a welcoming environment for creatives, others fail to offer the same level of support for people in this industry.  

The Least Ideal City for Creatives

New Delhi, India

Our analysis reveals that New Delhi ranks as the bottom city for creatives with 46 green spaces and parks, 75 museums and art galleries, and 9 creative classes and workshops. While creative salaries in New Delhi may leave a lot to be desired at just $7,832 per year, the cost of living is lower than in any other city we looked at, with the average single person spending just $360 a month on living costs without rent included.

Mumbai, India

Scoring slightly better than New Delhi is Mumbai, which offers even fewer museums and art galleries, and creative classes and workshops, with 52 and 14 respectively. There are 84 green spaces and parks and an estimated 9,802 creative roles on offer, but salaries are the second lowest of every city we’ve analyzed at just $6,698 a year. As well as this, India ranks 136th for happiness which is worse than any other country in our ranking. 

Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg follows as the world’s third least-desirable city for creatives. South Africa’s largest city has just 17 classes and workshops, 47 museums and art galleries, and 25 green spaces and parks to enjoy. The only city with fewer green spaces and parks is Manila, which has 22. Creative salaries in Johannesburg average $25,523 annually which works out as $2,127 per month, the highest of any country in the bottom five.​​

Highest-Paid City for Creatives

San Francisco is the highest-paid city for creatives, with an average yearly salary of over $86,000

Although amenities like green spaces, classes and workshops, and art galleries are important to creative and artistic people, the amount they can earn from working as a creative plays a big part in the city they choose to live in. This is especially important with the cost of living crisis putting pressure on many people. 

With this in mind, we have also looked at the cities offering the highest salaries to creatives.

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highest-paid city for creatives

The six cities with the highest earning potential for creatives are all based in the USA, with San Francisco coming out on top overall. On average, creatives in this Californian city can earn an annual salary of $86,300, or $7,192 per month.

Los Angeles follows as the city offering the second best-paid creative jobs with the average annual salary being $73,407 per year or $6,117 per month. New York City is close behind, with creatives earning $72,998 on average each year or $6,083 each month. 

Boston, Miami, and Chicago come next with annual salaries averaging $72,998, $72,319, and $69,800 respectively. Dubai, Copenhagen, Singapore, and Hong Kong then follow to complete the rest of the top ten.

Taking all this into account, which city are you thinking of launching your creative career in?

Sources and Methodology

Starting with a seedlist of 50 cities, we assigned a weighted index score for each of the following metrics to create an overall score out of ten.

All data was collected between the 15th and 18th of November. Ghana and Marrakech were removed from the seedlist due to insufficient data.