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Wroclaw notes new highs in European rankings

The capital of Lower Silesia is the highest ranked non-capital city in Central and Eastern Europe, taking into account economic indicators, according to a report prepared by Eurostat. Wroclaw is also the highest ranked Central European city in the Globalization and World Cities global ranking, which includes cities from around the world.

Among European Union cities that are not capitals, Wroclaw is the most developed in Central and Eastern Europe, Eurostat data show. This means it is the most economically developed among non-capital European cities. Just behind the Lower Silesian capital are Poznan, Cluj-Napoca, Krakow and Brno.

“This is no coincidence. The GDP index has more than tripled in 20 years in our city. So our economic distance from other highly developed European cities is shrinking,” said Jacek Sutryk, mayor of Wroclaw. 

According to Sutryk, in 2000 Stuttgart had an economy more than four times stronger than Wroclaw and two decades later was just under twice as strong as Wroclaw’s.

Advanced business services

Wroclaw was also ranked the highest non-capital city in Central Europe in the global ranking of Globalization and World Cities prepared by Britain’s Loughborough University. The publication shows the metropolises with the greatest economic importance, with London and New York in the lead.

As the organizers of the ranking said, the criteria include the largest, best globally connected and most developed cities that have a dominant function in their home country. These are places of greatest importance to the global economy, open to locating international institutions and headquarters of large companies and organizations.

The ranking each year is based on the classification of cities in the global economy on the basis of advanced business services such as financial, accounting, consulting, legal and advertising.

“The ranking has been one of the indicators of our Wroclaw 2030 Strategy for several years, with only Warsaw, the capital city, higher than us,” said Sutryk.

Poland’s Silicon Valley

Wroclaw is also the Polish capital of startups. For the second time in a row, it has turned out to be the place where the largest number of young technology companies in Poland register their activities, as much as 28%. In comparison, Warsaw and Mazovia are home to only 19% of all Polish startups. This is according to data from the “Polish Startups 2023” report prepared by Startup Poland.

“We are doing great in the field of new technologies. The IT sector is growing all the time. This report emphatically confirms it,” said the mayor of Wroclaw.

Number of residents growing all the time 

According to the mayor of Wroclaw, for the city’s authorities the basic goal is to make Wroclaw a liveable city. 

“Every investment in a sidewalk, bicycle path, road, greenery, parking, public transportation is in fact an investment in making Wroclaw friendlier and more inviting to live in,” said Sutryk.

The number of people living in the city is growing all the time. According to a study by researchers from the University of Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia has more than 893,000 residents. This is 220,000 more than reported by the Central Statistical Office.

“We assume that in the coming years we can become a city of millions. The increase in Wroclaw’s population is the result not only of immigration from outside Poland, but also of internal, domestic migration,” the mayor added.

Tourists like Wroclaw

The popularity of Wroclaw is growing all the time, not only in Poland, but also abroad. In 2022, it was visited by 5.8 million tourists. Tourism, which provides work to 8% of Wroclaw’s workforce and brings about PLN 400 million to the city’s budget, has almost returned to pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

The Central Station is the most popular train station in Poland. It served 17 million people in 2021. In turn, Wroclaw’s airport is gradually returning to pre-pandemic traffic. In 2019, it handled 3.5 million passengers. By contrast, in 2022 it was 2.9 million travelers and this number is gradually rising again.

“We want these numbers to be even higher, but at the same time to serve the city and its residents. We have a new tourism development program ready. In it we plan to increase revenues from tourism to the city budget,” said Sutryk.

Among the city’s plans to bring in tourists are improvements in the quality of public transportation and expansion of the airport and the creation of a rail connection between the Central Station and the airport, which has been planned for years.

Erol Dzhelik
Erol Dzhelik
I think we can overcome global challenges with mutual understanding, international cooperation and diplomacy. We offer you this insight at Poland Weekly.