Generation Z [now aged between 8 - 22, they are those born between 1997-2012] are starting to enter the workforce. This is the first generation to have never known a time without the Internet.

Gen Z are the 4th Industrial Revolution generation that will fully harness the power of artificial intelligence and embrace the future of work.

So where then are the best cities in the world for Gen Z to launch their explorations into the future? A study by Nestpick has revealed the Top 10 cities of the future [cities well-suited to the needs of Gen Z].

Cities were ranked according to a diverse selection of criteria which include gender equality, safety, co-working spaces, the prevalence of esports and affordability.

The Top 10 cities of the future
Criteria for ranking

The Top 10 cities of the future are:

  1. London
  2. Stockholm
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Toronto
  5. New York
  6. Berlin
  7. Munich
  8. San Fransisco
  9. Amsterdam
  10. Vancouver
Top 10 Gen Z cities
Top 15 Gen Z cities

Cape Town ranks at #90 on the list of 110 cities and Johannesburg is at #92.

Here are a sample of results for Cape Town, South Africa. All scores are out of 100, with 100 being the highest possible score, and 1 being the lowest. All ranks are out of 110, with 1 being the highest possible rank, and 110 being the lowest:

Cape Town's ranking
Cape Town's ranking

The key findings from the research are:

● London ranks highly for Gen Z values overall, and standing out for Social Entrepreneurship, Concerts, and Co-Working Spaces (#1), as well as Education and the AI Industry (#2).

● Copenhagen has the most advanced level of e-government development, followed by Australian cities in the index, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth.

● Seoul is the highest-ranking Asian city for government digitalisation (#6, 97.86), scoring higher than London (#7), Stockholm (#12), and Singapore (#16).

● Singapore has the highest Connectivity/5G score, followed by Seoul and Stockholm.

● Sweden is the best prepared for digital payments and banking, with Stockholm, Malmo, and Gothenburg achieving the highest possible score of 100 in the study.

● The highest usage of digitalised mobility services such as bike-sharing and ride-hailing goes to Paris (100.00), followed by Bern (89.11), Shanghai (75.73), Amsterdam (75.21), and Tel Aviv (74.85).

● The cities with the highest percentage of users with digitalised social habits such as social media use and mobile applications for productivity and news are Doha, Manama, and Dubai.

● Boston offers the best education for Generation Z-ers, followed by London, Los Angeles, Zurich, and Singapore.

● Central and Eastern European residents benefit from the highest government commitment to user privacy and security in the study, with Athens, Prague, Brno, Tallinn, and Bucharest placing in the top 5.

● Internet users in Shanghai and Beijing have the lowest Privacy & Security score, followed by Muscat, Jakarta, Lagos, and Casablanca.

● Dubai has the highest percentage of foreign-born residents, making it the city with the highest concentration of internationals, followed by Manama and Doha.

● Miami (#4) is the only U.S. city to rank in the top 10 international cities, based on the percentage of foreign-born residents living in the city.

● Nordic countries have the most gender-equal societies, with Oslo, Bergen, Malmo, Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Helsinki ranking in the top six.

● Manila has a Gender Equality score of 79.43, ranking at #9, scoring higher than cities in France, Germany, the UK, and Canada.

● Madrid has the highest LGBT+ Equality score, followed by Helsinki, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen.

● Stockholm takes the strongest stance against climate change, followed by Zurich and Gothenburg. On the other hand, New Delhi, Lagos, and Beijing show the weakest commitment to climate action.

● Residents in Norway (Oslo, Bergen) have the most access to mental healthcare, followed by residents in Germany (Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart, Munich) and the UK (Glasgow, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, London).

● Similarly, Norwegian cities score highest for healthcare (Oslo, Bergen), followed by Dutch cities (Rotterdam, Utrecht, Amsterdam) and Australian cities (Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne).

● Singapore has the highest Safety score, followed by Wellington and Osaka.

● 13 cities have the highest achievable score for the Right to Protest (Wellington, Bern, Stockholm, Bergen, Geneva, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Zurich, Oslo, Auckland, Porto, Gothenburg, Malmo).

● Seoul has the best Esports culture, followed by Los Angeles and London.

● London has the highest Concerts score, followed by Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris.

● San Francisco is the most encouraging city for Entrepreneurial Spirit & Innovation, followed by Geneva, Bern, and Amsterdam.

● London has the highest registered number of Co-Working spaces, followed by New York and New Delhi.

● Bucharest is the most affordable city in the EU, followed by Warsaw and Budapest.

● 14 of the top 20 cities for Generation Z are in the 50 least affordable cities in the index. The six cities which rank highly for both Gen Z and affordability are Berlin, Manchester, Montreal, Gothenburg, Frankfurt, and Malmo.

● London has the highest Social Entrepreneurship score, with Toronto and New York making the top three. Berlin is the next leading European city (#14), followed by Paris (#15).

● Three of the top five cities for Social Entrepreneurship are in the United States (New York, Washington, San Francisco).

● San Francisco has the highest AI Industry score, followed by London, New York, Tel Aviv, and Paris.


There is no doubt that cities around the world are competing to attract the right kind of talent which will ensure that the metropolis will be well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that the 4th Industrial Revolution brings. Cape Town and Johannesburg both have a long way to go to make sure that they are desirable destinations in this regard. Even if the government does manage to loosen the visa restrictions for highly skilled migrants to relocate to our major cities - there are a host of other factors that will have to be addressed before South Africa will be home to leading global innovation.