Amsterdam tops international rankings

Every year, Amsterdam tops different rankings focused on everything from smart mobility to startup ecosystems and the best places to find a job. Keep reading to learn about the areas where the city is leading the way.

Amsterdam tops a number of lists, surveys and reports regarding innovation, the startup ecosystem, circular economy, sustainability and productivity. Check out a wide range of facts and figures about Amsterdam’s startup and tech scene – and read on for information about Amsterdam’s place in international rankings. 


Tech, innovation & startup rankings


The Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Cleantech Edition

Amsterdam has been named one of the best ecosystems for cleantech companies, ranking third in Europe and seventh globally, in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Cleantech Edition by startup research firm Startup Genome, released early in 2022. The report lists the top ecosystems in the world to grow a cleantech startup, defined as tech-based startups focused on reducing environmental impact and startups dedicated to renewable energy, transportation, logistics, and other relevant fields.

>> See the Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Cleantech Edition


Urban Mobility Readiness Index

In a study of 60 major cities’ capacity to lead the future of mobility, Amsterdam ranked fifth overall. Produced by the Oliver Wyman Forum in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, the index gave Amsterdam high scores in infrastructure and connectivity, system efficiency and innovation. The Dutch capital placed second globally in the newly introduced sustainable mobility sub-index, evaluating how well cities promote green transportation methods and ensure their infrastructure is climate change-resilient.

>> See the 2021 Urban Mobility Readiness Index

Global Innovation Index

The Netherlands ranked sixth worldwide and fourth in Europe in a ranking of countries whose governments and businesses scaled up investments in innovation during the COVID-19 crisis. Published annually by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), a UN agency, the Global Innovation Index measured 132 economies according to 81 different indicators. The Netherlands scored high in government effectiveness, regulatory quality, business environment, knowledge absorption, logistics performance and online creativity.

>> See the 2021 Global Innovation Index

The Global Startup Ecosystem Report

Amsterdam’s startup ecosystem is described as experiencing ‘explosive growth’ and ranks in the top 20 globally and top five in Europe, according to Startup Genome’s 2021 report. Each year, this policy and research organisation analyses startup ecosystems, and for 2021, it assessed over 275 ecosystems across over 100 countries. Startup clusters were measured according to six success factors: performance, knowledge, connectedness, market reach, talent and experience, and funding.

>> See the 2021 Global Startup Ecosystem Report

Global Cities of the Future

Amsterdam rose to fourth place in the 2021-22 fDi Intelligence Global Cities of the Future rankings. Related reporting found that Amsterdam recorded the highest foreign investment per 100,000 people between 2015 and 2020 and predicted that a ‘Brexit-related exodus’ of companies from London will benefit Amsterdam because of the latter’s ‘well-established’ financial sector.

>> See fDi’s Global Cities of the Future 2021/22 ranking

Savills Tech Lifestyle Cities 2021

Amsterdam has been named one of the top 12 cities for tech workers to live in. The distinction comes from Savills real estate firm’s Tech Cities Programme, which examines what qualities employees in the tech industry seek in a place to live and work.

>> See the 2021 Savills Tech Lifestyle Cities 2021



Global Expansion Tech Index

The Netherlands takes top place in the Global Expansion Tech Index 2020. The new study by international business growth and development specialist company Velocity Global has named the Netherlands as the world’s best market for tech companies, citing its excellent infrastructure, connectivity and talent pool. 

>> See the Global Expansion Tech Index

Dealroom report on startups and venture capital

Database and research firm Dealroom named Amsterdam as Europe's third largest ecosystem in terms of total value of tech companies in a funding report. Dealroom's research has also revealed that Amsterdam's tech sector creates 14% of local jobs, which is approximately 77,000 positions.

>> See the Dealroom report



Cities Outside Silicon Valley Seen as Leading Technology Innovation Hubs Over the Next Four Years

KPMG named Amsterdam #16 in the world and #4 in Europe in a list of cities outside of Silicon Valley most likely to serve as a top tech innovation hub in the next four years. Various factors, including the rising cost of living and high business taxes, have led many to believe Silicon Valley may not dominate the tech scene forever. This could provide new opportunities for places like Amsterdam, which has Europe’s fastest broadband speeds and excellent infrastructure.

>> See KPMG’s list of Cities Outside Silicon Valley Seen as Leading Technology Innovation Hubs Over the Next Four Years

CoFounder Final Ranking London Alternative Ecosystems

A study published in the magazine CoFounder named Amsterdam as the number one city in Europe in terms of possessing the qualifications needed to attract startups departing London due to Brexit. The ecosystems of multiple cities (including Berlin and Dublin) were analysed for the study, which considered structure, suitability and the reliability of underlying data.

>>See the CoFounder Final Ranking London Alternative Ecosystems

European Start-up Survey

In the first annual PwC European Start-up Survey, which was based on interviews with 540 startup firms in 18 leading hubs, Amsterdam tied with Tel Aviv and Zurich for third place in the 'ease of doing business' category, with 93% of respondents believing the Dutch capital is a good location for startups. Stockholm and Oslo came in first and second place, and 63% of Amsterdam startups also said they plan to increase their staff numbers.

>>See the European Start-up Survey

 Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019

Amsterdam took 15th place in Startup Genome’s Global Ecosystem Ranking (and 5th place in Europe) as well as 16th place in its Software Ecosystem Ranking. The rankings were released as part of its Global Ecosystem Report 2019. The annual report examines the factors driving the success of startups as well as ecosystem performance, and Amsterdam enjoyed the largest ranking gains of any city.

>> See the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019

Saffron City Brand Barometer 2019

Amsterdam took fifth place in the Saffron City Brand Barometer 2019. This study looks at which cities across the globe have created the strongest brands to attract investors and business. It also aims to emphasise the importance of honing a city’s reputation as a great place to do business while making it possible to assess what defines an excellent brand.

>> See the Saffron City Brand Barometer 2019

Savills Tech Cities Index 2019

Amsterdam comes in at fourth place globally and second in Europe in the index, which measures 30 cities from around the world in six categories – business environment, tech environment, ‘city buzz’ and wellness, talent pool, real-estate costs and mobility – to establish which cities are the most successful homes for tech and start-up companies.

>> See the Savills Tech Cities Index 2019

Smart Mobility Tracker 2019

Amsterdam comes in fifth place on Frost & Sullivan’s Smart Mobility Tracker 2019 and is also the second-highest ranking European city. The interactive, web-based study clusters various data indices along multiple channels, including autonomous readiness, new mobility solutions, sustainability and digitisation. The consulting and research firm intends for the study to help cities reach their smart mobility goals by providing insights into the newest industry trends and regulatory outlook.

>>See the Smart Mobility Tracker 2019

Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019

The research firm StartupBlink ranked Amsterdam as the fourth best city in Europe and the 16th best in the world for the strength of its startup ecosystem. To create the ranking, over 1,000 cities were analysed using an algorithm that looks at data points on co-working spaces, startups and accelerators featured on the StartupBlink global startup ecosystem map, as well as info gathered from partners and community members.

>> See the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019

Tech Start-up FDI Attraction Index 2019

Amsterdam took third place in the Tech Start-up FDI Attraction Index 2019 from fDi Intelligence. The ranking analysed which cities’ tech startups received the most foreign direct investment relative to their population from 2016 to 2018. According to the study, Amsterdam had 0.802 new foreign direct investment projects per 100,000 inhabitants during the two years under consideration. Den Hague came in sixth place, making the Netherlands the only country other than the UK to have two cities in the top 10.

>> See fDi Intelligence’s Tech Start-up FDI Attraction Index 2019

Top 15 Global Hotspots for Corporate Innovation

Amsterdam took eighth place in a list of the top cities outside of North America for corporate innovation, which was part of a report created by Innovation Leader. It considered various factors, including the presence of venture capital funding, leading universities, corporate headquarters of big companies and accelerator and incubator programmes. The report also examined the support governments provide for entrepreneurship and innovation infrastructure, as well as the economic competitiveness of different countries.

>>See the Top 15 Global Hotspots for Corporate Innovation

Top 100 Best Cities to Find a Job – Startup Score

Student accommodation site HousingAnywhere placed Amsterdam in eighth place on its Top 100 Best Cities to Find a Job ranking when focusing solely on its startup score. This metric was created by combining previous rankings based on the Most Influential Cities in the World, Best Cities for Expats and Top Cities for Startups rankings.

>> See the HousingAnywhere Top 100 Best Cities to Find a Job – Startup Score 



City Momentum Index

The index identifies the cities that are at the forefront of the innovation economy, by looking at key factors such as the number of tech firms, education, environment, transparency, infrastructure, and international patents. Amsterdam was placed eighth globally and third in Europe in the ranking of top 30 cities best positioned for long-term success.

>> See JLL: City Momentum Index 2018

Digital Society and Economy Index

The Digital Economy and Society Index summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness. According to the report, the Netherlands has the fourth most advanced digital economy in the EU.

>> See Digital Society and Economy Index

Dynamic Cities Index

Amsterdam placed fourth in the Savills Investment Management Dynamic Cities index. The report uses 60 indicators across six subcategories to identify the top European cities for long-term real-estate investment across the three property sectors of office, retail and industrial. 

>> See Savills Investment Management: Dynamic Cities Index 2018

From Tech to Deep Tech Report

Hello Tomorrow ranks Amsterdam among its top-ten cities globally for producing deep-tech companies. In a global ranking of countries, the Netherlands came fourth, and Delft University is in the top ten research institutes for producing deep-tech startups.

>> See Hello Tomorrow: From Tech to Deep Tech 2018

Global Innovation Index

The Netherlands ranks second in the Global Innovation Index – a detailed quantitative tool that helps global decision makers better understand how to stimulate the innovative activity that drives economic and human development. The report ranks 126 economies based on 80 indicators, including intellectual property filing rates, mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications. 

>> See Global Innovation Index 2018

IMD World Talent Ranking  

This ranks countries based on three main categories: appeal; investment and development; readiness. These categories assess how countries perform in a wide range of areas, including education, language skills, quality of life, salaries and tax rates.

>> See IMD World Talent Ranking 2018

State of European Tech Report

This report from Atomico and Slush revealed the Amsterdam Area became the third-largest city region in Europe for professional developers after its tech sector experienced a record-breaking year in 2018.

>> See The State of European Tech 2018

Tech Cities Index

Amsterdam was named the best city for tech lovers in RS Components’ global index. The world’s leading high-service electronics distributor looked at multiple tech-related factors to determine which cities around the world are a paradise for tech lovers or in need of a technological makeover. The Dutch capital performed well in the categories of ICT development, mobile speed and commute time.

>> See RS Components: Tech Cities Index

Technological Readiness Ranking

The Netherlands placed fourth in the Economist Intelligence Unit's global ranking of business environments. The annual survey is based on 91 questions about the operating environment in each country. 

>> See Economist Intelligence Unit: Technological Readiness Ranking 2018

Startup Heatmap Europe

Europe’s startup ecosystem is a constantly evolving network of hubs, according to the 2018 edition of the annual Startup Heatmap survey, and interconnected startups are on the rise. Amsterdam keeps its spot in the top ten of founders’ favourite startup hubs.

>> See Startup Heatmap Europe



European Innovation Scoreboard

The European Innovation Scoreboard 2017 gives an assessment of the innovation performance of the EU and of individual member states, as well as that of key international competitors. Its 25 indicators give a detailed analysis of their strengths and weaknesses on the basis of important innovation drivers − from research systems and public and private investment to the economic effects of innovation. The Netherlands ranks fifth in this report.

>> See EIS: European Innovation Scoreboard 2017

Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking

This study ranks the top 20 startup ecosystems around the world along five major components: performance, funding, talent, market reach and startup experience. Amsterdam ranks 19th globally and fifth in Europe.

>> See Startup Genome: The Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2017

Tech Cities Global Rankings

In the most recent edition of the Tech Cities Global Rankings, an annual survey compiled by global real estate services provider Savills, Amsterdam came in at fifth place out of 22 global cities.

>> See Savills Tech Cities Global Rankings 2017

World Smart City Awards

Amsterdam won the World Smart City Award for the circular economy. The World Smart City Awards reward innovative projects, ideas and initiatives that stimulate sustainable urban development. In particular, this prize went to Amsterdam's Circular Innovation Program, a platform that accelerates the transition to a circular economy.

>> See World Smart City Awards 2017



Innovation Cities

Amsterdam came in at fourth place out of 168 European cities in the Innovation Cities Index, a survey compiled by the Australian consultancy 2thinknow. Their comprehensive index looks at a very wide range of factors, including architecture, urban planning, culture, education, science, nature, logistics, mobility, public safety and entrepreneurial climate.

>> See 2thinknow: Innovation Cities Index Report 2016-2017

European Digital City Index

This study describes and benchmarks how well different cities across Europe support digital entrepreneurs and provides information about the strengths and weaknesses of local ecosystems. Amsterdam comes third for startups and fifth for scale-ups.

>> See European Digital City Index 2016

Global Information Technology Report

The Netherlands comes sixth in the Networked Readiness Index of this report.

>> See WEF - The Global Information Technology Report 2016

Global Intellectual Property Index

The Netherlands takes top position in this index, which provides a comprehensive assessment of how the intellectual property regimes of 43 jurisdictions compare with each other.

>> See Taylor Wessing, Global Intellectual Property Index 2016

PwC Cities of Opportunity

This study measures the performance of a range of global cities against a set of 10 indicators developed by PwC, which jointly provide a holistic view on how successful cities thrive in sustainable urban development and can remain competitive on the world stage. Amsterdam ranks fifth globally and third in Europe.

>> See PwC: Cities of Opportunity Report 2016

Startup Heatmap Europe

Based on an online survey, ESI’s Startup Heatmap has collected data from 700 startup founders for insights into the desirability of European cities as startup locations.

>> See ESI - Startup Heatmap Europe 2016

Sustainable Cities Index

This study examines 50 cities around the world, ranking them across a range of indicators to estimate the sustainability of each city. Amsterdam ranks fourth, both globally and in Europe.

>> See ARCADIS: Sustainable Cities Index Report 2016

Variables for Sustained Growth Index

KPMG's VSG Index compares the productivity potential of 181 countries across an array of factors, including macro-economic stability, openness to catch up with best practice, infrastructure quality, human capital and strength of public institutions. The Netherlands ranks second globally.

>> See KPMG's Variables for Sustained Growth Index 2016