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2GF7EJM Amsterdam, 8th of August 2021, Aerial view of Amsterdam science park in East part of amsterdam, university campus and datacenter fly over
Image from Hugo Kurk

Amsterdam in 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.


Top 3 tech ecosystem in Europe in Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER)

The Amsterdam region is ranked among Europe’s top 3 ecosystems, according to the recently released 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER). The report offers a comprehensive analysis of the state of startup ecosystems worldwide, and reveals the region's thriving tech landscape is strengthened by well-established fintech and life sciences companies, along with the growing momentum of cleantech, Big Data, and AI.

#1 in Innovation Cities Index: Small 200 

The Innovation Cities Index: Small 200 examines metropolises with a population under 1 million who are creating innovation conditions that contend with their larger peers. Amsterdam tops this list, taking the title of most innovative small city in the world in 2023. The rankings utilise the same 162 indicators as the Innovation Cities Index, encompassing various aspects of the cities' innovation ecosystems. These measure areas such as startups, economic and social indicators, sustainability, walkability, bicycle friendliness, and transportation options.

#2 in fDi's European Cities and Regions of the Future 

According to the fDi’s European Cities and Regions of the Future report 2023, Amsterdam and the North Holland region have emerged as leading areas for investment thanks to excellent connectivity, quality of life, economic potential, and business friendliness. Amsterdam maintained its 2nd place ranking among major European cities for foreign direct investment, while the surrounding North Holland province rose to 1st among mid-sized European regions.
>> Download the fDi's European Cities and Regions of the Future report 2023

Top 5 most competitive region in Europe in Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI)

Published every 3 years, the index looks at competitiveness in the context of a region’s ability to offer an attractive and sustainable environment for businesses and residents to live and work. The Utrecht region was named #1 most competitive European region, followed by South Holland (#2), North Brabant (#3), and the Amsterdam region (#5).  The index found that excellent connections between the regions help facilitate shared knowledge and resources, elevating overall performance for the country as a whole.

#1 in Numbeo's Quality of Life Index

Numbeo is the world’s largest crowd-sourced quality of life database, combining information on housing indicators, perceived crime rates, healthcare quality, transport quality, and other statistics for countries and cities all around the globe. According to their 2023 findings, the Netherlands ranks #1 for quality of life based on several factors including cost of living, crime rates, healthcare, commute times, and environmental pollution.

Top 5 for digital growth in Global Interconnection Index (GXI)

According to the report, Amsterdam ranks in the top 5 leading metros globally for growth of digital infrastructure, with interconnection bandwidth forecast to grow by 39% CAGR (compound annual growth rate). This means that already fast internet speeds will become even more enabled. Amsterdam is also the largest EMEA metro for growth in content & digital media services, and the second largest for IT & cloud services and energy & utility. 
>> See the Global Interconnection Index (GXI) 2023


#1 for inclusivity in Open for Business Ranking 

Amsterdam again secured the #1 position in the Open for Business City Rankings 2022. The city has held the top spot since 2020. This is the first global measure of economic competitiveness in connection with inclusivity. Open for Business is a coalition of international companies that are dedicated to LGBTQ+ inclusivity from a business perspective. The organisation is committed to nurturing inclusivity in their own workplaces and showing the world that enterprising businesses thrive in diverse societies. 
>> Download the Open for Business City Ranking report (pdf).

#2 in Digital Cities Index 

Economist Impact ranked Amsterdam 2nd among 30 global cities for digital connectivity, services, culture and sustainability. The Digital Cities Index assesses candidates on the extent and impact of digitalisation and smart city projects according to 4 key pillars: services, connectivity, culture and sustainability. Amsterdam ranked highest (4th) for services. The report specifically mentions Amsterdam’s traffic management system, enabled by the IoT (Internet of Things) – praising its applications for congestion easing, accident reduction and emissions control. The report also compliments Amsterdam’s provision for services in the sharing economy, thanks to innovative businesses such as Peerby and the many smart mobility and vehicle-sharing startups based in the city.
>> See the Digital Cities Index 2022

#10 most sustainable city in Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index

Arcadis ranked Amsterdam the 10th most sustainable city in the world. Rotterdam follows close behind at number 12, and Oslo is at number one. The report ranks 100 cities globally according to three broad factors: ‘planet’, ‘people’ and ‘profit’. Amsterdam proved a relative ‘all-rounder’, ranking 10th for ‘people’ (social factors, such as quality of life), 14th for ‘planet’ (environmental factors such as energy usage and emissions) and 25th for ‘profit’ (economic and business factors).
>> See Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index 2022

#5 strongest innoavation ecosystem in Global Innovation Index 

The WIPO’s Global Innovation Index tracks the innovation capabilities and outputs of 132 countries worldwide. In 2022, the Netherlands ranked as the 5th strongest innovation ecosystem in the world, moving up a place from last year. This is an improvement on the 6th place finish last year, and largely thanks to the Netherlands’ particularly strong institutions, government support of innovation initiatives, and Dutch contributions to knowledge and technology. 
>> See the Global Innovation Index 2022

#2 in fDi’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 

fDi’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2022/23 benchmarked locations for their attractiveness to foreign direct investment. Cities were ranked based on data collected across 5 subcategories: economic potential, business friendliness, connectivity, human capital and lifestyle, and cost effectiveness. Amsterdam ranked 2nd behind London, and has been particularly successful in becoming the EU’s alternative of choice to London’s financial market.
>> See fDi's full report 

#2 Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Agtech & New Food Edition

A report by research organisation Startup Genome listed Amsterdam as the #2 ecosystem in Europe, and #14 globally, in several factors including performance, funding, talent and knowledge. Agtech and new food includes services and technologies focused on improving agricultural efficiency and sustainability, such as farm management software and vertical farming. It also includes direct-to-consumer delivery apps and services and next-generation food and drinks, such as lab-grown and plant-based meat.
>> See the Global Startup Ecosystem Report: Agtech & New Food Edition

Dealroom Startup Employment Report

The fifth edition of the Amsterdam Startup Employment Report was compiled by Dealroom and delves into the scale of employment and emerging trends in Amsterdam’s startup ecosystem. The report reveals that not only do the city’s startups employ more people than ever, but job creation this year is up over previous years. In 2022, local startups were responsible for creating 49,200 jobs, representing a +6% year-on-year increase. An array of 260+ foreign startups add another 23,500 jobs, making the ecosystem as a whole responsible for around 72,000 jobs total.
>> See the Dealroom Report 

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


#5 for future mobility in 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

#6 innovation ecosystem in 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

#5 in 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

#4 in fDi's 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

Top 12 place to live in 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


#1 in growth and development in 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

#3 largest ecosystem in Dealroom's 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