City Risk Index

The University of Cambridge has compiled City Risk Index research on behalf of Lloyds of London for the period 2015 – 2025. The analysis thereby pinpoints the GDP@Risk of 301 of the world’s major cities. The 18 threats identified are either manmade or natural.

The value of this detailed scrutiny of the City Risk Index lies in providing flexibility from upgraded infrastructure to additional insurance protection.

Financial facts:

GDP 2015 – 2025 All cities $US372.56trn

GDP@Risk All cities $US4.56trn

Risk Share among emerging cities 71.47%

Total GDP@Risk Share among top 20 cities 35.20%

  •  10 Threats account for about 91% of the total GDP@Risk.
  •  Nearly half of the Total GDP@Risk is associated with Manmade threats, including Market crash, Cyber attack, Power outage and Nuclear accident.
  •  Cities with high asset values which are therefore the most financially exposed:
    New York
    Hong Kong
  •  Our interconnected and technologically dependent world presents four Emerging threats, thereby representing one fifth of the Total GDP@Risk.

Cyber attack
Human pandemic
Plant epidemic
Solar storm

  •  Market crash also represents nearly a quarter of all cities potential losses.
  •  Emerging economies such as Asia, Latin America and Africa collectively, 71.47% of the Total GDP@Risk have the most to lose.
  •  Earthquake risk represents more than 50% of the Total GDP@Risk in Lima and Tehran.
  •  The cities of New York and Paris face 60% of the Total GDP@Risk of Manmade threats. These are Market crash, Oil price stock and Cyber attack.

Across the globe a market crash is seen as the biggest global risk. It could therefore wipe off $1,05 trillion off the global map.

Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city  stands to lose the most GDP in monetary terms. (R93.5 billion).

South Africa is Africa’s most developed economy. It is however vulnerable to the risk of Sovereign default. Three big rating agencies have thus downgraded SA’s Sovereign ratings over the past three years. The reason given by the group is that government debt has risen.

The country has a serious domestic constraint namely high unemployment. Additional problems are poor education and training plus labour unrest. The economy is also affected by traffic congestion and disrupted electricity supplies.

Johannesburg faces two major threats. One is man-made and the other natural. 35% of GDP@Risk is in Johannesburg. This city is South Africa’s financial centre. The second major threat is HIV infection. This city has one of the highest rates of the infection globally.

Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban, East Rand and Soweto similarly face these two threats. Being the financial centre, Johannesburg is especially relevant as it also has the additional likely risk of Cyber attack.