The City Talent Index seeks to measure the attractiveness of cities according to their capacity to attract, train, develop and retain talent.

What does it intend to answer?


What is the available talent pool of the city? How does it compare to other cities, in relation to their level of training at different levels (university, post-graduate, languages, etc..)?

What is the city’s ability to attract and retain talent?


What professional development opportunities offer comparatively cities?

Does a certain city offer the opportunity to continue a recognized professional experience internationally?


What training opportunities does the city offer comparatively? How does its international recognition perform?

Does the labour market offer development opportunities?

Other agents

How can the talent that resides and/or works in a certain city be encouraged ?

What levers improve the capacity to attract and retain talent?

Scope and Methodology


25 European Cities

Capital and non-capital cities of countries

Diversity regarding regions and cultures

Talent Drivers and Indicators

Representative indicators of the different drivers that form our talent ecosystem

Use of reliable and recognized sources with periodic updates to give continuity and evolution

Standard information that could be used to compare amongst different cities


Analysis of everis enriched with knowledge and experience of key players (Transforma Talento, members of BCN Global, other key players)

Does a certain city provide opportunity for….?

Talent Ecosystem

The talent ecosystem is composed by a set of interrelated talent drivers which allow to compare the degree of cities’ attractiveness according to objective parameters

Measurement components

Global databases have been used for data indexation, to facilitate it’s periodic updating as well as it’s veracity

Main databases used
Eurostat WorldBank Informe ICCA Global Universities and Business Schools ranking Euromonitor - Passport Fortune 500

Data sources and indicator normalisation

The data collection was done with the latest data available during the last quarter of 2015, by researching for publicly available data from official and reliable sources from the last available year. The qualitative information was furthermore collected from publicly available information sites and eventually analysed by the everis business team.

Indicator scores are normalised and then aggregated across sub-drivers and drivers to enable an overall comparison and to obtain a final result. To make data comparable, it was normalised on the basis of:

X = (x – Min(x)) / (Max(x) – Min(x)), where the min and max values are calculated among the 25 selected cities for each indicator.

For indicators where a high value indicates an unfavourable environment for talent, the normalisation function takes the form of:

X = (x – Max(x)) / (Min(x) – Max(x)).

The normalised values are then transformed into a positive number on a scale of 0 – 1. For all indicators, a higher value of the quantitative means a better qualification on the global index.

The weighting assigned to each driver, sub-driver and indicator has been established by launching a survey among the International Council of Barcelona and the collaboration of Barcelona Global to add an international perspective to the weighting of the indicators, resulting as follows:

Driver/ Sub-driver

Education and lifelong learning


Pre-University Education


  • Pre-university talent pool
  • Pre-university school failure
  • PISA Performance Indicator
  • Public expenditure on pre-university education

University education


  • University talent pool
  • University rankings
  • Public expenditure on university education
  • Best student cities ranking
  • Foreign students as percentage of student population

Post-graduate Education


  • Post-graduate talent pool
  • European Business schools rankings

Professional development


  • Participation rate in education and training
  • % of people knowing 3 or more languages
  • Executive School custom programs ranking
  • Executive School open programs ranking

Business Excellence


Labour market


  • Compensation of employees
  • Effective hourly wage
  • Employment rate
  • Unemployment rate
  • Youth unemployment rate

Business network


  • Business productivity
  • Business demography
  • Number of international conventions and fairs
  • Population of active enterprises
  • Fortune 500 companies

Entrepreneur network


  • Ratio of newly created Businesses
  • Ratio of enterprises newly born which survived more than 3 years
  • Starting a business ranking
  • Global entrepreneurship index

Research, innovation and impact on society


Research talent


  • Total R&D personnel and researchers
  • Percentage of researchers
  • Employment in technology & knowledge-intensive sectors

Investment in R&D


  • Total R&D expenditure
  • R&D expenditure in the business sector

Science and innovation in society


  • Patent applications to the EPO per million of inhabitants
  • Number of European Research Grants
  • Amount of think tanks per region

Attractive lifestyle


Public services


  • Quality of trade and transport related infrastructure
  • Health personnel per inhabitant
  • Quality of Support Network
  • Stock of Public Motor coaches, buses and trolley buses
  • Number of Air transport passengers

Life quality


  • Number of homicides
  • Number of Tourist overnight stays
  • Frequency of going to cinema, live performances, cultural sites
  • Air quality
  • Water quality
  • Life expectancy

Digital environment


  • Individuals who have used a computer
  • Persons employed using computers with access to Internet
  • % of individuals who use Internet at least once a week
  • Households that have broadband access

Economics and public policy




  • Political stability and Absence of Violence Index
  • Government effectiveness Index
  • Regulatory quality Index
  • Rule of Law Index

Economy and regulation


  • Gross domestic product per inhabitant
  • Labour tax and contribution rate
  • Profit tax rate
  • Foreign Direct Investment Inflow
  • Labour cost, wages and salaries, and direct remuneration

International trading


  • International trade in products
  • International trade in services