Oslo's visibility before, during and after Covid-19

Oslo’s visibility and global relevance had been steadily growing in the last 5 years, as more of the world recognised the region’s climate leadership, growing knowledge economy, and striking urban fabric. The region is in many ways still riding the wave of having been European Green Capital.

The crisis and hardship of Covid-19 has added more emphasis to issues where Oslo had been concentrating hard prior to the pandemic. Benchmarks have shifted quickly to health and wellbeing, sustainability, how to make places and spaces better, and improving city resilience (see Figure 2). Oslo's track record of social cohesion and capital, good governance, and relatively high citizen trust, has meant it has been viewed by experts, investors and the general global public as one of the more effective cities at managing the crisis. 

Oslo is being measured in more ways than ever before

Figure 2: Themes measured in all datasets comparing Oslo in 2020-21, by % of all metrics

Oslo's visibility in the benchmarks has increased significantly over the past year. In 2020-21, Oslo was the 33rd most visible city globally in benchmarks and comparative studies – a big jump from 48th the previous year. The region now appears in nearly half (46%) of all global studies. This represents a notable step forward.


most visible city
(up from 48th)

Oslo is in the global top 35 for visibility in comparative benchmarks

Table 1: Oslo's visibility in global benchmarks, 2015-16 to 2020-21

Global visibility rank
% of studies featured in
visibility rank among peers

This includes some breakthrough appearances for Oslo in high-calibre indexes. For example, the region was included in the latest edition of the major study of promising fintech clusters, and has also appeared prominently in the UN World Urban Happiness Report, studies of the most resilient European investment markets to Covid-19,  and the cities best managing the post-Covid economy.

Signs of Oslo’s Progress

Indexes showing the largest (most positive)
year-on-year change for Oslo:

Resonance World's Best Cities: Prosperity

What it measures: GDP per capita, income equality, employment rate and number of Fortune 500 HQs

62nd to 20th

IESE Cites in Motion Index: Governance

What it measures: Composite measure of city-wide governance efficiency

52nd to 14th

StartupBlink Cities Ranking

What it measures: Size, scale and growth trajectory of start-up ecosystem

119th to 105th

IQAir Air Quality and Pollution City Ranking

What it measures: Average annual exposure to air pollution

15th to 6th

Hickey & Associates’ Global Innovation Hubs

What it measures: All-round innovation ingredients and outputs

25th to 15th

In the next sections, we benchmark Oslo’s performance across the 5 major dimensions of competitiveness.