The ranking confirms the dominance of China and the United States in research output. Beijing is the top science city globally, followed by New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Baltimore.

As measured by the Nature Index, nine other cities in China rank among the top 50 cities globally. The Index tracks the authorship of articles in 82 high-quality research journals.* The US accounts for 19 of the top 50 cities. Tokyo (6th) and Paris (8th) are the only cities in the global top 10 that are outside the US and China.

The Index profiles five science cities that are leaders in their regions, namely, Cape Town, San Francisco, Munich, Wuhan, and São Paulo. It explores the challenges these cities face in continuing to attract and retain academics, collaborate, and publish outstanding science. For instance, San Francisco’s soaring housing costs could undermine its position as a leading region of innovation; Wuhan is under pressure from the intensified competition for research talent in China.

David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index said: “When looking at the long-term sustainability of a global science city, local matters count just as much as worldwide trends. The Nature Index 2018 Science Cities supplement identifies some of the issues that policymakers and research institutions need to pay close attention to, from soaring housing costs to social inequalities and access to equipment”.

“Competition between science cities is heating up, but those that perform the best are often the ones that collaborate, both domestically and internationally.”

The supplement also shows that the top collaborating cities in the Nature Index are typically located in the same country. Beijing and New York are the only city pair in the top 25 from different countries. Beijing’s major collaborating cities within China are Shanghai, Nanjing, and Wuhan. Other major international cities that Beijing collaborates with are San Francisco and Boston.

More information about the Nature Index is available at