Canada’s largest city lags only behind New York City and London in a new analysis of the world’s best places for economic opportunity.

The latest edition of professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’s Cities of Opportunity study finds New York retaining its leading position as a centre of economic opportunity, with London in second place and Toronto in third. The study looked at 27 major world cities. Toronto was the only Canadian city included in the study.

STORY CONTINUES BELOW SLIDESHOW

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  • 10: Tokyo

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 9: Chicago

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 8: Hong Kong

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 7: Singapore

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 6: San Francisco

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 5: Stockholm

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 4: Paris

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 3: Toronto

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 2: London

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

  • 1: New York City

    Source: <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/cities-of-opportunity/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-cities">PricewaterhouseCoopers</a>

However, Toronto’s ranking was down one spot from last year, when it came in second overall, behind only New York. Part of the difference was the addition of a new criterion for natural environment. Because of the city’s cold winters, Toronto ranked third-last in that category.

The city’s overall strong performance was welcome news to former Toronto mayor David Miller, who said that the city’s values of “inclusion, social justice and equity” had a positive economic impact.

Intellectual capital and innovation matter a lot because businesses will come where there is the intellectual capital,” Miller said in an interview carried out for the PwC study. “Demographics and lifestyle assets matter a lot. If you’ve got the intellectual capital and innovation, you’ve got a livable city, and if you’ve got economic clout, that’s a very strong combination.”

The study measured cities’ relative economic strength on 10 indicators, including technological readiness, infrastructure, health and safety, environmental sustainability and “city gateway” — how much access a city has to the world’s markets. Toronto did not win in any of the categories, but placed high enough to rank third overall.

Toronto placed second in the environmental sustainability category, and second as well in health and security.

PHOTOS: THE WORLD'S MOST COMPETITIVE ECONOMIES

PHOTOS: THE WORLD'S RICHEST COUNTRIES IN 2050

While the winners are cities that have long been known as economic powerhouses, the PwC report stressed that the economic centres of the developing world — particularly Beijing and Shanghai — are rapidly narrowing the gap.

Beijing advanced to the top spot in "economic clout" while Shanghai placed fifth behind Paris, London, and New York. This is the first time two emerging cities appeared in the top five of this indicator category,” PwC said in a press release.

But PwC’s study suggests cities are struggling with a host of problems in the wake of global economic woes in recent years, including tensions caused by rapid migration into cities and growing income inequality.

The current state of “[f]inancial uncertainity adds to the picture,” the report states. “Sociopolitical forces come powerfully into the equation against the backdrop of rising levels of unemployment (often disproportionately high among the young), increasing income inequality in some places, austerity in others, and growing popular resistance bubbling up to a consumer-goods-driven economy.

“Add to that the tension that urban immigration, whether domestic or international, often stirs, and the mix offers a wake-up call to leaders and policymakers in government and business.”

PwC puts out the Cities of Opportunity survey annually, and uses data from international organization such as the World Bank and the IMF, as well as national census organizations.

THE WORLD'S MOST COMPETITIVE ECONOMIES

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  • 20: Australia

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 19: South Korea

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 18: Saudi Arabia

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 17: Belgium

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 16: Austria

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 15: Norway

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 14: Canada

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 13: Taiwan

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 12: Denmark

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 11: Qatar

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 10: Japan

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 9: Hong Kong

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 8: United Kingdom

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 7: United States

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 6: Germany

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 5: Netherlands

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 4: Sweden

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 3: Finland

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 2: Singapore

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

  • 1: Switzerland

    Source: <a href="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/CSI/2012-13/GCR_Rankings_2012-13.pdf" target="_hplink">World Economic Forum</a>

THE WORLD'S RICHEST COUNTRIES IN 2050

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  • 10. Austria - $90,158

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 9. Switzerland - $90,956

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 8. United Kingdom - $91,130

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 7. Canada - $96,375

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 6. Saudi Arabia - $98,311

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 5. United States - $100,802

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 4. South Korea - $107,752

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 3. Taiwan - $114,093

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 2. Hong Kong - $116,639

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>

  • 1. Singapore - $137,710

    Projected per capita GDP, 2050. Numbers are in U.S. dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity. Source: <a href="http://www.thewealthreport.net/The-Wealth-Report-2012.pdf" target="_hplink">Knight Frank/Citigroup</a>