Skip to content

What is Inclusive Prosperity?

Inclusive prosperity is a measure of economic productivity that reflects how far all sectors of the population are empowered to contribute to the economy and share in its benefits. In short, it aims to show what makes cities successful – both economically and socially.  

Why is inclusive prosperity important?

Following work by Thomas Piketty and others, recent economic studies have shown that sustained high levels of inequality can damage growth and economic stability. Although economic development and inclusion are often assumed to be separate concerns, they are in fact closely linked: governments cannot support their citizens without healthy economic growth, and economic growth cannot be maintained without enabling all citizens to successfully participate in economic life. Beyond purely economic considerations, governments also have a responsibility to their citizens to ensure that their economies work for everyone: therefore, inclusive prosperity is important partly because it creates the conditions for a socially mobile, confident and successful society.


Cities play a special role in creating inclusive prosperity because they are the main engines of economic activity, possessing the agility and skills base to respond to new market opportunities. Inclusive cities nurture people’s skills, creating an environment that expands opportunities for everyone regardless of status. They also attract talent with their infrastructure, competitive market conditions, collaborative opportunities, and lifestyle possibilities. 

Additionally, cities are major drivers of policy, acting as test cases for economic and social programmes. Other cities can learn from successful cases and improve their own practice across areas such as skill levels, corporate governance, macroeconomic coordination, wage growth, and technological innovation (e.g. the smart city). 

Why measure inclusive prosperity?

Measuring the inclusive prosperity levels of cities around the world is an important aid to identifying the policies and practices that work. Cities also need to be aware of whether they are successfully promoting inclusive prosperity: to take one example, it was found that between 2010 and 2015, only 11 of the United States’ 100 largest city areas generated inclusive prosperity for their residents*. The PICSA Index therefore aims to meet this pressing need for an economic productivity metric that accurately reflects social and economic inclusion. 

Inaugural PICSA Ceremony & Dinner

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

16:00 CET  21 November 2019

In Collaboration With

D&L Partners