New York Tops Cultural List for Theatre Among 12 World Cities; London Leads for Comedy and Museums

By Mark Shenton
01 Aug 2012

The World Cities Culture Report 2012, an international survey of the cultural offerings of 12 cities from London and New York to Paris, Sydney, San Paolo, Mumbai and Tokyo, has found that New York leads the way in terms of number of theatres and attendances at them, but London emerges as leader for comedy and museums.



The report, commissioned by London's Mayor Boris Johnson, has been published to coincide with a cultural summit in London, being held by representatives of all the cities to discuss common aims.

In a report in The Guardian, Johnson is quoted saying, "World cities are international hubs for commerce and trade, but as this groundbreaking report makes clear, they are powerhouses for culture too – in London the creative industries alone contribute £19bn to our economy and employ 386,000 people. In coming together as city leaders and policymakers we want to harness the full potential of culture, which makes our cities exciting and desirable places to live in and visit, but also makes a massive contribution to wider social and economic goals."

New York ranked highest for number of theatres, with 420, compared to 353 in Paris, 230 in Tokyo and 214 in London. London's theatre admissions total is the second highest at 14.2 million – but New York is reported at drawing 28.1 million attendances.

On the museums front, London leads the way with 173, against 158 in Berlin, 137 in Paris and 131 in New York; while Paris has the most art galleries (1,046), with 857 in London, 721 in New York and 688 in Tokyo.

London also leads for comedy performances, with 11,388 against 11,076 in New York and 10,348 in Paris.

Paris leads for live music venues, with 423, against 385 in Tokyo, 349 in London, 294 in Sao Paulo and 277 in New York.