City Mayors Foundation

Cities are shaping today's social, cultural, economic and technological agendas. They compete, learn from each other and act together. The City Mayors Foundation was established in 2003 to promote, campaign for and facilitate good, open and strong local government. The World Mayor Project has been honouring outstanding mayors since 2004.


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ON OTHER PAGES
World Mayor
The 2018 World Mayor Honours List

Economics
The ups and downs of Amazon’s search for a second headquarter
Guide to richest and most expensive cities
Most expensive cities
Richest cities
Most powerful cities
Big Mac Guide

Society
US cities are waking up to the harm done by trauma in childhood and adult life
Massacres in schools, churches and malls will not change America’s gun culture
Corrupt US mayors pose a threat to decency in society
In the US, cities lead in fighting poverty

Development
Spatial Planning in the USA: Economic growth is of paramount importance

Statistics
Largest cities in the world (1 to 150)
Largest cities in the world (151 to 300)
A to Z to largest cities in the world
Countries with the largest cities in the world
Introduction to largest cities in the world

Government
Women in US local government
World Mayors and politics
Voter turnout - an international comparison
Mayors in Europe: Powers & Politics (2019)

Politics
Democrats control politics in big-city USA
US Mayors running for President
Largest cities in the world and their mayors (2017)
Largest cities with women mayors (2017)
Capital cities and their mayors (2017)

Finance
Salaries of British mayors
Salaries of French mayors
Salaries of German mayors
Salaries of Japanese mayors

Mayors
Capital cities and their mayors

Belgian Mayors (2019)
British Mayors (2019)
Canadian Mayors (2019)
French Mayors (2019)
German mayors (2019)
Italian mayors (2019)
Japanese mayors (2019)
Polish mayors (2019)
Spanish mayors (2019)
Turkish mayors (2019)
US mayors (2019)




Two years ago, electric scooters - the step-on types - were predicted to offer an additional mode of clean, cheap transport. Now cities are not so sure. Instead of persuading car users to switch to a combination of public transport and e-scooters, they are mostly used for short distances.
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The Democrats dominate politics in big-city America. Out of 49 cities, with more than 100,000 inhabitants, where voters were asked to elect new mayors on 5 November, 30 elected Democrat candidates, while Republicans were successful in four cities. Nine cities chose others..
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Of 134 capital cities examined by City Mayors, the research found 98 national capitals with elected mayors – either directly elected (79) or chosen by the city council (19). Some 35 mayors were appointed, mostly by the respective governments. Only 24 capital cities have female mayors,
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Mexico City’s first elected female mayor has declared a state of emergency because of the increasing violence against women. During the first nine months of 2019, more than 150 women were murdered in the city. In 40 instances the women were killed because of their gender.
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In France, the remuneration of mayors depends on the size of their communities. Mayors of villages with less than 500 people receive a monthly payment of €646, while those of cities between 50,000 and 100,000 are paid €4,181. The mayors of Paris and Lyon are the highest paid..
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A plethora of city leadership models exist across Europe, depending on history and political culture. Most of Europe’s 38 capital city mayors belong to leftist and centre-left parties. Of the 28 mayors of EU capital cities, 15 are members of socialist, social democrat or other left-leaning parties.
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Capital cities mayorsWorld's capital cities
and their mayors

Mayors of capital cities: Of 134 capital cities examined by City Mayors, the research found 98 national capitals with elected mayors – either directly elected (79) or chosen by the city council (19). Some 35 mayors were appointed, mostly by their respective national governments. Only 24 capital cities (17.9%) have female mayors, although in Tokyo, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Oslo and Havana women are in charge of municipal government. The longest serving mayors are Yaoundé’s  Emil Andze (1996), San José’s Johnny Monge (1998) and Sydney’s Clover Moore (2004). MORE


Mayors running for US President:
Their accomplishments & policies

Politics:
Among the 20 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States are five former mayors: Michael Bloomberg (New York City), Pete Buttigieg (South Bend), Cory Booker (Newark), Julian Castro (San Antonio) and Bernie Sanders (Burlington). Should one of the five candidates succeed all the way to the White House, he would only be the fourth mayor to do so in the country’s history. It has been more than 100 years since the political career of a US President included a stint as mayor. The last mayor whose career path took him to the White House was Calvin Coolidge who, prior to serving as Governor of Massachusetts and US President was Mayor of Northampton (MA). Of all 45 American Presidents only three were ever mayors before occupying the highest office in the country. MORE



violence against womenMexico City Mayor declares
state of emergency over
violence against women

Metro News: Mexico City’s first elected female mayor has declared a state of emergency because of the increasing violence against women. During the first nine months of this year, more than 150 women were murdered in the Mexican capital. In forty instances the women were killed because of their gender. During the same nine-months period, the police also received more than 500 emergency calls for rape. Claudia Sheinbaum, who has been mayor for little over one year, said yesterday in a statement that the violence against women has to stop. “Every woman has the right to live in safety. It is totally unacceptable that more and more women are not safe at home or on the streets” As part of the measures proposed by the Mayor, the city administration will introduce legislation allowing the public naming of sex offenders. MORE



US mayoral elections November 2019Democrats control
politics in big-city USA

Politics / Elections: While the 2018 midterm elections provided an insight into the national political mood of America, this year’s ‘off-year elections’ took place predominately at local level. In the US, off-year elections are held when neither presidential nor countrywide congressional contests take place. With only three gubernatorial ballots – in Kentucky, Louisiana as well as Mississippi - and legislative polls in only four states, this year’s mayoral elections on 5 November were watched for any impact of the impeachment process in the US House of Representatives. But, with Democrats already in control of most big cities, there were very few explicit pointers. MORE



French mayors salariesSalaries of French mayors
Mayors / Finance: No other European country has as many elected local government officials as France. In the 2014 local elections voters across France elected some 580,000 local representatives, including the mayors of Paris, Lyon and Marseille but also mayors and councillors in thousands of small towns and villages. In France, the remuneration of mayors depends on the size of their communities. Mayors of villages with less than 500 people receive a monthly payment of €646, while those of cities between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants are paid €4,181 per month. The largest salaries are awarded to the mayors of Paris (€8,650 / month), Marseille (€8,137 / month) and Lyon (€8,227 / month). MORE


British mayors salariesSalaries of British mayors
Mayors / Finance: In the UK local politics has long been seen as community service rather than a professional career and this is reflected in the salaries paid to elected mayors. By contrast, senior officials in city administrations are often paid more than double the mayor’s salary. For instance, the Metro Mayor of the Tees Valley receives a modest £37,000 per year, yet the authority’s chief executive takes home a more impressive £139,000, collecting over £100,000 more. While mayoral and councillors’ remuneration is recommended by independent external advisers, councils are free to set their own political pay rates, though most reduce or freeze against the recommended level, mindful of local voters’ reactions. MORE


Kurdish mayors sackedTurkish government sacks
Kurdish mayors critical of
offensive into northern Syria

Metro News: As part of the Turkish government’s ongoing campaign against elected officials from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), police authorities have dismissed and arrested four mayors from the Diyarbakir province in southeastern Turkey. Three of the mayors were detained on terror charges following their opposition to Turkey’s invasion of Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria. Turkish forces moved across the border after American President Trump ordered the withdrawal of US military from the area. The Turkish operation, code named Peace Spring, was strongly criticised by the HDP leadership. Pervin Buldan, the party’s co-chair accused the Turkish government of trying to suffocate Kurds wherever they may be breathing. The HDP is the only major opposition party that has condemned the offensive into northern Syria. MORE



Homeless CaliforniaAppeal Court ruling forces
cities in western USA
to rethink homeless policies

Metro News: Idaho’s state capital Boise has been joined by Los Angeles and 32 other Californian cities and counties in an appeal to the US Supreme Court over a federal court ruling that said that cities cannot arrest or punish people for sleeping on public property unless adequate shelter space is available. In a lawsuit that dates back to 2009, six individuals filed a complaint against the City of Boise after being convicted for sleeping and camping on public spaces. The claimants argued that the enforcement of the city’s ordinances violated the US Constitution’s 8th Amendment, particularly its ‘Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause’. MORE



Liberal opposition defeats
Hungary’s right-wing rulers
in Budapest and other cities

Metro News: In local elections, liberal pro-European candidates inflicted significant losses on Hungary’s right-wing ruling party. The opposition not only defeated the incumbent mayor of Budapest but also won in 10 of the country’s 23 county cities. Five years ago, the opposition only captured three of these cities. Before the elections, opposition parties from the centre and left agreed to join forces and support unison candidates. The move so alarmed the ruling Fidesz party that it embarked on probably the dirtiest campaign in post-Communism Hungary. Independent observers reported police harassment of opposition candidates, while Fidesz members spread deliberate falsehoods including made up stories such as of opposition plans to settle thousands of immigrants across the country. The government also indicated that financial support for cities, which voted for opposition candidates, would be reviewed. MORE



E-scooters in EuropeE-scooters in Europe:
They do not reduce car use
Transport: Two years ago, electric scooters - the step-on types - were predicted to offer an additional mode of clean, cheap transport for inner urban areas. Now cities across Europe are not so sure. Instead of persuading car users to switch to a combination of public transport and e-scooters, they are mostly used by tourists and young people for short walkable distances. And they are not cheap. Hiring an e-scooter for 20 minutes can easily cost five euros (US$5.50). While it was originally thought that commuters arriving at rail or bus terminals would pick up an e-scooter for the last mile to the office, it has not worked out like that. E-scooters are not seen as a serious mode of transport. A French survey concluded that e-scooters had so far made no impact on car ownership. The authors wrote that the scooters diverted users from other forms of ‘green’ transport. “44 per cent of respondents said their e-scooter ride substituted a walk and another 30 per cent said they would have used public transport had e-scooters not been available.” MORE


Turkish mayorsTurkish local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Despite the numerical, economic and cultural importance of Turkish cities, Turkey remains a highly centralised unitary state. While, as a member of the Council of Europe, Turkey is obliged to guarantee the political, administrative and financial independence of local authorities, the Council’s monitoring committee has reported ‘fundamental deficits in implementation’. While the findings were announced well before the March 2019 local elections, the annulment of the initial results of the mayoral election in Istanbul and the dismissal of the elected mayors of Diyarbakir and Van over allegations of links to Kurdish separatists in August 2019, strengthen the authors’ assertions that the independence of local authorities in Turkey is still threatened by central government. 2019 EDITION


US cities are waking up to
the harm done by trauma
in childhood and adult life

Society: The challenges facing US cities and US mayors are well-known: crime and gun violence, public health, public education, housing, economic change and growth, social justice and access to opportunity, infrastructure, and climate change adaptation, among others. One of the major underlying issues which affects how mayors can respond to many of these challenges is also one of the least discussed politically and publicly: Trauma. People living in high-poverty neighborhoods in US cities are typically exposed to multiple on-going traumas, such as generational school failure, substance abuse, incarceration, violence in the home and surrounding neighborhood, and teen pregnancy. Exposure to chronic trauma increases the likelihood of negative outcomes for individuals and their families and for neighborhoods and cities. MORE


European mayorsMayors in Europe
Powers & Politics

Local government: A plethora of city leadership models exist across Europe, depending on history and political culture, though the challenges facing urban areas are mostly identical. While in France, Spain, Greece and Portugal the mayor is head of the party list on the council, in Luxembourg and the Netherlands mayors are appointed by the central government for a six-year term. In Germany, mayors are directly elected, as are all metro mayors in England. In many European countries mayors enjoy considerable powers and their responsibilities cover a wide array of day-to-day activities as well as longterm projects such as health, education, policing, environment and culture. 2019 EDITION


French mayorsFrench local government
and Mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Mainland France consists of 36,569 municipalities (communes) in 22 regions. In addition there are 212 communes in French overseas territories. Council elections are held every six years. The last full ones were held in March 2014. The first task of a newly constituted council is to elect a mayor, whose term of office is six years. If a mayor is appointed to another post in government, a deputy performs his/her duties. A mayor’s responsibilities include: Civil registration, culture, economy, education, environment, public order, roads, social welfare, urban planning. Following the elections of President Macron and a new national parliament in 2017, a number of cities elected new mayors. 2019 EDITION



Berlin treesBerlin to import Mediterranean tree
varieties due to climate change

Metro News: The bombing of Berlin during World War II, not only caused the death of some 30,000 people and the destruction of more than 500,000 homes, it also decimated 60 per cent of the city’s street trees. At the start of the war, 411,000 trees adorned the streets of the German capital – five years later only 161,000 were left standing. At the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, the city recorded 370,000 street trees. Today, despite the loss of 7,000 trees due to extreme weather events such as the hurricane of 2017 or last year’s drought, Berlin has now 431,000 street trees, 20,000 more than 80 years ago – or some 80 trees for every kilometre of road. MORE



usa mass shootingsMassacres in schools and churches
will not change US gun culture

Society: Deadly shootings in schools, churches or shopping malls do not deter Americans from buying and owning guns. Research by the Pew Research Center, conducted in 2017, reveals that some 30 per cent of American adults own at least one gun, with another 11 per cent living with someone who does. According to Pew, gun ownership is more common among men than women, and white men are particularly likely to be gun owners. Among those living in rural areas, 46 per cent say they are gun owners, compared with 28 per cent of those who live in the suburbs and 19 per cent in urban areas. There are also significant differences across parties, with Republican and Republican-leaning independents more than twice as likely as Democrats and those who lean Democratic to say they own a gun (44% vs. 20%). FULL 2018 REPORT


German mayorsGerman local government
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Germany is a country made up of thousands of towns and cities, all with directly elected mayors. A city (Großstadt) is officially defined as an administration unit with a population greater than 100,000. As of 2013, there are 76 cities in Germany. Only four cities, Berlin, Hamburg, München (Munich) and Köln (Cologne), are Millionenstädte - cities with a population of more than one million. Nine cities have a population of more than 500,000 people. The mayors’ terms of office vary between five and nine years, depending on the state. Each municipal council is headed by an elected mayor, known as Bürgermeister  - or Oberbürgermeister (lord mayor) in most larger cities. 2019 EDITION



Spanish local government
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: The governance of the Spanish municipalities belongs to the City Council. It is a collegiate organ that leads the municipal administration.  The City Council is made up of Councillors, elected by popular vote. The number of councillors may vary according to the number of residents, from five to 25. The president of the City Council is the Mayor, who is elected by and from the councillors. 2019 EDITION



Ancona MayorLocal government in Italy
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: Mayors play a central role in Italian national life and are a settled feature of the political system. The more than 8,000 communes are each headed by a mayor (sindaco) and elected council (consiglio comunale) of between 15 and 80 members. From the capital Rome to the smallest village, Italian communes coexist on an equal basis, although the mayors of Rome and Milan can be seen as national political figures in their own right. They also enjoy high levels of allegiance from their local populations, making their boundaries hard to amend or reform. In addition to civil registration and local public services, including roads, communes are able to run their own local police forces and provide local healthcare services. The Italian capital Rome is served by 19 municipal entities, the Municipi. 2019 EDITION


Canadian mayorsCanadian local government
and Mayors of largest cities

June 2019: In Canada cities and towns are considered creatures of provincial and territorial governments, existing by provincial and territorial legislation. Provinces and territories can create, modify, or eliminate a municipality as they see fit such as amalgamations and the creation of regional governments. They also dictate the limits of the powers of municipal governments. For the most part, serving as the Chief Executive of the city and Chair of council, Canadian mayors are given the title His Worship or Her Worship in English and Son Honneur in French for both males and females. 2019 EDITION


American (US) mayorsMayors of largest US cities:
Democrats are in control

Mayors: There are 19,429 municipal governments in the United States. Many small towns use the council-manager system (most counties are run this way) and those that don’t, have a weak mayor-council system. Almost all large US cities have strong mayor systems. Following the November 2018 mid-term elections, two thirds of the largest US cities are governed by Democrat mayors. Republican mayors rule in 23 per cent of US cities, while some ten per cent of mayors of large cities describe themselves as independent. 2019 EDITION


Britsh mayorsLocal government in England
and mayors of cities and regions

Mayors: In London and several metropolitan areas, England’s cities are led by elected Mayors, while in all but 15 of the 317 local councils in England are run by a Council Leader elected by their fellow councillors. Since 2002 a number have been led by mayors elected directly by local voters. Most of the local authority elected mayors in England have responsibility for all local services, with two district council mayors responsible for only environment, planning and housing. In London and the metro area Combined Authorities, the Mayor is responsible for transport, economic development, skills and spatial planning, as well as other fields as devolved.  All England’s elected mayors are elected on four-year terms by the instant run-off Supplementary Vote. There are no elected mayors in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. 2019 EDITION

Belgian mayors
Belgian local government
and mayors of largest cities

Mayors: In addition to three regions and three cultural communities, Belgium is also divided into 10 provinces and 589 municipalities. The provincial governments are primarily administrative units and are politically weak. A governor appointed by the King presides over each province. Each governor is supported by an elected Provincial Council of 47 to 84 members (depending on the size of the province), which sits only four weeks a year. Municipal governments, on the other hand, are vigorous political entities with significant powers and a history of independence dating from medieval times. 2019 EDITION


Corrupt mayorsCorrupt US mayors pose a
threat to decency in society

Society: The preamble to the City Mayors’ Code of Ethics states that honest local government is the foundation of any nation that strives to provide its citizens with happiness, security and prosperity. It continues to say that corruption and misconduct by local government officials threaten fundamental decency in a society. America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which warns that public corruption poses a fundamental threat to national security and the US way of life, has over the past four decades brought to justice thousands of elected officials, who used their positions to enrich themselves. Among those convicted are leaders of some of the largest US cities, including Nashville, Detroit, New Orleans or Baltimore, but also many mayors from small-town America. FULL REPORT


Polish mayors2019 Editions of mayors of largest
cities of Canada, Japan and Poland

Mayors: In Canada, cities and towns are considered creatures of provincial and territorial governments, existing by provincial and territorial legislation. Provinces and territories can create, modify, or eliminate a municipality as they see fit. ||| In Japan, The nature and role of local government is codified in the Local Autonomy Law issued under the post-war Constitution of Japan of 1947, which guarantees local autonomy against the national government, who retain a degree of control over localities through subsidies. ||| Rural districts and urban municipalities are Poland’s third level of local government. Counties are usually divided into several types of districts (gminy): urban, mixed urban-rural and entirely rural. In all three types of districts, voters directly elect local councillors and mayors. Mayors in cities with more than 400,000 people are called city presidents. CANADIAN MAYORS ||| JAPANESE MAYORS ||| POLISH MAYORS |||


US povertyIn the US, cities lead
in fighting poverty

Society: Income inequality and social mobility generate intense discussion in the United States. A number of recent studies suggest that people at the bottom of the income ladder are unlikely to climb very far over the next twenty or more years; in fact, they will likely see the gap widen between them and the next rung of the ladder. Poverty in the US, it seems, is persistent, if not intractable. Many cities are inspired by the success of New York City’s anti-poverty program. Between 2013 and 2016 the number of New Yorkers in poverty or near poverty (the percentage living below 150% of the city’s poverty threshold) decreased by 141,000, and the city is on pace to reach its target of moving 800,000 people out of poverty or near poverty by 2025. MORE


Amazon HQ2The ups and downs of Amazon’s
search for a second headquarter

Economics: When Amazon announced that the New York City borough of Queens would be the location of a major new investment by the company in November 2018, the news could reasonably have been expected to have been met with a shrug. After all, Amazon’s promised 25,000 new jobs over 20 years, or an average of 1,250 jobs per year, are a drop in a bucket in a City that is projected to add 170,000 jobs annually through 2024. Even if all the growth were concentrated in Queens (population 2.4 million), the new jobs and new residents could likely be accommodated and major disruptions avoided with proper planning. Instead, Amazon’s announcement provoked heated debate around issues of inequality and local control. MORE


Tesla GigafactorySpatial Planning in the USA:
Economic growth is of
paramount importance
Development: Spatial planning and development in the US is quite different from Europe in many regards.  One of the biggest differences between planning in the US and Europe is that spatial planning and development in the US is almost exclusively a local government responsibility. Spatial planning and development does not happen in a vacuum, of course. It is part of a whole socio-economic environment. Federal government policies on taxation, workers’ rights, property rights, etc. impose limits on what can be done. But the local government context is extremely important for understanding modernization in the US. MORE


Richest citiesRichest and most expensive
cities in the world

• Swiss cities are expensive but residents enjoy strong purchasing power.
• The price of a cup of coffee varies from US$6.40 in Doha to $0.62 in Lagos.
• A Big Mac is most affordable in Hong Kong
Economics: Zurich, Geneva, Oslo, Copenhagen and New York City are the five most expensive cities in the world, with Tokyo, Milan, London, Chicago and Helsinki completing the top ten. The ‘Prices and Earnings Survey’, conducted by the Swiss financial institution UBS every three years, measures how much people earn and how much the items in their average shopping basket cost. While Zurich and Geneva may seem expensive to visitors, the cities residents, because of high earnings, enjoy some of the highest purchasing power in the word. The world’s highest average earnings are enjoyed in Geneva, Zurich, Luxembourg, Los Angles and Copenhagen. For example in Zurich, the average office employee has to work only 13 minutes to be able to afford a Big Mac. A New Yorker has to toil for 15 minutes to pay for a hamburger, while in Nairobi, the city with the lowest purchasing power, the average resident has to spend more than two hours at work to be able to afford a Big Mac. MORE


World Mayor 2018The World Mayor Project
honours women mayors
World Mayor: The 2018 World Mayor Project was dedicated to women in local government. It featured the achievements of women mayors from across the world and honours the best of them. The all-women long- and shortlists included mayors from towns and cities of all sizes who have served with integrity, determination and imagination. The 2018 World Mayor Prize and Commendations as well as the title Mayors of Distinction were conferred on female mayors who have instigated outstanding and long-lasting improvements to their communities and contributed new thinking to local government. The mayors' achievements are recognised beyond their cities and even countries. Winner of the 2018 World Mayor Prize: Valeria Mancinelli, Mayor of Ancona, Italy. World Mayor Commendations awarded to: Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, UK; Nathalie Appéré, Mayor of Rennes, France; Charlotte Britz, Mayor of Saarbrücken, Germany; Beng Climaco, Mayor of Zamboanga City, Philippines. 2018 Mayors of Distinction: Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne, Germany; Betsy Prize, Mayor of Fort Worth, USA; Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille, France; Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France; Jasna Gabric, Mayor of Trbovlje, Slovenia; Souad Abderrahim, Mayor of Tunis, Tunesia. FULL RESULTS


Voter turnoutInternational comparison of
voter turnout in mayoral elections

Politics: Voters’ interest in municipal affairs is at an all-time low in the US. Research in 2017 and 2018 shows that mayoral elections in some the largest American cities attract seldom more than 30 per cent of people eligible to vote. In Dallas only six per cent of voters took part in the mayoral election. In Britain, the first group of English regional mayors, who have considerably political and economic clout, was elected in May 2017 and 2018 by a decidedly unenthusiastic electorate. Voter participation in German mayoral elections is usually between 40 and 50 per cent, while in Italy turnout between 50 and 60 per cent is not uncommon. In Japan, the average voter turnout in the 62 mayoral elections in 2015 stood at a record low of 50.5 per cent, Voter participation in German mayoral elections is usually between 40 and 50 per cent, while in Italy turnout between 50 and 60 per cent is not uncommon. MORE


Japanese mayors receive
upper management salaries

Mayors / Finance: Mayors in Japan are typically among the highest earners in their municipal government with a salary that is comparable to that of upper-middle management in a large firm. Topping the table of highest earning mayors is Fumiko Hayashi of Yokohama City who receives an annual salary of ¥19.2 million, while at the other end of the scale Takashi Kawamura of Nagoya receives just over a quarter of this figure with an annual pay packet of ¥5.3 million. There are numerous factors to take into account when gauging whether these salaries should be considered as relatively high or low when comparing with professions that offer similar pay. Japanese businesses often reward higher salaries and senior positions to employees on the basis of time served at the company. The 38-year-old Toshihito Kumagai of Chiba City, who is the youngest mayor on the list, should be considered as having a relatively high salary for his age bracket, given that the average age of a manager of a large company to reach the same salary would be 45 to 49 years old. MORE


Big Mac GuideThe Big Mac Guide: Time at work
it takes to afford a Big Mac

Economics: The McDonald’s Big Mac hamburger is sold in some 120 countries around the world. Since it was first introduced in the US in 1967, it has become a truly global product. While in most Western countries the hamburger is an inexpensive convenient meal, for consumers in developing it is often a luxury compared to local dishes. People in cities such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Zurich or Los Angeles need to work less than 15 minutes to be able to afford a Big Mac, while the cost of the McDonald’s hamburger in cities like Istanbul, Jakarta or Mexico City is higher than the average hourly wage. In Nairobi, hungry residents need to work for more than two hours to be able to pay for a Big Mac. MORE