In May 2017 the European Commission tested nearly 200 European cities for their cultural vibrancy, creative economy and 'enabling environment'. The cities were split into different groups based on population size, with Prague competing against 20 other cities of at least 1 million inhabitants — including cultural giants such as Paris and Rome.
And the great news is that in that prestigious company, Prague did exceptionally well.
In the 'creative economy' section of the EU report, Prague received particularly high marks in the 'jobs in new enterprises' category, where it came second after Paris.
But it was in the area of 'cultural vibrancy' that Prague scored best: 1st out of the 21 biggest European cities for its cultural venues and facilities, museums, concerts and shows; and 2nd in the ‘sights and landmarks’ category (after Rome) and theatres (after Brussels).
Why is that so important? The report makes it very clear: 'Culture and creativity and socio-economic wealth mutually reinforce each other.... cultural and creative cities have more jobs and a more diverse work force.'
In fact, compared to all other European cities of over 50,000, Prague and all the other cities in the report have, on average, 8% more people in the the 20-34 age range, 73% more students in higher education, and a 15% higher proportion of highly educated people.
They have something else in common, too: the report reveals that the most successful cities are those which have a healthy proportion of foreigners — from both inside and outside the EU — in their population.