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Medellín, officially the Municipality of Medellín, is the second-largest city in Colombia, after Bogotá, and the capital of the department of Antioquia. It is located in the Aburrá Valley, a central region of the Andes Mountains in South America. On 2 November 1675, the queen consort Mariana of Austria founded the «Town of Our Lady of Candelaria of Medellín» in the Aná region, which today corresponds to the centre of the city and first describes the region as «Medellín». At the beginning of the 21st century, the city regained industrial dynamism, with the construction of the Medellín Metro commuter rail, liberalized development policies, improved security and improved education. Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have lauded the city as a pioneer of a post-Washington consensus «local development state» model of economic development. The city is promoted internationally as a tourist destination and is considered a global city type «Gamma -» by GaWC. The Medellín Metropolitan Area produces 67% of the Department of Antioquia's GDP and 11% of the economy of Colombia. Medellín is important to the region for its universities, academies, commerce, industry, science, health services, flower-growing and festivals.

Data and Facts

Medellin’s estimated economic growth has been similar to the national average.

Medellin’s income per capita, the annual average income, is considerably higher than the average of the country’s 13 largest cities.

The 2018 unemployment rate of Medellin’s metropolitan area reached almost 12% after a steady increase that followed a historic low in 2015.

Medellin’s poverty rate increased for the first time in 2018 after more than a decade of steady decline. Still, poverty levels are half of Colombia’s national average.


Medellín is a city governed by a republican democratic system as stated in the Colombian Constitution of 1991, with the decentralized government. The administration is shared by the Mayor of Medellín and the Municipal Council, both elected by popular vote. The municipality is made up of official departments including departments for social mobility, urban culture, social development, education, evaluation and control, government, resources, public works, administrative services, environment, women, and transportation.

Corregimientos of Medellín

The remaining zones outside the urban zones comprise five corregimientos. Further, the municipality belongs to the Medellín Metropolitan Area, which is made up of ten neighbouring municipalities.

Law and government

The government of the city of Medellín is divided into executive and legislative branches.

Local development state

La Alpujarra is the mayor of the city and the governor of the Antioquia department. In addition to infrastructure projects, the city administration has developed a program of cash grants called 'the Medellín Solidaria' programme that is very similar to Brazil's highly successful Bolsa Familia and also the city runs the Culture programme. According to the city administration, Medellín Solidaria represents an improvement in Colombia's national programme, 'Familias en Accion'. The CEDEZOs are found in the poorest areas of Medellín and support the poor in developing business by providing free-of-charge business support services and technical advice.

This has helped create more equal opportunities for all and overcome the barriers to entry to business for poor entrepreneurs with good ideas, but lacking capital, skills and connections


Medellín is one of Colombia's economic centres. Its economy is led by a powerful group of people from the private sector known as the Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño. Medellín serves as headquarters for many national and multinational companies. Medellín's main economic products are steel, textiles, confections, food and beverage, agriculture, public services, chemical products, pharmaceuticals, refined oil, and flowers.

Fashion is a major part of the economy and culture of the city. Medellín hosts Latin America's biggest fashion show, Colombiamoda. Aerolínea de Antioquia has its headquarters on the grounds of Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport in Medellín. West Caribbean Airways had its headquarters on the grounds of Olaya Herrera Airport.

Business Environment

Medellin is widely recognized for its entrepreneurial spirit. However, only a small minority of the city’s registered businesses has a business worth more than $13,000 in 2017. The majority of businesses are considered “micro-businesses” and almost half of Medellin’s businesses are not registered.

Medellin is widely recognized for its entrepreneurial spirit. However, only a small minority of the city’s registered businesses has a business worth more than $13,000 in 2017. The majority of businesses are considered “micro-businesses” and almost half of Medellin’s businesses are not registered.


The Metro connects the city with most of its metropolitan area. Colombia has become Latin America's largest user of such complimentary transportation service throughout the country. In 2006, construction began on Metroplús, a bus rapid transit service with a dedicated road, much like Bogotá's TransMilenio, to allow faster transit for the service's buses. Metroplus will help lessen the city's pollution and traffic, as many old buses will be taken out of service, while the new buses will work with natural gas.

Medellín's Metrocable at Santo Domingo Savio station. Because of its projects on sustainable transport, the city obtained, along with San Francisco, the 2012 Sustainable Transport Award, given by the Institute for Transport and Development Policy. The Colombia and Latin America's second-largest and most modern tunnel, the Western Tunnel, officially named the Fernando Gomez Martinez Tunnel, is located between Medellín and Santa Fe de Antioquia. The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Medellín, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 66 min.

12% of public transit riders ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 11 min, while 14. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 5.9 km, while 5% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.


To the people who live in the poor mountainside communities once known as favelas at the edges of Medellín, Colombia, the gondola system is a lifeline, and a powerful symbol of an extraordinary urban transformation led by technology and data.

The technology that helped save Medellín is not what you'd see in San Francisco, Boston or Singapore—fleets of driverless cars, big tech companies and artificial intelligence. It is about gathering data to make informed decisions on how to deploy technology where it has the most impact.

The banking group CITI partnered with the Urban Land Institute to choose the world’s most innovative city based on its economy, urban development, culture/livability, technology and research, among other measures.

Medellin has taken a shine to this kind of attention, creating a host of incentives to attract entrepreneurial and international startups.

In 2013, the city government committed $389M over 10 years to technology and innovation.

Part of this free sponsorship is "Ruta N." This massive business incubator on the city’s north side is sponsored by Telecom giant Tigo. It was built to accommodate businesses as small as sole practitioners – lean startups at their leanest. Grounded in the Medellin’s Sevilla neighbourhood, a block from the University of Antioquia is the Ruta N’s green campus.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

Despite strong scores on amenities such as entertainment and nightlife and neighbourhoods, Medellín’s crime rate draws cause for concern. While there have been recent improvements in this category, more must be done to support the positive attributes associated with other quality of place variables in Medellín, such as strong civic capital and cultural facilities.

Colombia’s government uses social stratification to determine citizens’ rights to government subsidies on public utilities. The system, however, is criticized as its traditional class system allows employers and banks to discriminate based on social class.

The social stratification in Medellin is not linked to income but determined by the neighbourhood you live in. Residents in lower-ranked sectors receive a subsidy on public utilities while those living in the higher-ranked neighbourhoods pay extra.

Despite having introduced social stratification in the 1990s already, Medellin’s 2017 report on the quality of life registered hardly an impact on residents' quality of life.








Vision / R&D
Finance / Economy
Talent / People / Culture
Innovation / Livability
Smart policies / Tax incentives
Social impact
March 2, 1616
 • Type
 • Body
Alcaldía de Medellín
 • Mayor
Daniel Quintero, 2019–2023
380.64 km2 (146.97 sq mi)
 • Metro
1,152 km2 (445 sq mi)
1,495 m (4,905 ft)
 • Metro
 • Metro density
6,925/km2 (17,940/sq mi)
Sourced by wikipedia