July 27, 2011 / 4:13 PM / in 6 years

NYC caught napping among world's most 24-hour cities

<p>A man walks down a pier across the Empire State Building in New York April 4, 2011.Lucas Jackson</p>

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - So New York is the city that never sleeps? Tick that off as just another urban myth.

A new study about the world's most 24-hour cities ranks New York 32nd on the list, well behind Cairo, Montevideo, Beirut and Malaga and Zaragoza, both in Spain, which captured the top five spots.

Almost every European capital came ahead of New York, with London ranking 17th, Paris 18th, Rome 27th, Lisbon 15th, and even Brussels, commonly thought of as being a sleepy bureaucratic town, came in 11th place in the ranking by the social networking site Badoo.com.

"This will confirm the fears of those who say that New York has grown sterile and sleepy," said Lloyd Price, Badoo's director of marketing. "Some will call it a humiliation."

The ranking is based on an analysis of 120 million online chats spanning 122 million people in 180 countries, which showed activity peaked in Cairo at nearly 1 a.m., which is much later than New York.

"Our studies suggest that New Yorkers are climbing into bed around the same time that their Cairo counterparts are preparing to go out," said Price. "There are seismic changes going on there. They are happy to be alive."

New York tied for 32nd place with Marseilles in France, the Sicilian capital of Palermo, and Montreal, Canada.

"It may be an indication of people not spending as much money late," Price added. "Not as many people seem to be going out, staying out late, partying, drinking."

Of the top ten most nocturnal cities in the world, six of the top 10 were in Spain -- Malaga, Zaragoza, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid. The Argentine capital of Buenos Aires came in 10th place.

"Spain is on a high right now, after having won the World Cup," Price said. "And their economy is doing much better than that of Greece, for example."

Price also noted that the Spanish version of a day is much longer.

"We see a job as an 8-hour working day, but in Spain it's longer, as many people go rest for a few hours," he explained.

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