When it comes to the number of resident millionaires, cities in the USA and China dominate the World’s Top 10 Wealthiest Cities, while only one European city, namely London, makes it onto the 2023 list published today by international investment migration firm Henley & Partners in partnership with global wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth.
New York City wears the crown as the wealthiest in the world with 340,000 millionaires, while two other American wealth hubs — the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles — come in 3rd and 6th places, with 285,000 and 205,400 resident high-net-worth individuals, respectively (note: HNWIs are defined as those with investable wealth of over USD 1 million and all figures are rounded off to the nearest 100).
Tokyo, which led the pack ten years ago, falls to 2nd place with 290,300 millionaires, and London, the wealthiest city in the world for many years, drops down to 4th place with 258,000 resident HNWIs. City-state Singapore, widely regarded as the most business-friendly city in the world and one of the top destinations for migrating millionaires, sits in 5th place with 240,100 resident millionaires, while Sydney comes in 10th place with 126,900 millionaires. Home to some of the world’s most exclusive residential suburbs, Sydney has experienced especially strong wealth growth over the past 20 years and is projected to break into the global Top 5 wealthiest cities by 2040.
Asia Pacific cities gain ground over past decade
China has three cities in the Top 10, with Hong Kong (129,500 millionaires), Beijing (128,200), and Shanghai (127,200) taking 7th, 8th, and 9th places, respectively. Beijing and Shanghai have both climbed the rankings over the past decade, but Hong Kong has taken a tumble, dropping from 4th place in 2012 down to 7th place currently.
Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, says 7 of the Top 10 wealthiest cities in the world are in countries that host formal investment migration programs and actively encourage foreign direct investment in return for residence or citizenship rights. “The right to live, work, study, and invest in leading international wealth hubs such as New York, London, Singapore, Sydney, and Hong Kong can be secured via residence by investment. Being able to relocate yourself, your family, or your business to a more favorable city or have the option to choose between multiple different residences across the world is an increasingly important aspect of international wealth and legacy planning for private clients.”
Economic rivals America and China vie for millionaire growth
The US and China also dominate the Top 10 list of fastest growing cities when it comes to resident millionaires over the past decade. One of China’s most enduringly popular holiday spots, Hangzhou, tops the charts in this respect with millionaire growth of 105% between 2012 and 2022. High-tech capital, Shenzhen, and the port city of Guangzhou also enjoyed significant HNWI expansion over the past decade, at 98% and 86%, respectively. The three fastest growing millionaire hotspots in the US are Austin (102% growth in resident HNWIs), West Palm Beach (90%), and Scottsdale (88%). India has two cities in the Top 10 — Bengaluru (88%) and Hyderabad (78%) — and the final two places go to the UAE’s cultural hub Sharjah (84%) and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (82%) which is fast emerging as Asia’s next big wealth hub.
Head of Research at New World Wealth, Andrew Amoils, says traditional wealth magnets such as Monaco and Dubai have also experienced especially strong millionaire growth over the past decade. “Arguably the world’s top safe haven for the super-rich, the average wealth of a person living in Monaco exceeds USD 10 million, making it the top-ranked city on a wealth per capita basis. It is also the world’s most expensive city, with apartment prices regularly exceeding USD 35,000 per square meter. Dubai is another established international wealth centre, with its low tax rates making it a magnet for migrating millionaires from all over the world. Approximately 3,500 high-net-worth individuals moved to the city in 2022 alone.”
The World’s Wealthiest Cities Report 2023 includes HNWI population data for 97 cities across the world, as well as HNWI growth stats for the past decade (2012 to 2022) along with seasonal hotspots for centi-millionaires (those individuals with investable wealth of USD 100 million or more).