New York City is home to the world’s wealthiest individuals, according to a new report from investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners.
Some 345,600 so-called centi-millionaires (worth $100 million or more) and 59 billionaires live in the Big Apple, according to the report, with several measures recognizing the financial center of the US as the world’s wealthiest city.
The report finds that around 4% of New York’s 8.38 million residents own investable assets – real estate, cash or stocks – worth over $1 million. The number drops significantly to 15,470 when evaluating those with net worth greater than $10 million.
The total personal wealth of New York residents has been found to exceed $3 trillion. Remarkably, that’s more than the total private wealth of most major G-20 countries.
In second place is Japan’s capital, Tokyo, with 304,900 wealthy individuals. Compared to New York, a much smaller proportion of them have assets worth over $10 million. The report found that 7,350 people in Tokyo are multimillionaires, 263 have $100 million and 12 are billionaires.
The San Francisco Bay Area – which includes Silicon Valley – rounds out the top three wealthiest cities with 276,400 high net worth individuals, of whom 12,890 are multi-millionaires. According to the report, 623 have assets of at least $100 million and 62 billionaires live in the city.
Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston are the other US cities in the top 10, ranking 6thth7thand 8threspectively.
Cities with the fastest growing millionaire population
Houston also has one of the fastest-growing populations of millionaires — high net worth individuals, who are up 6% so far this year, according to the report. Austin, Miami, West Palm Beach and Greenwich are other US cities that have seen large increases in high net worth individuals since the beginning of the year.
The report links this to major American corporations moving their headquarters to these cities. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the shift to flexible working, companies have needed less office space and many employees have moved to smaller cities to improve their quality of life and lower their cost of living.
This trend is particularly prevalent in the tech sector, with Oracle and Tesla relocating to Austin from California and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise to Houston earlier this year.
Additionally, these cities have become top retirement destinations, Andrew Amoils, head of research at wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth, who collaborated with Henley & Partners on the report, told CNBC.
“Florida is an increasingly popular travel destination for high net worth individuals in retirement, particularly those from cities on the East Coast of the United States,” he said.
However, the top 5 cities with the fastest growing millionaire population are not in the US.
Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Sharjah and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Lusaka in Zambia and Luanda in Angola are at the top. In the first half of 2022, they saw the wealthy population increase by up to 20%.
The report ties this to the booming oil and gas industry, which has thrived as energy prices have soared and boosted stock markets in those areas.
Many major cities have seen a decline in millionaires
Wealthy populations are not exploding everywhere – many major cities have fallen behind in the rankings or have seen a significant decline in the number of ultra-wealthy residents.
Of the top 10 cities with the largest number of high net worth individuals, seven saw a decline. Only the San Francisco Bay Area, Singapore and Houston saw increases.
New York, for example, already saw a 12% decline in high net worth individuals in 2022, while Los Angeles saw a 6% decline and Chicago’s share of ultra-rich citizens fell by 4%.
Typically, high net worth individuals in the US are “connected to finding better business opportunities in another city/state. Safety concerns and taxation are also important drivers,” said Amoils.
Another factor to consider is that total wealth has declined in 2022, Amoils said in a paper released alongside the report.
“The number of high net worth individuals worldwide fell by 5% in the six months to June 2022. This drop was mainly due to the poor performance of the main stock market indices,” he said.
That means the decline in the affluent population isn’t just due to moving to other cities — there are simply fewer people who fall into that category.
Various major cities in Europe and Asia also saw a decline in the wealthy population. For example, London in the UK saw a 9% drop, dropping the city to fourth place overall.
France’s capital Paris dropped three places to 20th placethwhile the city lost 12% of its wealthy individuals.
The top 10
According to the Henley & Partners report, these are the 10 richest cities in the world – and how many high net worth individuals live in each of them.
1. New York, USA (345,600)
2. Tokyo, Japan (304,900)
3. San Francisco Bay Area, United States (276,400)
4. London, United Kingdom (272,400)
5. Singapore, Singapore (249,800)
6. Los Angeles, USA (192,400)
7. Chicago, USA (160,100)
8. Houston, USA (132,600)
9. Beijing, China (131,500)
10. Shanghai, China (130,100)