The World’s Wealthiest Cities in 2024 | Editorial | Relocate magazine (2024)

Read the annual report by Henley & Partners and New World Health to discover the world's Top 50 wealthiest cities.

When it comes to the number of resident millionaires with liquid investable wealth of USD1million or more, the US leads the pack, with 11 cities in the Top 50, including New York City, which holds firmly onto 1st place in the 2024 World’s Wealthiest Cities Report, published annually by international wealth migration specialists Henley & Partners in collaboration with global data intelligence firm New World Wealth. The total wealth held by the Big Apple’s residents now exceeds USD 3 trillion — higher than the total wealth held in most major G20 countries ­— and a staggering 349,500 millionaires, 744 centi-millionaires (with investable wealth of over USD100million), and 60 billionaires live in the city.Hot on its heels in 2nd place is Northern California’s Bay Area, encompassing the city of San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The Bay Area has enjoyed one of the world’s highest wealth growth rates, increasing its millionaire population by a whopping 82% over the past decade, and is now home to 305,700 millionaires, 675 centi-millionaires, and 68 billionaires.Tokyo, on the other hand, which led the pack as the world’s wealthiest city a decade ago, has suffered a 5% decline in its resident high-net-worth-individual (HNWI) population over the past ten years, and now sits in 3rd place with just 298,300 millionaires. City-state Singapore has climbed two places to 4th on the global ranking following an impressive 64% increase in millionaires over the past 10 years and looks set to unseat Tokyo as Asia’s wealthiest city very soon. Widely regarded as the most business-friendly city on earth, Singapore is also one of the world’s top destinations for migrating millionaires ­— approximately 3,400 HNWIs moved there in 2023 alone and the city now boasts 244,800 resident millionaires, 336 centi-millionaires, and 30 billionaires.

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London’s falling

London, the wealthiest city in the world for many years, continues to tumble down the ranking, and now sits in 5th place with just 227,000 millionaires, 370 centi-millionaires, and 35 billionaires — a decline of 10% over the past decade. By contrast, Los Angeles, home to 212,100 millionaires, 496 centi-millionaires, and 43 billionaires, has jumped up two places over the 10-year period to 6th place and has enjoyed a notable 45% growth in its wealthy population. Paris, the wealthiest city in mainland Europe, retains its 7th place on the ranking with 165,000 resident millionaires, while Sydney ascends to 8th position with 147,000 HNWIs, after experiencing exceptionally strong wealth growth over the past 20 years.Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, says a key factor driving growth in the world’s wealthiest cities has been the strong performance of financial markets in recent years. “The S&P 500’s 24% gain last year, along with the Nasdaq’s 43% surge and Bitcoin’s staggering 155% rally, has buoyed the fortunes of wealthy investors. Additionally, rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, and blockchain technology have provided new opportunities for wealth creation and accumulation. Yet, even as new opportunities emerge, old risks persist. The war in Ukraine, which has seen Moscow’s millionaire population plummet by 24% to 30,300, is a stark reminder of the fragility of wealth in an uncertain and unstable world.”

China’s millionaire boom

China has established a notable presence on the latest Top 50 Wealthiest Cities ranking, with 5 cities in mainland China making the list and 7 cities when counting Hong Kong (SAR China) (with 143,400 millionaires) and Taipei (30,200). Beijing (125,600 millionaires) makes it into the Top 10 for the first time following an 90% growth in its millionaire population over the past decade, and although Hong Kong has fallen four places over the 10-year period to 9th on the ranking, Shanghai (123,400), Shenzhen (50,300), Guangzhou (24,500), and Hangzhou (31,600) have all recorded significant increases in their millionaire populations.Andrew Amoils, Head of Research at New World Wealth, says Shenzhen is the world’s fastest-growing city for the wealthy, with its millionaire population exploding by 140% in the last ten years. “Hangzhou has also experienced a massive 125% increase in its HNW residents and Guangzhou’s millionaires have grown by 110% over the past decade. When it comes to wealth growth potential over the next decade, cities to watch include Bengaluru (India), Scottsdale (USA), and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). All three have enjoyed exceptional growth rates of over 100% in their resident millionaire populations over the past ten years.”Turning to the Middle East, Dubai easily takes the crown as the wealthiest city in the region, with impressive growth of 78% in its millionaire population over the past 10 years. Currently ranked as the 21st-wealthiest city in the world, the ultra-modern wealth magnate is highly likely to break into the Top 20 in the coming years, and although the UAE’s oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi hasn’t yet cracked a spot in the Top 50 ranking, growth rates of over 75% make it a likely contender in future.While no African or South American cities make it into the Top 50 Wealthiest Cities in the World, the report identifies several rising stars that could well join the ranks of the leading global wealth hubs in the not-too-distant future. Nairobi, Kenya’s bustling capital, now has 4,400 millionaires, a 25% increase over the past decade, driven by its thriving tech ecosystem and growing middle class. Cape Town, South Africa’s stunning coastal gem, has enjoyed a 20% rise in millionaires making it their city of choice and is now home to 7,400 of them.

Most expensive cities in the world

Monaco, arguably the world’s top safe-haven for the super-rich, where the average wealth exceeds USD 20 million, is also the top-ranked city in the world on a wealth per capita basis. Over 40% of the Mediterranean principality’s residents are millionaires — the highest ratio of any city globally. It is also top of the World’s Most Expensive Cities list, with apartment prices regularly exceeding USD 35,000 per m2.New York City ranks 2nd, where the average price of prime real estate is USD 28,400 per m2, followed by London (USD 26,500 per m2), Hong Kong (USD 25,800 per m2), Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in France (USD 25,000 per m2), and Sydney (USD 22,700 per m2). Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, says 7 of the Top 10 wealthiest cities in the world are in countries that host investment migration programs that actively encourage foreign direct investment in return for residence or citizenship rights. “You can secure the right to live, work, study, and invest in leading international wealth hubs such as New York, Singapore, Sydney, Vienna, and Dubai via 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 cities across the world is an increasingly important aspect of international wealth and legacy planning for private clients. The more jurisdictions a family can access, the more diversified its assets, the lower its exposure to country-specific and regional risks, and the greater the opportunities they can enjoy. Likewise, cities and countries can use investment migration as an innovative financing mechanism to attract the world’s wealthiest and most talented to their shores.”Read the full 2024 World’s Wealthiest Cities Report.

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