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Investment migration policies correlate with relative city wealth

New York tops the list of the wealthiest cities in the world.

Lower Manhattan skyline and New York city. — © AFP
Lower Manhattan skyline and New York city. — © AFP

Where are the wealthiest cities in the world? It perhaps comes as no surprise that the U.S. dominates the world’s Top 20 cities with the most millionaires in 2022, with New York taking the gilded crown with 345,600 millionaires.

This is followed by five other U.S. cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Dallas forming the wealthiest cities ranking top ten. However, a U.S. city does not follow New York. Instead, Tokyo is in 2nd place with 304,900 resident high-net-worth individuals worth over $1 million. In fourth place is London, which was the wealthiest city in the world for many years. This drop is triggered by the San Francisco Bay Area scooping up third spot, with 272,400 millionaires.

These rankings have been amassed and poured over in the latest Henley Global Citizens Report, which tracks private wealth migration trends worldwide.

There are some movers and shakers. Two Chinese cities, Beijing (9th) and Shanghai (10th), make it into the Top 10 for the first time. Switzerland and Australia each manage to secure two top city spots, in the next ten, with Sydney (11th), Zurich (15th), Melbourne (17th), and Geneva (19th) all making the cut.

Singapore (5th), Hong Kong (SAR China) (12th), Frankfurt (13th), Toronto (14th), Seoul (16th), and finally Paris, plummeting 3 places to 20th, make up the rest of the 2022 ranking.

The report features data compiled from the global wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth and includes the five wealthiest cities in each major region, and the 25 fastest growing cities in terms of millionaire growth.

Looking at the data, Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, points out that 14 of the Top 20 are in countries that host investment migration programs: “The right to live, work, study, and invest in leading international wealth hubs such as New York, London, Singapore, Sydney, and Toronto can be secured via residence by investment.”

Investment migration is a form of legal migration used by over 80 countries around the world, including several EU countries, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Caribbean nations. It allows individuals to gain citizenship or residence rights in return for investments in their host countries.

Despite it being harder to enter the U.K. post-Brexit, the trend is clear. Steffen notes in relation to migration: “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.”

Patterns of wealth vary according to resources and markets and this is subject to change. The millionaire populations of Dubai, Mumbai, and Shenzhen are expected to break into the Top 20 wealthiest cities by 2030.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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