Henley & Partners: Singapore now has more millionaires than London

Singapore is now ahead of London in the number of resident millionaires. The “Little Switzerland of Asia” is now in fourth place worldwide, according to the latest study by Henley & Partners.

 

In its annual report “World’s Wealthiest Cities 2024”, Henley & Partners, a firm specializing in international wealth migration, identifies the cities around the globe with the highest concentration of wealthy individuals. The study was carried out in conjunction with global business intelligence firm New World Wealth.

 

While this latest ranking is dominated by American cities and the breakthrough of Asia-Pacific cities to the detriment of European and Japanese cities, Paris, the richest city in continental Europe, retains its 7th place in the ranking with 165,000 resident millionaires. There are no South American or African cities in the ranking.

 

For Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, this growth in the world’s richest cities is due to the combined effect of strong financial market performance and the rapid progress of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain.

 

America still in the lead

 

When it comes to counting the number of HNWNI (High Net Worth Individuals), millionaire residents with investable wealth of $1 million or more, the USA still tops the ranking. Eleven American cities, including New York, feature in the Top 50. Inhabitants of the Big Apple now boast a total wealth of $3,000 billion. There are 349,500 millionaires, 744 centi-millionaires (with investable wealth of over $100 million) and 60 billionaires.

 

The West Coast is not to be outdone, with the Bay Area of Northern California, including San Francisco and Silicon Valley, taking second place. This region has recorded one of the highest rates of wealth growth in the world, increasing its millionaire population by 82% over the last decade. It now boasts 305,700 millionaires, 675 centi-millionaires and 68 billionaires.

 

Los Angeles, with 212,100 millionaires, 496 centi-millionaires and 43 billionaires, has moved up two places in the last ten years to 6th place, benefiting from significant growth in its wealthy population of 45%.

 

Tokyo and London lose ground

 

Tokyo, which was the world’s richest city ten years ago, has seen its population of wealthy individuals fall by 5% over the last ten years. The Japanese capital now occupies third place with just 298,300 millionaires.

 

London, meanwhile, continues to slide down the rankings, coming in fifth. After a 10% decline over the last decade, the City now boasts just 227,000 millionaires, 370 hundred millionaires and 35 billionaires.

 

The lesser attractiveness of London and Tokyo benefits the city that best embodies the fusion of Anglo-Saxon and Asian cultures: Singapore.

 

Singapore’s meteoric rise

 

 

The City-State has moved up two places since the 2023 edition of the World’s Wealthiest Cities ranking to fourth place. This is due to the exponential growth in the number of millionaires in Singapore over the past ten years.

 

In 2023 alone, 3,400 HNWIs settled here, and the city now boasts 244,800 resident millionaires, 336 centi-millionaires and 30 billionaires. This massive influx of wealthy individuals suggests that the city could soon overtake Tokyo.

 

With its exceptional lifestyle, high-tech environment and lush greenery, Singapore is more than ever the gateway to luxury in Asia. Louis Vuitton has just inaugurated its brand-new physical boutique concept, dedicated to the wealthiest 1% of people attracted by this first-class shopping destination.

 

The boom in Chinese millionaires

 

China has established a notable presence in the latest ranking of the 50 richest cities, with 5 conurbations in mainland China on the list, and even 7 if we include Hong Kong (SAR of China) (with 143,400 millionaires) and Taipei (30,200).

China’s capital, Beijing, enters the Top 10 for the first time, thanks to a 90% growth in its millionaire population over the past decade. The city is home to 125,600 millionaires.

 

In contrast to Hong Kong, which has lost four places in the space of ten years, the other cities are doing well. Shanghai (123,400), Shenzhen (50,300), Guangzhou (24,500) and Hangzhou (31,600) all saw significant growth in their millionaire populations.

 

Andrew Amoils, Research Director at New World Wealth, points out that Shenzhen is the fastest-growing city in the world in terms of the number of wealthy individuals. China’s Silicon Valley has seen its millionaire population explode by 140% over the past ten years. Andrew Amoils (New World Wealth) also notes the exceptional growth of Hangzhou and Guangzhou, with increases of 125% and 110% respectively in their wealthy residents.

 

Tomorrow: India and Vietnam

 

As for the future, Asia is full of rising stars such as Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Bengalore in India. Two of India’s most emblematic cities have entered the ranking for the first time: Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and New Delhi, in 24th and 37th place respectively. This top 3 of future millionaire haunts is completed by the American city of Scottsdale (Arizona).

All three cities have seen their millionaire populations grow by over 100% in the last ten years. Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, has seen its super-rich grow by around 75%, offering serious competition to neighboring Dubai.

 

Indeed the Middle East, meanwhile, continues to be dominated by Dubai, ranked 21st richest city in the region, with an impressive 78% growth in its millionaire population over the last ten years. The city is also well positioned to enter the Top 20 richest cities on the planet in the coming years.

 

Finally, Africa is not to be underestimated. Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, now boasts 4,400 millionaires, an increase of 25% over the last decade, thanks to its flourishing technological ecosystem and booming middle class. Cape Town, South Africa’s coastal jewel, saw a 20% increase in the number of millionaires to 7,400.

 

Monaco, the most expensive city

 

When it comes to average wealth, Monaco tops the list at $20 million. The city is also one of the world’s top-ranked in terms of wealth per capita. In fact, over 40% of the Principality’s residents are millionaires, the highest rate of any city in the world. And the superlatives don’t stop there: Monaco is also one of the world’s most expensive cities, with apartment prices regularly exceeding $35,000 per square metre.

 

This ranking of the most expensive cities is rounded out by New York ($28,400 per m2), London ($26,500 per m2), Hong Kong ($25,800 per m2), Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in France ($25,000 per m2) and Sydney ($22,700 per m2).

 

Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, points out that seven of the world’s ten richest cities are located in countries with investment migration programs that actively encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in exchange for residency or citizenship rights. In these privileged metropolises, he notes, “you can get the right to live, work, study and invest through investment.”

 

The ability to locate oneself, one’s family or one’s business in a more favorable urban environment is a growing criterion among the super-rich, both in terms of international wealth planning and inheritance. In this regard, Dominic Volek notes that “cities and countries can use investment migration as an innovative financing mechanism to attract the world’s richest and most talented to their shores.”

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Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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