Business Maverick

WEALTH REPORT

That’s rich — New York City leads the way when it comes to millionaires

That’s rich — New York City leads the way when it comes to millionaires
A shopper in New York City, which tops the list of the world's wealthiest cities. (Photo: Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The latest World’s Wealthiest Cities Report, published by migration specialists Henley & Partners in partnership with New World Wealth, shows one in 24 New Yorkers is a dollar millionaire.

New York might not be regarded as one of the happiest cities in the world, but it sure is wealthy. The Big Apple has just emerged as the city with the most dollar millionaire residents in the world, in a country where 11 other cities are also in the top 50.

There are no cities from Africa or South America in the world’s top 50 wealthiest cities report, but Cape Town and Nairobi — not Johannesburg — have been picked out as strong contenders for a top 50 position in the coming years. Kenya’s capital now has 4,400 millionaires, which is a 25% increase over the past decade — largely driven by its thriving tech revolution — while Cape Town has seen a 20% increase over the same period. South Africa’s premier tourist city is now home to 7,400 millionaires.

Last month, Henley & Partners’ Africa Wealth Report said Johannesburg was still the wealthiest city in Africa, with 12,300 millionaires, 25 centi-millionaires, and two billionaires, although property prices are far lower in the City of Gold than the Mother City. Sandton — the “richest square mile in Africa” — can only command $1,800 per square metre for property, while Cape Town’s property is the most expensive, with prime residential spaces fetching $5,600/sq m.

The latest World’s Wealthiest Cities Report, published by migration specialists Henley & Partners in partnership with New World Wealth, shows one in 24 New Yorkers is a dollar millionaire. Together, the city’s 349,500 millionaires, 744 centi-millionaires (who have investable wealth above $100-million) and 60 billionaires hold total wealth in excess of $3-trillion. That’s more than the total wealth held in most G20 countries, says the report.

Just over a decade ago, the wealth report found only one in 36 New Yorkers were millionaires.

A Fiscal Policy Institute report released in December 2023 said that New York state lost 2,400 millionaire households from 2020 to 2022, but gained 17,500 millionaire households in the same period due to a strong economy and rising wages.

That report concluded that despite out-migration by some high earners during the pandemic, the state’s total population of those earning more than $1-million annually grew by about 30% during the pandemic. It said federal stimulus policies, low interest rates and a booming stock market helped many high-earning New Yorkers to profit during the pandemic.

In Henley & Partners’ second place this year is the Bay Area of Northern California, which includes San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The Bay Area has seen a sharp rise in wealth growth in recent years, increasing its millionaire population by 82% over the past decade. Today, 305,700 millionaires, 675 centi-millionaires and 68 billionaires live in the region.

Tokyo dropped into third position, after leading as the world’s wealthiest city a decade ago. It lost 5% of its resident high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) over the past decade and now has just 298,300 millionaires.

London, which topped the list for many years, now sits in fifth place with 227,000 millionaires, 370 centi-millionaires and 35 billionaires. It has lost 10% of its HNWIs over the past decade.

City-state Singapore, which has seen a 64% increase in millionaires in a decade, has climbed two places to fourth. Singapore is also one of the world’s top destinations for migrating millionaires ­— about 3,400 HNWIs moved there last year. The city now has 244,800 resident millionaires, 336 centi-millionaires and 30 billionaires.

Los Angeles, in sixth position, has 212,100 millionaires, 496 centi-millionaires and 43 billionaires. The City of Angels has jumped two places in a decade and seen a 45% growth in its wealthy population.

Paris is the wealthiest city in Europe and keeps its 7th place on the ranking with 165,000 resident millionaires.

Five cities in mainland China are in the top 50: Beijing (125,600 millionaires) is in the top 10 for the first time after a 90% growth in its millionaire population over the past decade. While Hong Kong has dropped four places in a decade to 9th, Shanghai (123,400), Shenzhen (50,300), Guangzhou (24,500), and Hangzhou (31,600) have all had significant increases in their millionaire populations. DM

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