The figures for the world’s wealthiest cities came from global citizenship consultancy Henley & Partners, whose analysis analyzed how quickly millionaire growth has expanded in major cities around the world over the last decade. It’s also worth noting that several of these cities allow for easier immigration based on bigger sums of investment, giving millionaires and billionaires an advantage over other foreign nationals.
Henley & Partners commissioned New World Wealth, a global intelligence business, to collect data from 97 cities in nine areas throughout the world to compile this ranking. The cities were assessed based on the spending habits of nearly 150,000 high-net-worth individuals, with a focus on those with more than $10 million in investable assets.
Three of the world’s richest cities are in the United States and three are in China, but there are a few other big countries represented as well. Check out the list below to see whether your city made the cut.
1. New York City
It may come as no surprise to you that New York City is the wealthiest city in the world: According to the survey, the city is home to 340,000 millionaires, 724 centimillionaires, and 58 billionaires.
It also has one of the most costly real estate options in the country (a midtown Manhattan penthouse, of course) and some of the world’s most expensive restaurants, so millionaires and billionaires have plenty of room to play. Indeed, the survey claims that the population of high-net-worth individuals has increased by 40% since 2012, which helps to explain the city’s top rank on this list.
Tokyo, Japan, is ranked second, owing to the city accounting for 21% of the country’s total millionaire population. It has 250 centi-millionaires and 14 billionaires, according to the research. It is also Japan’s economic center, with world-renowned corporations such as Honda and Sony based there.
3. The Bay Area
According to the Henley & Partners research, the Bay Area in California, which encompasses both San Francisco and Silicon Valley, is home to 285,000 millionaires, 629 centi-millionaires, and 63 billionaires. (So, no, it’s not just tech CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook have money to spend there!)
From 2012 to 2022, the Bay Area’s population of high-net-worth individuals increased by 68 percent, and Los Altos, located just on the western border of Silicon Valley, has been designated the second richest city in America, with a typical family income of $235,278.
With 258,000 resident millionaires, 384 centi-millionaires, and 36 billionaires, London ranks fourth on this list. It also has some of the world’s most expensive zip codes, with mansions in Kensington selling for as much as $14 million. You can also easily visit most of Europe from London (think: weekend excursions to Paris, Brussels, Ibiza, and more), which adds to its allure, as does some of the world’s best shopping.
Singapore ranks sixth on the list with 240,100 millionaires, 329 centi-millionaires, and 27 billionaires. According to the report, the number of high-net-worth persons has grown by 40% since 2012, matching that of New York: in fact, close to 2,900 high-net-worth individuals migrated there in 2022, according to the Henley Private Wealth Migration Dashboard. Singapore is also popular among wealthy migrants because to its low tax and crime rates, as well as its pleasant tropical climate.
6. Los Angeles
Long renowned as the world’s entertainment hub, Los Angeles is home to 480 millionaires and 42 billionaires. Since 2012, the increase rate of high-net-worth individuals has been a stunning 35%, and this includes wealth held in high-profile regions such as Beverly Hills and Malibu.
In fact, one of the most expensive residences in the world, a gorgeous, seaside-front mansion on two and a half immaculate acres of land in Malibu, retails for $115 million. And, if Selling Sunset has taught us anything, it’s that there are countless other properties in the city that look exactly like it!
7. Hong Kong
According to the Henley & Partners research, Hong Kong ranks seventh on the list since it is home to many of Asia’s wealthiest: After all, Hong Kong is home to 129,500 millionaires, 290 centi-millionaires, and 32 billionaires.
In addition, Hong Kong has the world’s second most expensive real estate:According to Savills, a U.K.-based real estate company, Hong Kong has the highest average price per square meter in the world, only beaten by Morocco. What is the most well-known area?Mount Nicholson Road is a premium development site with mansions that frequently sell for more than $90 million.
Beijing, China’s second city on this list, has 128,200 millionaires, 354 centi-millionaires, and a stunning 43 billionaires, which is one of the highest figures (only New York and the Bay Area have higher numbers).
According to the report, the growth of high-net-worth individuals in Beijing has been exponential at 70%, implying that more and more people are moving there—especially given that it is the headquarters for many of the world’s largest companies (including Bank of China, the world’s fourth largest bank, and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, among others).
Shanghai, also in China, is ranked ninth, with the largest growth of high-net-worth individuals of any city on the list, growing 72 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the survey. It is also recognized as China’s financial capital, with 127,200 millionaires, 332 centi-millionaires, and 40 billionaires.
In actuality, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is the world’s third-largest stock market by market capitalization (after the NYSE and the Nasdaq). Harrods, the luxury department store, has also announced that it will build its first private members’ club in Shanghai this year, with fees starting at $21,000.
With 126,900 millionaires, 184 centi-millionaires, and 15 billionaires among its residents, Sydney is home to some of the world’s most desirable residential neighborhoods, including Bellevue Hill, Darling Point, Mosman, Point Piper, and Vaucluse. Sydney’s typical home price is $1.3 million, and Savills ranks it seventh in the world for the highest average price per square meter in real estate.
“The city has experienced especially strong wealth growth over the past 20 years, and is quickly becoming one of the wealthiest cities in the Asia Pacific region,” according to the research. “We expect this growth to continue, with Sydney projected to break into the global Top 5 wealthiest cities by 2040.”