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Four Australian cities among the world’s wealthiest

Sydney has been named one of the world’s wealthiest cities, with 147,000 millionaires calling the Harbour City home.

According to wealth migration specialists, Henley & Partners, 2024 World’s Wealthiest Cities Report, Sydney comes in at Number 8. 

The city has 147,000 millionaires, with more than US$1 million, 205 Centi-millionaires (more than US$100 million) and 20 billionaires. 

Sydney has experienced especially strong millionaire growth over the past 20 years and is quickly becoming one of the wealthiest cities in the Asia Pacific region,” New World Wealth Head of Research, Andrew Amoils, said.

“It traditionally attracts over 1,500 millionaires per year via migration and is home to some of the world’s most affluent suburbs including Bellevue Hill, Point Piper, Mosman, and Vaucluse.”

Other Australian cities to make the list include Melbourne at Number 15, Perth at Number 34 and Brisbane at Number 42.

Auckland, in New Zealand, also made the top 50, coming in at Number 49.

Melbourne has 97,900 millionaires, 112 centi-millionaires and 10 billionaires, while Perth has 33,600 millionaires, 64 centi-millionaires and 8 billionaires.

Brisbane has 27,200 millionaires, 40 centi-millionaires and 4 billionaires.

Source: Henley & Partners, 2024 World’s Wealthiest Cities Report.

The title of the world’s wealthiest city goes to New York, with 349,500 millionaires, 744 centi-millionaires and 60 billionaires. 

This is closely followed by Northern California’s Bay Area in the US (305,700 – 675 – 68) and Tokyo in Japan (298,300 – 267 – 14).

According to the report, the Bay Area has enjoyed one of the world’s highest wealth growth rates, increasing its millionaire population by a whopping 82 per cent over the past decade.

Tokyo, on the other hand, which led the pack as the world’s wealthiest city a decade ago, has suffered a 5 per cent decline in its resident high-net-worth-individual (HNWI) population over the past 10 years.

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 per cent 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 per cent growth in its wealthy population. 

Paris, the wealthiest city in mainland Europe, retains its 7th place on the ranking with 165,000 resident millionaires.

Henley & Partners Chief Executive Officer Dr Juerg Steffen said 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 per cent gain last year, along with the Nasdaq’s 43 per cent surge and Bitcoin’s staggering 155 per cent rally, has buoyed the fortunes of wealthy investors,” he said.

“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 per cent to 30,300, is a stark reminder of the fragility of wealth in an uncertain and unstable world.”

Henley & Partners Group Head of Private Clients, Dominic Volek, said seven of the top 10 wealthiest cities were 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,” he said.

“Being able to relocate yourself, your family, or your business to a more favourable 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.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.