Where the Super-Wealthy Live: the Top 32 Cities

wealthy
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Some people aren’t just rich. They are super-rich.

According to research firm Wealth-X, there were 226,450 people who fit the definition of having an ultra-high net worth — at least $30 million — in 2016. Together, these “UHNW” have a combined wealth of $27 trillion.

Where do these ultra-wealthy people live? All over the world. Wealth-X issued a report listing the top metro areas with the most UHNW individuals living in them as of 2016. The report was for 30 top cities, but since there were a couple of ties, there are actually 32 entries on the list.

Here they are, starting at the bottom and work our way up to the city that is home to the most super-rich folks.

30. Shanghai: 960 ultra-high net worth individuals

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Although China is home to the second-largest number of ultra-wealthy people, those individuals are spread out across a massive country. Shanghai, the most populous city in China and a global financial hub, now has 960 residents who are worth $30 million or more. That’s a relatively modest number considering the city’s size, but represents a dramatic change from just a few decades back when the communist country adopted economic reforms.

30. Phoenix: 960

Phoenix at dusk.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

U.S. cities dominate the Wealth-X list, accounting for more than half of all the metro areas included. First up is Phoenix, Arizona. Its metro area, which includes Mesa and Scottsdale, includes 960 of the richest men and women in the world.

30. Moscow: 960

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Since the fall of the communist Soviet Union, some people have seen their fortunes soar in the former USSR. Russia’s capital of Moscow is home to oligarchs who have made their money in oil, metals and banking among other industries. However, the number of ultra-wealthy individuals declined 4 percent from 2015 to 2016.

28. San Diego: 1,070

La Jolla, California waterfront property
Autumn Sky Photography / Shutterstock.com

Tying for the next-highest spot on this list is San Diego. Its metro area, which extends to Carlsbad, California, has 1,070 residents worth more than $30 million. Of these, the richest is Gwendolyn Sontheim Meyer, who has a stake in the food company Cargill that was founded by her great-grandfather.

28. Munich: 1,070

Munich in the evening, aerial view.
Vlada Photo / Shutterstock.com

Wealth-X notes that Germany has the most ultra-wealthy individuals of any country in Europe. However, those people are spread out across the continent, which means only one German city made the cut. Munich, home to 1,070 UHNW residents, ties for the 28th ranking.

27. Seoul: 1,080

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The ultra-rich in Seoul, South Korea, include those who have made their fortunes off Samsung electronics and Hyundai automobiles.

26. Taipei: 1,110

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Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, takes the No. 26 spot with 1,110 residents who are worth $30 million or more. Their wealth was made in finance, electronics, food and a plethora of other industries.

25. Detroit: 1,150

Downtown Detroit.
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com

After years of declining population and crumbling infrastructure, Detroit has spent the last decade trying spark a renaissance. Its efforts might be working, as the number of ultra-wealthy individuals in the Detroit metro, which includes Warren and Dearborn, Michigan, increased by 9.5 percent from 2015 to 2016.

24. Stockholm: 1,160

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The Swedish city of Stockholm also has seen the number of its ultra-wealthy residents grow. The 1,160 UHNW individuals reflect a 7.4 percent increase from the year before.

23. Minneapolis: 1,230

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Minneapolis, Minnesota, might not seem like the type of place where the rich would hang out. After all, wouldn’t they want to live somewhere perpetually warm and sunny? Well, at least 1,230 UHNW people are partial to the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington metro area. These include a billionaire investor who owns part of the food company Cargill and the CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting.

22. San Jose: 1,390

San Jose, California
mTaira / Shutterstock.com

Thanks to stock options given to the employees of startups, the dawn of the internet age made a lot of millionaires in Silicon Valley. However, when it comes to the number of ultra-wealthy residents, the San Jose metro area, which includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, only ranks 22nd globally. Of the 1,390 UHNW people living in the area, you might recognize a name or two — such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was worth nearly $70 billion, according to Forbes.

21. Nagoya: 1,410

Nagoya shopping entrance.
Allen.G / Shutterstock.com

The third-largest city in Japan ranks 21st in the world for ultra-wealthy residents. In 2016, it had 1,410 people in its metro area worth $30 million or more. That’s an increase of 16.5 percent from 2015.

20. Miami: 1,450

Miami, Florida
littleny / Shutterstock.com

The metro area of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida, can boast of 1,450 residents worth at least $30 million. They include hedge fund managers, investors and the chairman of the Carnival cruise line.

19. Atlanta: 1,590

Atlanta, Georgia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Atlanta lands in the number 19 spot for ultra-wealthy residents. Its metro area, which includes Sandy Springs and Roswell, Georgia, has 1,590 super-rich residents. Among them is Georgia’s only female billionaire: Sara Blakey is the founder of Spanx, the intimate apparel company known for its slimming undergarments.

18. Seattle: 1,660

Seattle
Albert Pegp / Shutterstock.com

As the home base for Microsoft, Seattle not surprisingly has some rather wealthy residents. Most notably, it is home to Bill Gates, now the second-richest man in the world (after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos). However, the area surrounding Seattle, Tacoma and Bellevue, Washington, has about 1,659 other residents who are worth more than $30 million as well.

17. Toronto: 1,760

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Canada is home to only one of the world’s top cities for ultra-wealthy residents. There are 1,760 UHNW individuals living in Toronto.

16. Zurich: 1,930

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Zurich serves as a global hub for finance and banking, so it’s not surprising that people with deep pockets call the city in Switzerland home. The 1,930 ultra-rich people in the Zurich region include those who have made their fortunes in banking, commodities and chocolate.

15. Philadelphia: 2,020

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

If you think the City of Brotherly Love is only a haven for hard-working middle class families, you’d be mistaken. It’s also home to 2,020 of the richest people in the world. That’s enough for Philadelphia and the surrounding cities of Camden and Wilmington, Pennsylvania, to rank as No. 15 worldwide among the top cities in terms of the number of UHNW residents.

14. Boston: 2,090

Boston, Massachusetts street scene.
Sunny Chanruangvanich / Shutterstock.com

Boston is just a step ahead of Philadelphia. The metro area of Boston, Cambridge and Newton, Massachusetts, has 2,090 residents worth $30 million or more. Most notable is Sheldon Adelson, the octogenarian chairman of Las Vegas Sands Corp. and founder of the largest casino company in the U.S.

13. Singapore: 2,170

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As a city-state, Singapore doesn’t cover a lot of space on the globe, but it packs in 2,170 of the world’s most valuable individuals. You probably aren’t familiar with Robert and Philip Ng, the richest people in Singapore. However, you may recognize the name of the second-wealthiest resident, Eduardo Saverin. Along with Mark Zuckerberg, he was one of the original co-founders of Facebook.

12. Houston: 2,290

Houston, Texas skyline
Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock.com

The Houston metro area ranks 12th on the list, but the number of ultra-wealthy residents there dropped 3.4 percent from 2015 to 2016. While it’s the only U.S. city to post a decline, there remained 2,290 UHNW individuals living in Houston, the Woodlands and Sugar Land, Texas, at the time of Wealth-X’s survey. It remains to be seen whether the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey could have led some of those folks to pack up and leave last year.

11. San Francisco: 2,310

San Francisco
Pius Lee / Shutterstock.com

San Francisco’s 2,310 UHNW residents make it 11th on this list, but many of those rich people are really, REALLY rich. Wealth-X notes the city ranks fifth on its list of top billionaire cities. The richest people in the Bay Area — which includes San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward, California — include Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

10. Dallas: 2,330

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

The Dallas metro area saw its ultra-rich population increase 5.4 percent from 2015 to 2016. The metro area of Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas, has 2,330 residents worth $30 million or more.

9. Osaka-Kyoto: 2,390

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Although they may not have the same name recognition as Tokyo, the cities of Osaka and Kyoto, Japan, have their own charms. Kyoto, for instance, was the former capital of the country and is known for its shrines, temples and scenery. The two cities are also home to 2,390 of the world’s richest people.

8. Washington, D.C.: 2,570

Washington, D.C.
orhan-cam / Shutterstock.com

The capital of the United States brings together political power and big money. Wealth-X says there are 2,570 individuals worth $30 million or more in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding cities of Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. These, of course, include the wealthy resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

7. Chicago: 3,110

Overhead view of Chicago shoreline
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Chicago is another city known for being gritty, but it too has plenty of wealth within its metro area. Both the Windy City and surrounding cities Naperville and Elgin, Illinois, can claim 3,110 ultra-rich residents. These include hedge fund founder Ken Griffin, real estate tycoon Neil Bluhm and self-made billionaire Patrick Ryan.

6. Paris: 3,440

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The number of UHNW individuals in Paris is inching up, and Wealth-X suggests the capital of France might soon have the most super-rich residents in Europe. However, for now, the City of Light lands in the second spot for Europe and gets the sixth ranking globally.

5. London: 3,630

Engel Ching / Shutterstock.com

London may have had 3,630 UHNW residents in its metro area in 2016, but that’s down 14.6 percent from the previous year. The city is the only one in the top 10 to see its ultra-wealthy population decline, and it had the largest percentage drop of any city on the list. Wealth-X attributes the change to a weak currency and concerns over Britain’s planned exit from the European Union, or Brexit.

4. Los Angeles: 4,600

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Hollywood may be one of the most famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, but movie stars aren’t the richest people in town. The metro area of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim, California, is home to 4,600 people worth $30 million or more. Notable names include Tesla founder Elon Musk, entertainment mogul David Geffen and movie director and producer Steven Spielberg.

3. Tokyo: 6,040

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Among the top cities for UHNW individuals, Tokyo saw the biggest annual leap in the number of its super-rich residents. The Japanese city had 6,040 people worth $30 million or more in 2016, a 17.5 percent increase from the year before.

2. Hong Kong: 7,650

TungCheung / Shutterstock.com

As a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong serves as a major global port and financial center. It is also home to 7,650 ultra-rich individuals. These folks aren’t names you would necessarily recognize, but they made their money in real estate, casinos and financial services, among other things.

1. New York City: 8,350

An aerial view of Penn Station in Manhattan, New York City
Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock.com

It should be little surprise that New York City — home to Wall Street, myriad media enterprises and $80 million penthouses — would attract those with big bucks. Its metro area, which includes Newark and Jersey City in neighboring New Jersey, has 8,350 ultra-wealthy residents. Those include famous names like Michael Bloomberg, Carl Icahn and Rupert Murdoch.

Is your city on the list of hotspots for the ultra-wealthy? What does wealth look like where you live? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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