Where would you live if you were superrich?
“Anywhere I want,” you might answer.
However, more than two-thirds of the world’s 255,810 people who have a net worth of $30 million or more are concentrated in 10 countries, says Wealth-X, which tracks “ultra-high net worth” people so that prestige brands in the financial services, luxury, not-for-profit and higher education fields can market to them.
Wealth-X’s latest annual report says the number of superrich was up nearly 13 percent in 2017 compared with a year earlier. Together they represent $31.5 trillion in wealth, a 16.3 percent gain from 2016.
About 1 in 5 of the superrich are gathered in 10 cities across the globe, five of those in the United States.
Here’s where they live, according to metropolitan area, with the number of ultra-high net worth individuals and the change in the population from the previous year. We also sum up the country rankings, which differ from the city totals because a nation’s superrich may be more spread out rather than concentrated in a few cities.
10. Osaka, Japan
Osaka’s superrich population: 2,730, up 11.7 percent.
A hub of marine transportation, Osaka has been an economic and cultural center of Japan since ancient times. Now a startup hotspot, the city and prefecture has given birth to brands such as Panasonic, Sharp, Suntory and Nissin Food Products, as well as more recently founded high-tech firms including Sakura Internet and Capcom, says Forbes magazine.
9. Washington, D.C.
Washington’s superrich population: 2,735, up 7.7 percent.
The combination of the richest White House in history and a boom in government-related businesses and technology companies is transforming Washington’s affluence into opulence, says the New York Times. Superrich business owners and power players from around the world discovered that Washington homes give them access to the power players in U.S. government.
8. San Francisco
San Francisco’s superrich population: 2,820, up 10.6 percent.
This U.S. city showed the strongest growth over the past year in its superrich population. That wealth growth primarily reflects huge gains in San Francisco’s technology sector, the Wealth-X report says.
Chicago’s superrich population: 3,255, up 7.1 percent.
While the nation’s third-most populous city — an aging industrial giant — is seeing its population shrink overall, it is a magnet for the well-off and well-educated, the Wealth-X report says. The region’s employment options, quality of life and cost of living favor the needs of high-earners rather than lower-earning residents, some demographers say.
London’s superrich population: 3,830, up 10.1 percent.
While dropping back in the rankings to sixth place from fifth a year earlier, London still saw growth in its ultra-wealthy population. Brexit-related uncertainty in United Kingdom financial markets bogged it down, the Wealth-X report says.
Paris’ superrich population: 3,950, up 17.3 percent.
Above-average growth spurred by French President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business tax breaks and a strong economy not only pushed Paris’ ranking above London’s, but also made the French capital Europe’s single largest home to the ultra-rich, the Wealth-X report says. While Germany’s ultra-rich population is larger than France’s, it’s dispersed among more cities, the report says.
4. Los Angeles
Los Angeles’ superrich population: 5,250, up 8.6 percent.
A strong regional economy backs up the presence of wealthy Hollywood celebrities, artists, media and sports stars.
Tokyo’s superrich population: 6,785, up 11.9 percent.
Wealth creation was driven by Tokyo’s status as a major financial hub — the largest in Asia, Wealth-X reports. Japan’s highly accommodating monetary policy also sustained a strong upward trend in its capital city’s real estate market.
2. New York
New York’s superrich population: 8,865, up 7 percent.
The population of ultra-wealthy living in the world’s premier financial center increased, but its growth rate was the weakest among the top 10 cities, Wealth-X says. The relatively modest expansion highlights the increasingly diversified pattern of wealth creation in 2017, not only on a global basis but also within the U.S. itself. As a result, New York (an area for this report that includes New York City, Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey) dropped from the top spot it had held since Wealth-X first started ranking cities in 2011.
1. Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s superrich population: 10,010, up 31 percent.
The semi-autonomous Chinese financial center overtook the New York metropolitan area as the world’s largest ultra-high net worth city. A broad upturn in global financial markets and higher interest rates helped drive robust wealth gains there, Wealth-X says. Enhanced trade and investment links with mainland China, including a direct trading connection between the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock markets, also spurred wealth creation.
Top 10 countries where the super-rich live
With five U.S. cities in the top 10, it’s probably no surprise that the largest concentration of the superrich is in the United States, home to nearly one-third, or 79,595, of them, Wealth-X says. However, Asia overtook North America with the highest growth rate for a region in the number of ultra-wealthy individuals.
Here’s a snapshot of the superrich by population in a country and the percent change from the previous year. Again, it differs from the city list because in some countries, particularly Germany, the ultra-wealthy are more spread out.
10. Italy: 5,960, up 7.9 percent.
9. Switzerland: 6,400, up 13.9 percent.
8. United Kingdom: 9,370, up 9.3 percent.
7. Hong Kong: 10,010, up 31 percent.
6. France: 10,120, up 17.3 percent.
5. Canada: 10,840, up 13.9 percent.
4. Germany: 15,080, up 12.3 percent.
3. China: 16,875, up 14.1 percent.
2. Japan: 17,915, up 11.0 percent.
1. United States: 79,595, up 8.9 percent
Where in the world would you live if you were one of the superrich? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.