The World’s Richest People Are Migrating, Here’s Where They’re Moving (and Leaving)

The World’s Richest People Are Migrating, Here’s Where They’re Moving (and Leaving)

It’s almost spring, and you know what that means? That’s right! Tracking the annual migration of the world’s richest people! 82,000 High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI) migrated in 2016, and a new report from New World Wealth tells us where they’re moving too, where they’re moving from, and some of the reasons why.

Where Are They Moving Too?

The top 5 countries that HNWI migrated to last year were Australia, the United States (US), Canada, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and New Zealand. Australia topped the list for the second year in a row, with a positive flow of over 11,000 millionaire migrants. Wealth analyst Andrew Amoils of New World Wealth explained the top reasons for moving to the country are healthcare, weather, geographical proximity to fast growing emerging markets, and relative immunity to “the refugee crisis in Europe.” Their words, not mine.


Top 5 HNWI Net Inflow

Source: New World Wealth.


While quite a few countries have “millionaire visas,” Andrew noted “the majority still come in via work transfers, second passports, ancestry visas, spousal visas, and family visas.” Probably something countries scrambling to implement millionaire visas should note, since some countries have found that millionaire visa holders contribute less income tax money than refugees.

Where Are They Leaving?

We can’t have major inflows without major outflows. The countries that saw the highest number of millionaire migrants leave are France, China, Brazil, India, and Turkey – in that order. France had a whopping outflow of 12,000 HNWI in 2016, which puts their total outflow at 60,000 since 2000. Andrew’s firm believes that “religious tensions between Christians and Muslims” are behind the acceleration in the past year. As for China, they probably aren’t too worried considering they mint a new millionaire every 30 seconds.


Top 5 HNWI Net Outflow

Source: New World Wealth.


“Millionaires are often the first people to leave. They have the means to leave, unlike the middle class.” Andrew explained. Top reasons for leaving according to their survey were crime, women’s safety, economic concerns, education, work, taxes, and healthcare.

Declining Healthcare Had A Higher Impact Than Brexit

The report notes that the six months after Brexit saw very few HNWIs actually leave the country. However, HNWI prefered Australia over the UK because it has “one of the best healthcare systems in the world.” Analysts further noted that “deterioration” of the UK National Health Services (NHS) played a significant role in deterring HNWIS from moving to the UK. Interesting to see that the deterioration of a public healthcare system played a role in determining where some of the richest people in the world decide to live.

So have you been hearing the gentle purr of Bentleys, the click-clack of Louboutins or the sweet smell saffiano leather? You might be in the nest of a HNWI migration.

Note: HNWI are defined differently around the world. For the data used here, a HNWI is someone with at least US$1 million in liquid assets.

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