The 20 cities with the most millionaires, London in top five

08 June 2017 4 min. read

Monaco has again been named as the top city for millionaire density in the world, but London remains in the top five, according to GlobalData. Research from the company’s WealthInsight group has also revealed a decline in proportional millionaire presence in all returning members of 2017’s top 20.

The Monaco Grand Prix may have passed, with the entourage of the world’s richest sport blowing through the Principality on the 28th of June in a race won by top-earner Sebastian Vettel, of Ferrari, but a multitude of millionaires remain in the region. The city-state, which is also home to the 2017 Ligue 1 football champions AS Monaco, was recently named the top city for millionaire density, in figures posted by data consultancy GlobalData.

In analysis performed by WealthInsight, the firm’s affluence research wing, Monaco maintained pole-position by some distance, with European metropolises dominating the list. UK capital London positioned fifth, while Hong-Kong in sixth, Singapore at seventh and ninth-placed New York were the only non-European cities to break into the top 10.

Researchers defined millionaires included the study as people living in each city with net assets – not including the value of their first home – worth $1 million or more – while the volume of millionaires amongst the city’s metropolitan population determined their respective ‘density’ for the ultra-wealthy.

For the top 20, all cities that were featured in the 2016 report registered declines over the year in millionaire density. Despite Monaco’s continued dominance, the Mediterranean city itself has recorded a drop of 0.5% over the year, from 31.1% in 2016.

The 20 cities with the most millionaires

WealthInsight’s Co-Founder and Head, Oliver Williams, attributed this decline to residents of Monaco being increasingly unable to evade tax in the long-time wealth-haven, with millionaires determined to avoid paying their share increasingly looking to Asian homes instead. In 2016, a Capgemini report revealed that the Asia-Pacific region now boasted the highest number of super-wealthy High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), with 400,000 of such individuals arriving in the areas between 2010 and 2015, raising total HNWI in the locale to 5.1 million.

“A global crackdown on tax evasion and worries about the reputational damage of leaks such as the Panama Papers has dampened demand for tax havens such as Monaco,” Williams stated.

London drops to fifth

Having ranked fourth last year meanwhile, London saw its own drop of 0.1% in millionaire density, in the year of the Brexit vote, subsequently being nudged to fifth by Zug – a new addition to the list.

In spite of this decline, London remains the largest city in the top five, and considering general population size was a key factor in the wealth density proportions, it still delivered a 1/29 proportion of millionaires is impressive when compared to the tiny Swiss city. The UK as a whole also ranked in the top five countries with most millionaires, according to a 2014 BCG report.

Across the Atlantic meanwhile, New York, the only US city to make it into the top 10, also saw its respective density fall to 2%, from 4.7% in 2016, but has a much larger population than most cities listed.

Reiterating this, Oliver Williams concluded that a high quality of life, not just favourable taxes, are key to attracting millionaires. He also said, “It is interesting to note that over half the cities in this list are European. Although they have much smaller populations than their US or Asian counterparts – meaning larger millionaire densities – these European cities have all been successful in attracting millionaires from around the world.”