Millionaire Migration – Where the Wealth is Moving?

The wealthiest in the world are increasingly on the move according to the latest report from New World Wealth. In fact, over 108,000 individuals with assets valued at over $1million chose to relocate to a new country in 2018, an increase of 14% year on year against 2017.

Issues as economic uncertainty in their home location, high taxes and potential political instability are the most likely contributing factors driving high net worth individuals to make their move.

Total private wealth stood at around $204 trillion at the end of 2018, with estates that this will rise a further 43% by 2028, reaching an astonishing $291 trillion. There are about 14 million people with assets of more than $1 million across the globe, including 560,000 with assets of at least $10 million and 25,000 with at least $100 million.

More than ever before, those with substantial assets are choosing to migrate, but where are they going?

Millionaire Immigration – The USA
While Australia tops the list with 12,000 HNWI’s flowing into the county in 2018, the United States is not far behind, welcoming 10,000 HNWI’s over the same period, with Canada coming in as the third most popular country for the wealthy to migrate too.

Benefits which attract the wealthy to the USA appear to be the economy, its status as the leading economic power, and also the fact that many global companies have their headquarters located there.

Focusing on the top 3 countries, it appears that the prevailing conditions that attract HNWI’s are relatively safety and low crime rates, business opportunities and favourable tax conditions. Most high net worth individuals are English speaking, which is also reflected in the top three.

Wealth Flowing Out of China
By far the largest outflow of wealth migration is coming from China, with 15,000 HNWI’s leaving in 2018. This equates to 2% of their millionaires. Many rich Chinese are leaving for better education systems elsewhere, to escape strict government policy, and in many cases to protect their wealth. However, currently China, as second on the list India, are still producing more millionaires than it is losing.

Concerns regarding trade imbalances, economic uncertainty and proposed changes in the taxation of property investments are driving Chinese HNWI’s to look elsewhere.

In fact, an earlier Barclays wealth report, almost half of China’s mainland rich aim to move to another country within the next 5 years.

The UK
The UK is losing millionaires thanks to uncertainty around Brexit and taxation factors – around 3000 high net worth individuals left the UK last year, however as a percentage of the UK’s wealthy, this doesn’t even equate to 1%.

Conversely is still very much an appetite for immigration from China into the UK, with applications for golden visas from China rising 19% last year, comprising 63% of applications last year’s applications. This is, in part thanks to the UK’s high standards of education, and a favourable currency rate for those inbound millionaires.


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