Business World

Wednesday 23 May 2018

This is the most (and least) popular country for the world's millionaires

Bondi beach, Australia
Bondi beach, Australia

Sam Dean

Around 82,000 millionaires migrated last year, up from 64,000 in 2015, according to global market research group New World Wealth.

Australia is the world’s most popular country for migrating millionaires, who are drawn Down Under by a successful healthcare system, high levels of safety and its proximity to emerging markets in Asia, a new report has found.

Of those, an estimated 11,000 millionaires made their way to Australia, putting it on top of the table for the second year in a row. That compared to 10,000 who moved to the United States, and 3,000 who moved to the UK.

Part of Australia’s appeal to the wealthy is its location, which makes it a good base for doing business in emerging Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

It also boasts one of the leading healthcare systems in the world, while it is “relatively immune to the turmoil in the Middle East and the related refugee crisis in Europe,” the report adds.

“Australia’s superior growth over the past decade has also no doubt had an impact on confidence and business opportunities,” it says.

“Over the past 10 years, total wealth in Australia has risen by 85pc compared to 30pc growth in the US and 28pc growth in the UK.

“As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average US or UK citizen, which was not the case 10 years ago.”

In 2012, Australia launched a new type of visa for wealthy foreigners who are willing to invest millions in the country.

However, it suffered its biggest economic contraction since the financial crisis in the third quarter, as the economy shrank by 0.5pc in the three months to September compared to the previous three months as torrential rain and falling business investment took their toll

New Zealand, Canada and the UAE were among the other countries to experience large inflows of millionaires, while France, Turkey and Brazil were three nations to have lost the most.

Millionaires leaving a country is seen as a concern for the local economy. Around 30pc of millionaires are business owners, employing large numbers of people, according to the report, while they also pay large amounts of income tax.

New World Wealth’s study, its fourth annual report, added that very few millionaires - defined in the study as individuals who have net assets of $1m or more - have left the UK since the vote to leave the European Union, while there continues to be a flow of millionaires into Britain.

“Going forward, we expect HNWI [high net worth individuals] migration into the UK to continue, despite Brexit,” it said. “In particular we expect large HNWI inflows from France, China, India, the Middle East and Africa into the UK. However, on the flip side, we do expect some UK HNWIs to move to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US over the next 10 years.”

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