These are the highest 10 cities with the quickest rising wealth

Hangzhou in China is one of the cities where prosperity has grown the fastest over the past decade, according to a new report.

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Despite recession concerns and market turbulence, prosperity is growing in some parts of the world — and sometimes significantly so, according to a new report from investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners.

Hangzhou in China tops the list of fastest growing millionaire hotspots. The report found that between 2012 and 2022, the number of people living there with investable assets in excess of $1 million increased by 105%.

30,400 people living there fell into this category at the end of last year. Of these, 98 were so-called centi-millionaires with assets in excess of $100 million and 12 were billionaires.

Two other Chinese cities, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, are also in the top 10, ranking third and seventh. The number of ultra-rich in Shenzhen increased by 98% between 2012 and 2022, while Guangzhou saw an 86% increase.

In addition to China, the USA dominates the top 10 with three cities.

But in the US, all three cities are also in the top 5. Austin, the state capital of Texas, took second place as the millionaire population grew 102% between 2012 and 2022, while West Palm Beach in Florida saw a 90% increase fourth place, followed by Scottsdale in Arizona with an 88% increase.

Andrew Amoils, head of research at wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth, which worked with Henley & Partners on the report, links the jumps to a variety of factors.

Austin has benefited from the tech sector as many large companies have relocated their operations there in recent years, Amoils pointed out in a note published alongside the report. Meanwhile, Scottsdale is said to appeal to tech entrepreneurs and retirees due to its “growing number of exclusive golf and lifestyle properties,” and West Palm Beach is a popular work-from-home destination.

Notably, there are no European cities in the top 10.

“US dominance of the global tech sector has likely played a role in the struggles of European cities. Also, the rise of Asia has probably damaged Europe more than the US,” Amoils told CNBC Make It.

Where wealth is shrinking

On the other hand, the number of wealthy individuals in some cities has decreased significantly over the past decade. Moscow, Russia saw the largest drop at 44% and St. Petersburg saw the third largest drop at 38%.

This may not come as a surprise given the aftermath of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Other cities that have seen their ultra-rich population fall are Johannesburg in South Africa, which had 40% fewer millionaires in 2022 than in 2012, Hong Kong, which saw a 27% drop, and London, where the ultra-rich population fell by 15%. All three cities are among the 10 locations with the largest declines.

The wealthiest cities in the world

However, Hong Kong made it back into a separate ranking of the top 10 richest cities in the world. With a combined population of 129,500 people with over $1 million in investable wealth, including 290 centi-millionaires and 32 billionaires, the city is the 7th richest city in the world.

Hong Kong is one of just two new additions to this list compared to Henley & Partners’ most recent World’s Richest Cities report, released in September.

The top 6 has remained unchanged since then, with New York taking the lead, followed by Tokyo in Japan, the Bay Area which includes San Francisco and Silicon Valley, London in the UK, Singapore and Los Angeles.

340,000 New Yorkers were found to have at least $1 million worth of investable assets, of which 724 are centi-millionaires and 58 are billionaires.

Chicago, Illinois, and Houston, Texas, which ranked seventh and eighth last year, are no longer in the top 10. The decline in Chicago’s ultra-rich has become a pattern in recent years, Amoils says, adding, that several large companies have also left the city.

“Houston HNWIs fell mainly due to the drop in oil prices. When we did [the] last statistics in June 2022, [the] The price of oil was over $120 while it is now around $80. However, Houston’s 10-year HNWI growth rate is still very healthy at +65%,” Amoils said.

Instead of Houston, China’s capital Beijing is now in eighth place, followed by Shanghai. They were previously ninth and tenth respectively, but a new addition to the top 10 rounds it all out: Australia’s Sydney.

The top 10

These are the 10 cities that saw the biggest increases in ultra-wealthy people between 2012 and 2022 — and how big the jumps are, according to the Henley & Partners report.

1. Hangzhou, China (105%)

2. Austin, United States (102%)

3. Shenzhen, China (98%)

4. West Palm Beach, USA (90%)

5. Scottsdale, USA (88%)

6. Bengaluru, India (88%)

7. Guangzhou, China (86%)

8. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (84%)

9. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (82%)

10. Hyderabad, India (78%)

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