New World Wealth, in association with LIO Global, has just completed its second annual review of worldwide millionaire migration patterns.
The report compared the principal locations of a sample of approximately 60,000 global high net worth individuals in 2000 with the same sample in 2014.
The report was compiled by Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, and Nadia Read, head of world residence and citizenship platform LIO Global.
It defined ‘millionaires’ as ‘high net worth individuals’ or HNWIs; individuals with net assets of one million or more dollars, excluding their primary residences.
It described outflows and inflows as meaning the number of individuals that changed their domicile during the review period. The report defined ‘domicile’ as the country that a person treats as their permanent home.
According to the paper, the U.K. has the highest numbers of high net worth individuals immigrating from abroad.
The research found that most of the wealthy arrived from Europe, Russia, China, India, the Middle East and Africa.
The report saw that those arriving in the United States mainly came from China. Notable numbers also came from the U.K., India and Russia.
Singapore received a high migration of high net worth individuals from China, India and Indonesia. Australia received high inflows from the Asia Pacific area (India, China, Indonesia), as well as the UK and South Africa.
Hong Kong had most of its newly – arrived millionaires coming in from China. The United Arab Emirates (mainly Dubai) had high immigration from North Africa, India and the Middle East.
Canada had high inflows from Europe, the UK and South Africa. Turkey inflows were mainly from the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.
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As far as leaving the principal country of residence goes, Chinese millionaires mainly moved to the U.S., Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.K. Indian high net worth individuals tended to migrate to the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Australia.
Fireworks burst over Singapore’s skyline during a preview for National Day celebrations on Aug. 1, 2015. Singapore has become a popular destination for millionaires. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
The French and Italian wealthy headed to the U.K., Switzerland and Luxemburg.
Outgoing Russian millionaires mainly moved to the U.K., Europe and the U.S.
Indonesian high net worth individuals mostly went to Singapore.
South African millionaires tended to move to Australia, the U.K., Cyprus, Mauritius, the U.S. and Canada. The Egyptian rich mostly moved to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and the U.K.
Second citizenship has been a marked trend since the turn of the century, the report said. Nadia Read, head of world residence and citizenship platform LIO Global added:
The main reason people apply for a second residence or citizenship is to ensure freedom of global mobility and access, as well as security and wealth protection for their families. The majority of investors are typically looking towards the EU. Cyprus and Malta, in particular, are very popular as they offer direct citizenship without long waiting or residence periods. Portugal’s Golden Residence Visa V -1.37%, as well as the Hungarian Residence Bond program have also seen significant interest, as they offer investors residence in exchange for a smaller investment (in comparison to Malta or Cyprus). The Caribbean has also recently seen strong demand as countries such as Antigua and Barbuda or Grenada offer direct citizenship in under 6 months.
I asked Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, for his views on the findings.
Singh: Can you explain the wealthy migration patterns any?
Amoils: They tend to be moving towards the U.K. and the big three English-speaking colonies: U.S.A., Canada and Australia. Also low tax countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Singapore are benefiting.
What do you think are the reasons?
Wealthy people in emerging markets such as China and India want their children to grow up and go to school in U.K., U.S.A., etc.
Which interesting new regions of the world are you watching the closest for research purposes?
South Africa and Egypt. There are big outflows of high net worth individuals from those countries.
Have millionaire buying habits changed from when you first started researching this field?
The men’s luxury goods market has been on the rise over the past few years, particularly the following areas: super-luxury watches such as Breguet; luxury men’s apparel such as Paul Smith and Zegna; and men’s beauty products such as L’Occitane en Provence.
What are the current top five buys for a typical millionaire?
Prime property, sports cars, classic cars, art, private jets. Jewelry and watches also – big ones.
Can you give me an example of how millionaire buying habits vary from region to region?
Here’s one example: HNWIs in Africa spend a lot on luxury clothing and luxury suburban utility vehicles. HNWIs in the U.S. like private jets and art a lot.