Over 100,000 wealthy individuals moved residence last year

Some 108,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) migrated from their home countries in 2018, an increase from 95,000 the previous year, according to the AfrAsia Bank Global Wealth Migration Review 2019, conducted with market research and consultancy firm New World Wealth.

Australia was the leading destination, welcoming about 12,000 HNWIs during the year. The US came second with a net inflow of 10,000 HNWIs, while Canada was third with 4,000.

Other popular destinations included the Caribbean, Greece, Israel, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Singapore, the only Far East country on the list, already has 222,300 wealthy residents, making it the city with the fifth-largest number of HNWIs in 2018. New York City took first place, with 377,800 resident HNWIs.

The UAE was a favoured destination, attracting 2,000 HNWIs in 2018, more than half of whom settled in Dubai.

The country seeing the biggest outflow of wealthy people was China, which lost 15,000 of its HNWIs in 2018; second was Russia with 7,000 emigrants; and third came India with 5,000. Large numbers also left Turkey and France.

The UK has historically been one of the biggest recipients of migrating HNWIs over the past 30 years. However, in the past two years the UK has lost approximately 7,000 HNWIs; 4,000 in 2017 and 3,000 in 2018. Brexit and new taxes on non-doms have been suggested as motivating factors in this downward trend.

Worldwide, says the report, there are 14 million individuals worth at least USD1 million in net assets. Another 560,000 have net assets of USD10 million or more, 25,000 have net assets above USD10 million, and 2,140 are billionaires.