Monaco, the home of the Grand Prix, was by far and away the leader of cities with millionaires as some 30.6% of people living in the city have a net worth over $1m, according to Business analysis service Verdict and GlobalData WealthInsight. The study calculated millionaire density based on the percentage of residents with assets over $1m, excluding the value of the first home.
Geneva and Zurich ranked in second and third, but density was well under that of Monaco’s, with 6% and 5.2% respectively. They fell significantly on the previous year, however, when Geneva had 17.7% density and Zurich has 24.3%.
Continuing its dominance, another Swiss city followed on from Geneva and Zurich in fourth place, as Zug entered the list of top 20 cities with millionaires for the first time. It had a 3.9% density, while London took the fifth spot on 2.8%. UK capital London positioned fifth, while Hong-Kong in sixth, Singapore at seventh and ninth-placed New York were the only non-European cities to break into the top 10.
For the top 20, all cities that were featured in the 2016 report registered declines over the year in millionaire density. Despite Monaco’s continued dominance, the Mediterranean city itself has recorded a drop of 0.5% over the year, from 31.1% in 2016.
“Monaco has long drawn in wealthy residents from all over the world. But this year’s ranking shows that the Principality is not as popular among millionaires as it was,” said WealthInsight’s Co-Founder and Head, Oliver Williams.
Oliver attributed this decline to residents of Monaco being increasingly unable to evade tax in the long-time wealth-haven, with millionaires determined to avoid paying their share increasingly looking to Asian homes instead. “A global crackdown on tax evasion and worries about the reputational damage of leaks such as the Panama Papers has dampened demand for tax havens such as Monaco. A global shift in wealth towards Asia and the rocketing price of Monegasque real estate has also put some millionaires off the city state.
“Zug is a new addition to this list. The sleepy Swiss town is home to a disproportionate number of multinationals, in turn attracting their millionaire directors. Global groups such as Glencore maintain their registered address in the Canton thanks to its very low tax.”
Williams highlighted that more than half of the cities with millionaires are found in Europe, an achievement that highlights the density of wealth despite smaller populations below locations in the US and Asia.
It was also noted how London’s position of cities with millionaires had little change despite the Brexit vote and uncertainty swirling across the country.
Oliver Williams concluded that a high quality of life, not just favourable taxes, are key to attracting millionaires. He also said, “It is interesting to note that over half the cities in this list are European. Although they have much smaller populations than their US or Asian counterparts – meaning larger millionaire densities – these European cities have all been successful in attracting millionaires from around the world.”
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