Identifying the world’s leading wealth center is more than a matter of simply looking where the wealthy live (although that’s certainly a factor).
Real Estate firm Knight Frank, in their recently released 2017 Wealth Report, developed a City Wealth Index that weighs four critical factors in determining which cities matter most to the worldwide ultra-high-net worth (defined as those with $30 million or more in net assets). Cities were assigned a comparative numerical rank in each category, which was then used to determine an overall ranking. The four categories are:
- Current Wealth. The current population of UHNW individuals.
- Investment. The total amount of private investment in property in 2016, with extra weight given to inbound cross-border investments.
- Connectivity. The number of first and business class flights in 2016, both inbound and outbound. By mapping which cities are most often connected to one another, this data can help identify localized wealth networks surrounding popular wealth “hubs.”
- Future Wealth. A forecast, based on based on survey responses from almost 900 of the world’s leading private bankers and wealth managers, of where each city’s UHNW population will stand in 2026.
London took the top spot this year, edging out New York. However, London’s success belies Europe’s overall underperformance, placing only one city in the top 10 compared to four in North America and five in Asia’s.
Here’s how the rest shook out: