Twenty cities have more than 100,000 millionaires – but which has most? And where do the world’s billionaires live?
Millionaires | Multi-millionaires | Billionaires | Country
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Where do the world’s wealthiest individuals live? Well, it depends if you’re talking millionaires, multi-millionaires or billionaires, according to a new list of the global rich.
Tokyo may contain the most millionaires (US$), however London is the city with the highest number of multi-millionaires – defined as individuals with over $30m each. For the fattest of the fat cats, though, look to New York where 70 billionaires have made their home – or maybe one of their many global homes.
The ranking of top global cities for millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires has been compiled by London based wealth consultancy WealthInsight using five years of data analysed by their team. So what insights can we glean from this latest rich list?
Tokyo tops the list with 461,000 millionaires at the end of 2012, followed by New York City with 389,000. London and Paris take third and fourth place respectively with Frankfurt, Beijing, Osaka, Hong Kong and Shanghai making up the the remainder of the top ten. Interestingly the second highest city for billionaires, Moscow, comes in 20th for its number of millionaires.
The report also looks at the proportion of each country’s millionaires in each city. Tokyo accounts for 21% of Japan’s millionaires whereas New York City accounts for only 7% of US millionaires. Cities with much higher proportions include Seoul (83%), Rome (49%) and London (42%).
Now for the big players, those individuals with over $30m each. London is top of the list as the city with the most multi-millionaires (4,224) but Tokyo and Singapore follow in second and third place respectively.
New York makes an appearance at fourth place on the rankings – but if you’re surprised by the Big Apple’s slip down the rich list, WealthInsight do point out that ‘many wealthy New Yorkers live off the Island in cities such as Greenwich which has over 350 multi-millionaires on its own’.
New York (Manhattan) contains the most billionaires according to the release with 70 in the city. Moscow has 64 billionaires and London boasts 54.
Moscow, Mumbai and Istanbul are significantly higher on the billionaire list than they are on the millionaire rankings. Moscow which is ranked 20th for millionaires and is absent from the top 20 cities for multi-millionaires, comes in at third place on the billionaires list.
Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai, Istanbul, Shanghai, Paris and Los Angeles all make it into the top ten.
Despite Tokyo topping the list as the city with the highest total of millionaires, when it comes to country level the US boasts the most with 5,231 in 2012 – a figure WealthInsight expects to jump to 7,318 by 2020.
But the country to watch according to the wealth consultancy is China. They predict that it will overtake Japan and Germany to become the second largest wealth market in the world by 2020. India is also expected to rise up the rankings, from 11th place in 2012 to 5th place in 2020.
The tables below show the top ten cities for millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires. The downloadable spreadsheet contains data at country level and the proportion of country’s millionaires in each city. What can you do with this?
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I tried to order smartphones for my two teenage sons and an iPhone 4 for myself. I was told by Vodafone that there would be a wait for the iPhone, but the phones for my sons were to be delivered the next day. I spent several days waiting for couriers who didn’t turn up, only to be told that I had rejected the delivery; that the phones were back at the warehouse; that the salesman hadn’t put the order through in the first place. The excuses of the courier not being able to find the house were negated by the fact that the iPhone was delivered within days by the same firm.
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Vodafone appears aghast at its own incompetence and immediately sends the two missing phones, but too late. Your sons have grown wedded to their borrowed iPhones and you prefer to buy two replacements for you and your husband elsewhere. The only good news is that Vodafone has offered you a discounted price plan as hard-won compensation.
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Capital controls will intensify the slump while severely damaging the credibility of the euro
The introduction of capital controls in Cyprus is a textbook example of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Rich Russians and wealthy Cypriots knew the crisis was coming and have had the best part of a fortnight to spirit their money out of the country since it broke, even assuming they did not do so beforehand. The restrictions will intensify the slump Cyprus faces while not removing the risk of bank runs when branches finally open for businesson Thursday. What’s more, the controls severely damage the credibility of the euro.
That’s not to say the controls are unnecessary. Even with the severe restrictions announced in place, there is a possibility of bank runs. Without them, bank runs would be a certainty. Modern banking is essentially based on a sleight of hand under which banks have readily available funds that are only a fraction of their total deposits. If all the customers demand their money at once, as would be the case in Cyprus without controls, the banks go under.
The government in Nicosia insists capital controls will be removed within a week, but that looks as heroic an assumption as the idea that the economy will shrink by just 3.5% this year, the current EU forecast. Iceland introduced capital controls in 2008 and still has them in place. There will no doubt be pressure from Brussels on Cyprus to lift the controls as quickly as possible, but most analysts expect them to be in place for a minimum of six months.
As far as the real economy is concerned, Latvia – which had pegged its currency to the euro – suffered an 18% contraction of its economy following a banking collapse. And bank deposits were just 100% of GDP in Latvia; in Cyprus they were 800% of GDP before the crisis. To sum up, Cyprus is going to have a collapsing economy buttressed by capital controls, but unlike Iceland will not have the option of devaluation to make itself more competitive. Speculation that it will become the first country to leave the euro will not go away. Indeed, it will intensify the longer the capital controls are in place.
There are, of course, wider implications for Europe despite attempts over the last week to say that Cyprus is a special case. When the euro was created just over a decade ago it was supposed to embody certain principles. One of those principles was that a euro would be a euro anywhere inside the single currency zone. That has now been violated; a euro in Nicosia is not worth the same as a euro in Berlin.
A second trait of the single currency was that it was supposed to be a secure store of wealth. International investors would have confidence in it and it would rival the dollar as a global reserve currency. That idea has also taken a pasting as a result of the disastrous handling of Cyprus; the decision to make deposit holders pay a share of the bailout has been accompanied by a fall in the value of the euro against the dollar. That’s hardly surprising; savings in US banks are perceived as rock solid whereas those in eurozone banks are not.
A third core belief was that the euro would lead to economic convergence, with the weaker and poorer countries raising their performance to the level of the rich nations at the monetary union’s core. This has looked increasingly absurd against a backdrop of bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and the chronic lack of competitiveness displayed by Italy, Spain and – more recently – France.
So Cyprus has put two myths to bed. One is the myth of convergence; the other is that the debt crisis is over. A new chapter has opened, that’s all.
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