Cityscape – the world’s leading wealth hubs
The Knight Frank City Wealth Index offers a fresh perspective on the urban hotspots and networks that are shaping the ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) world, now and in the future.
Since it was first published 10 years ago, The Wealth Report has highlighted the most important cities for the world’s wealthiest individuals. To mark our second decade we have re-evaluated our criteria and created a new measure – the City Wealth Index.
So, how to identify the world’s leading wealth centre? The obvious response is to look at where the wealthy live. On that basis, the answer is New York, with its 6,570 UHNWI residents easily outranking London’s still respectable 4,750.
However, this only gives us part of the picture. The world’s wealthy are a footloose group, and the place they call home is only a starting point when trying to unravel the locations that most resonate with them.
The City Wealth Index uses four critical measures to identify the cities that matter to the wealthy:
Current wealth – the current population of UHNWIs.
Investment – the total amount, in US$, of private investment in property during 2016, weighted in favour of those markets with a high proportion of cross-border inbound investment.
Connectivity – the number of inbound and outbound first and business class flights in 2016.
Future wealth – a forecast of each city’s UHNWI population in 2026, weighted in accordance with the findings of our Attitudes Survey.
Using this methodology, London emerges just ahead of New York overall with top scores for both investment and connectivity, while New York leads on both current and future wealth.
However, from a European perspective, there is little to celebrate: London is the only European city in our top 10 and, with the exception of Moscow and London, all European cities score lower for future than for current wealth.
Future wealth concentrations and investment firepower look set to be dominated by a tussle for supremacy between Asian and North American cities.
The third and fourth largest concentrations of wealth today, Hong Kong and San Francisco, are likely to be eclipsed by the rising fortunes of Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing, which are all expected to see their wealthy populations grow rapidly over the next decade.
Source: Knight Frank