By Shawna Ohm, Yahoo Finance, Aug. 6, 2014
If you’re hoping to meet a millionaire, London is calling.
The city famous for Big Ben and the Tower of London is quickly becoming famous for its towers of cash. According to a new study by South Africa-based New World Wealth, Britain’s capital city boasts the most millionaires in the world—376,600.
“London is the world’s global city,” points out Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task. “You have very wealthy people from all over the world migrating to London. It’s also a huge financial capital.”
Broken down based on population, that means 1 in every 36 people in London is a millionaire. (Food for thought the next time you find yourself in a crowded Tube car.)
What’s more, while 1 in 36 may seem like a huge ratio, London is in a measly sixth place when it comes to millionaires per capita. In Geneva, which wins this category, one in every 13 people is a millionaire. Or how about 4th place San Francisco? One in every 32 people is a millionaire there—talk about Golden Gate.
Being a millionaire is one thing. Being a multi-millionaire (which New World Wealth defines as assets over $10 million) is an entirely different story.
The city with the most multi-millionaires is not London (third place) or even New York (second), but Hong Kong.
Part of the reasons global cities fall where they do in this ranking is tax codes. Paris millionaires, for example, may move to London to avoid the French wealth tax.
“[They think: ‘London] is obviously a very cosmopolitan city; I can live very well and my tax rate’s going to be so much lower,’” Task said.
But that appeal also comes with a downside. As Task points out, London sees an influx of foreign multi-millionaires in the summer, dubbed “the season.” For London residents, this can prove a nuisance. Streets become crowded with Bugattis and Mercedes.
If you’re worried about America’s lack of first place standings in all of this—don’t be. The United States still has the highest number of millionaires overall—with 4.1 million millionaires.
The U.S. also tops the list for most multi-millionaires—with 183,500—about seven times as many as runner-up China.
More than rankings, the report also looked at trends in money.
The number of millionaires in the world has grown 58% in the last 10 years. The number of multi-millionaires has jumped by 71%.
In total, about 13 million of the world’s more than 7 billion people are millionaires. Which, if you do the math actually works out to just under .2% of the population, far less than the storied 1%.