There are currently 28,420 centi-millionaires in the world, more than double the number 20 years ago, and an increase of 12% compared to this time last year, according to the 2023 Centi-Millionaire Report released today by wealth and investment migration advisors Henley & Partners and featuring exclusive data from global wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth. This fast-growing global elite of highly influential super-wealthy movers and shakers boast investable assets of USD 100 million or more.
As outlined in the inaugural report last year, at a country level, most centi-millionaires (or ‘centis’) are concentrated in the USA (38%), followed by the large emerging markets of China and India. One third of the world’s centi-millionaire community live in 50 key cities across the globe, with New York City wearing the crown with 775 resident centi-millionaires.
Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, says the USD 100 million plus band represents the best definition in today’s world of what it means to be ‘super-wealthy’. “Not long ago, in the late 1990s, USD 30 million was considered by most banks as the fortune that was needed to meet this status. However, asset prices have risen significantly since then, making USD 100 million the new benchmark.”
Andrew Amoils, Head of Research at New World Wealth, agrees, and points out that “in many emerging market countries, there are very few billionaires, making the wealth band largely irrelevant. However, these nations often have large centi-millionaire populations. Kenya, for instance, has no billionaires but 15 centi-millionaires, while South Africa has just 5 billionaires compared to 102 centi-millionaires. The centi-millionaire wealth band is therefore a far more accurate reflection of the “super-wealthy” community in these countries.”
America and the UK: Home to the Top 4 centi cities
Hot on the heels of New York City in first place comes the Bay Area with 692 resident centi-millionaires, followed by Los Angeles with 504 centis. This super-rich cohort has grown by just over 5% in the Big Apple over the past 12 months, compared to 11% in the Bay Area. Chicago also makes it into the Top 10, securing 9th place with 286 centi-millionaires, but this is a significant drop of nearly 16% compared to last year.
Overall, the USA has 12 cities in the Top 50, with a combined total of 3,311 centis, representing 11.7% of the world’s centi-millionaire population as of June 2023.
By contrast, the UK has only one city in the Top 50, London, which comes in 4th place with 388 centi-millionaires, representing 1.4% of the world’s centi population. Once the global center of affluence and influence, London appears to have taken a dip. A year ago, there were 406 centis in the UK’s capital city — a loss of 4.4% in just 12 months.
Asian cities feature prominently in the Top 10
There is impressive representation from Asia in the upper rankings, with four Asian cities and territories among the world’s Top 10 centi-millionaire hotspots. Mainland China has two Top 10 cities: Beijing is 5th with 365 centi-millionaires and Shanghai is 6th with 332. Singapore follows in 7th place with 330 centis while Hong Kong (SAR China), in 8th place, is home to 305 centi-millionaires.
The 2023 Centi-Millionaire Report looks at the projected growth in centi-millionaires over the coming decade, and as Dominic Volek, Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, points out, “Asia and the Middle East are going to feature even more prominently over the next ten years when we anticipate a 38% increase in the number of centi-millionaires worldwide. This cohort’s wealth has generally come from four sources: inheritance, selling off their small- to medium-sized enterprises, trading and investing in stock markets, and leading multi-nationals and highly successful tech companies. But even this is beginning to shift as our recent Crypto Wealth Report illustrated. There are currently 182 crypto centi-millionaires, with crypto holdings of USD 100 million or more.”
Growth forecast to flourish in the Global South
Of the Top 50 cities, the e-commerce hub of Hangzhou in China is expected to see the highest growth in its centi-millionaire population in the next decade with a projected 95% increase, closely followed by the prominent tech hub, Shenzhen (88%).
The emerging global business center of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and India’s largest commercial hub Delhi are projected to see the 3rd-highest growth of 85% each between now and 2033, while financial capital Mumbai is forecast to enjoy an 80% growth in its centi-millionaire community. Tech-friendly Austin in the USA also has a very strong growth projection of 84% by 2033.
Dubai, with its vibrant and diversified economy, is not far behind Mumbai, with centi-millionaire growth of 78% projected over the next 10 years, followed by China’s main transport and trading nexus Guangzhou (76%), and the world’s most expensive city, Monaco (72%).
The numbers in Australia also look poised to increase sharply — by 67% in Melbourne, 60% in Sydney, and 57% in Perth. By contrast, centi-millionaire growth figures are forecast to be a sluggish 17% in Los Angeles, 12% in London, 6% in Chicago, and just 5% in Moscow.
Centi-millionaires seeking global citizenship
Two thirds of the Top 50 cent-millionaire rich cities are in countries with investment migration programs. For centis in less developed countries, a portfolio of residence and citizenship options provides enhanced global mobility and visa-free access to a greater percentage of global GDP, better healthcare and education systems for their families, and increased safety and security.
Director of Tax Services at Henley & Partners, Peter Ferrigno, says “increased interest in residence and citizenship by investment programs means that many more centi-millionaires are spreading their economic footprint across the globe. Countries are using these programs to bring investment into their economies to finance new industries, and that investment has given significant input into their growth.”
As Head of Henley & Partners Dubai, Philippe Amarante, agrees that attracting and retaining centi-millionaires can significantly boost a country's economic growth, innovation, and investment landscape. “The race to attract and retain centis is intensifying around the world. While countries like Singapore have set the benchmark, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are not far behind. Their strategic initiatives, coupled with their unique cultural and economic propositions, make them formidable contenders in the race. To truly captivate the centi-millionaire, mere financial incentives and compelling investment opportunities are insufficient. Governments need to pair these with comprehensive retention tactics. Creating an all-encompassing environment that addresses the business, lifestyle, immigration concerns, and even philanthropic aspirations of these super-wealthy individuals is pivotal.”
Notes to Editors
About Henley & Partners
Henley & Partners is the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment. Each year, hundreds of wealthy individuals and their advisors rely on our expertise and experience in this area. The firm’s highly qualified professionals work together as one team in over 40 offices worldwide.
The concept of residence and citizenship by investment was created by Henley & Partners in the 1990s. As globalization has expanded, residence and citizenship have become topics of significant interest among the increasing number of internationally mobile entrepreneurs and investors whom we proudly serve every day.
Henley & Partners also runs the world’s leading government advisory practice for investment migration, which has raised more than USD 12 billion in foreign direct investment. Trusted by governments, the firm has been involved in strategic consulting and in the design, set-up, and operation of the world’s most successful residence and citizenship programs.
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