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Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index

A unique new analytical tool to assist international companies, entrepreneurs, and investors make strategic choices about where best to locate their headquarters, executives, employees, and themselves in a pandemic world.

Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index

Our Methodology

The Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index features 25 capitals and other major cities of countries that host the world’s most important residence-by-investment programs, which are ranked in the Global Residence Program Index (published in Investment Migration Programs 2021). 

The framework comprises 10 top-level categories representing the factors most important to high- and ultra-high-net worth investors and business owners who are considering investing in residence-by-investment programs.

  • RBI Ranking — the total score for the relevant country’s residence-by-investment program according to Henley & Partners’ Global Residence Program Index
  • Covid Safety — Covid-19 City Safety Ranking by Deep Knowledge Analytics
  • Lifestyle — quality of life, environment, cultural interaction, cost of living, climate risk, and air quality
  • Tax — income tax, corporate tax, estate and inheritance tax, and personal taxes on income and profit
  • Education — access to top-tier international schools, top 1,000 universities globally, and research and development output
  • Real estate — house price index, average price per m2, size of real estate market, prime property sales
  • Healthcare — health security, private healthcare system, access to private hospitals and insurance companies, public and private healthcare expenditure per capita
  • Security — governance, risk quality, cybersecurity,
  • Infrastructure — e-government, internet connectivity, telecommunication infrastructure, accessibility, traffic, quality of infrastructure
  • Stability — democracy levels, corruption levels, ease of doing business, economic resilience, e-participation

Each of the ten categories above consists of a matrix of between one and ten quantitative and qualitative sub-parameters that relate to the specific topic, analytical focus, and end-point of their parent category. Quantitative parameters are numeric and are obtained from a variety of reputable, publicly available sources of data. Qualitative parameters are descriptive, non-numeric, and cities are assigned values ranging from 1 to 0, representing its performance in a specific parameter.

The index utilizes a combination of publicly available databases (including but not limited to indexes and region statistics), as well as manually curated and researched quantitative data obtained using search engines, media, international organizations, and governmental reports. By adopting this approach, the present analysis attempts to find an optimal balance between using maximally transparent and reliable sources of data and including data that are only obtainable from expert consultation.

Every category calculation is constructed in such a way that a higher value is associated with more favorable conditions:

  • Initially, an array of data and information was formed to assess the level of efficiency of the city. During the formation of the integrated score, indicators were selected by experts and distributed among the subsystems (categories and groups of indicators) to form an assessment of the effectiveness of the city in performing a specific function.
  • The next step was to determine the areas of influence of indicators on the level of efficiency of the city and bring them to a single comparable form, by dividing indicators into stimulators and de-stimulators on the principle that the relationship between the integrated assessment and the indicator-stimulator was direct, and with the indicator-destimulator this relationship was inverse.
  • The values of each indicator are normalized between 0 and 100 on the basis of the following equations:
    For indicators-stimulators: x = (x – Min(x))/(Max(x) – Min(x))*100
    For indicators-destimulators: x = (Max(x)-x)/(Max(x)-Min(x))*100,
    where Min(x) and Max(x) are the lowest and highest actual values, respectively, for any given indicator.
  • The category values are calculated by summing up equally weighted indicator scores:
    category score = ∑ equally weighted individual indicator parameters
  • The final cumulative ranking scores are obtained by summing 10 categories for each city.

The data sources Deep Knowledge Analytics consulted are the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2020, 2021 FM Global Resilience Index, Forbes Global Properties, GermanWatch’s Global Climate Risk Index, the Global Health Security Index, Global Property Guide, the Institute for Management Development and Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD)’s smart City Index 2020, the International Baccalaureate Organization’s IB by Country, IQAir’s World major city air quality ranking, ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Index, James Edition, Knight Frank, Mansion Global, the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Global Power City Index 2020, MSCI Inc.’s Real Estate Market Size, the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators, the OECD’s Global Revenue Statistics Database, the OECD’s National and Regional House Price Indices,’s Public and private per capita health expenditure in selected countries in 2018, Times Higher Education’s world University Rankings, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2020, TomTom International BV’s 2020 Tom Tom Traffic Index, the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs City Data 2020, the UN’s E-Government Development Index,, the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020, World Health Organization Global Health Expenditure database, and World Population Review’s Highest Taxed Countries 2021.

All the data available in the Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index is licensed by our licensor Deep Knowledge Analytics Limited. Henley & Partners Group Holdings Ltd is not responsible for its correctness. The data posted in the Best Residence-by-Investment Cities for Business Index is freely accessible for private non-commercial use only.


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