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The Henley Opportunity Index

The Henley Opportunity Index is a proprietary benchmarking tool that quantifies the impact and probability of success that a premium education coupled with additional residence rights and/or alternative citizenships acquired through investment migration can have on preserving and growing multi-generational wealth. Investors can identify locations that offer the best ecosystems for future generations to maximize their career prospects and prosperity. Read the methodology here.

The Henley Opportunity Index

Methodology

The Henley Opportunity Index quantifies the enormous impact that world-class education combined with expanded access and privileges through investment migration can have in preserving multi-generational wealth.

As research shows, over 50-60% of income variation globally is simply attributable to differences in countries’ average incomes. Gaining access to opportunities in more developed economies through education and second citizenship therefore has an outsized influence on earning potential and standard of living.

The Henley Opportunity Index evaluates 15 leading investment migration country options across six parameters, including education, earning potential, career advancement, employment prospects, economic mobility, and livability. This provides a benchmark for investors to compare and identify locations that offer the best ecosystems for future generations to maximize their career prospects and prosperity.

The research shows that successfully balancing wealth generation and opportunity creation are key characteristics of ascendant economies and vibrant societies. The Henley Opportunity Index guides families on tailored investment migration strategies to clear pathways for their heirs to access the world’s best schooling, most lucrative job markets, and enhanced quality of life through the privileges and flexibility of alternative residence or citizenship rights.

By quantifying the value of this potent combination, the Henley Opportunity Index aims to help families futureproof the next generation so they can preserve and enhance multi-generational wealth in an unpredictable world.

Key parameters

The framework specifically includes parameters of relevance to international investors who are considering investment migration programs in thriving countries with excellent education systems as a mechanism to improve their and their children’s access to better opportunities by virtue of being able to be educated and subsequently reside long-term in a destination country without having to acquire a work permit or visa. The six overarching parameters are earning potential, career advancement, top-tier employment prospects, premium education, economic mobility, and high livability. All are converted to scores out of 100 and equally weighted to create a total opportunity score out of 100.

Earning potential 

As investment migration is a long-term undertaking that enables one to live and work in the destination country indefinitely, rather than considering starting salaries for graduates or gross domestic product (GDP) data, the earning potential score is based on the cumulative sum of ten-year salary projections adjusted to inflation and wage growth rates. Providing a high-level assessment of the job market, the scores reflect the average salaries in US dollars for highly skilled and experienced individuals in leading roles in senior positions in the country across a diverse range of sectors: agriculture, the arts, business administration, engineering, health, IT, law, and science. Given the wide spectrum of careers and fields of interest, the intention is to provide broad guidelines for investors.

Key data sources include: Country national statistics offices, Glassdoor, International Monetary Fund, OECD, Statista

Career advancement 

The career advancement score reflects the extent to which living in a country can foster professional advancement. The parameter takes into account the presence of leading global corporations listed in the Fortune Global 500 ranking, the availability of top executive positions by prestigious and globally influential organizations, and the percentage of the labor force with advanced education. Additionally, the score factors in the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Center’s World Talent Ranking 2023, which evaluates a nation’s talent development, attraction, and retention.

Key data sources include: Fortune 500, IMD World Competitiveness Center World Talent Ranking 2023, International Labour Organization

Top-tier employment prospects

The top-tier employment prospects score indicates the likelihood of finding employment in highly reputable and established organizations and companies that are at the forefront of innovation in the destination country, as investment migration enables one to acquire residence rights and/or citizenship. The score reflects the number of job postings by prestigious organizations in each country, as well as the level of innovation promotion based on the number of start-ups and investment in research and development and ICT development. Another important aspect is business competitiveness based on the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2023, which ranks countries according to how effectively they harness their capabilities towards sustainable economic success and well-being. The net migration rate sub-indicator is based on the difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants per country, divided by the population. Higher net migration rates suggest a favorable environment for top-tier employment prospects, indicating a strong influx of talent and potential for career advancement and opportunities. A European Union mobility sub-indicator is included to reflect that citizens of countries in the bloc are able to live and work in any of the member states.

Key data sources include: IMD World Competitiveness Center World Competitiveness Ranking 2023, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Global Migration Data Portal, UN International Telecommunication Union ICT Development Index 2023

Premium education

The premium education score is derived from the Henley Ultimate Portfolio and appraises countries based on the efficacy of their private education systems, taking into account their innovativeness, private education capacity (number of top universities and top-tier international schools, private primary and secondary school enrolments), and the quality of education and opportunities for studying they provide.

Key data sources: International Baccalaureate Organization, Quacquarelli Symonds Limited QS World University Rankings 2024, UN Development Programme Human Development Index, World Bank

Economic mobility

The economic mobility score for each country is derived from the Henley Passport Power Index and represents the sum of the national GDP shares of global GDP for each of the destinations to which its passport holders have visa-free access, including their own GDP. The maximum possible score is 100, representing 100% of global GDP.

Key data sources: World Bank

High livability

The high livability score is derived from the Henley Ultimate Portfolio, which has been constructed with the high- and ultra-high-net-worth investor in mind, using the scores for private healthcare, quality of life, and safety and security, equally weighted. Private healthcare evaluates countries’ private healthcare systems by assessing domestic private health expenditure and the number of private hospitals and insurance companies in each, health security, and healthcare access and quality. Quality of life assesses countries according to the happiness and well-being of their citizens, the standard of living and quality of life they offer, human development, cost of living, and demographic pressures. Safety and security measures each country’s peacefulness through assessing factors such as vulnerability to internal and external threats, overall political stability, and its progress toward achieving sustainability.

Key data sources: Dublin University Press SDG Index, The Fund for Peace Fragile States Index, OECD, UN Development Programme Human Development Index, World Bank, World Health Organization

Additional factor for investment migration options: Number of Top 250 universities 

This factor is considered separately as, unlike the above parameters, it has not been converted into a score out of 100. This refers to the count of universities in each country ranked in the Top 250 globally and recognized as global top-tier educational institutions based on the QS World University Rankings 2024, which features 1,500 institutions across 104 locations, is highly regarded by employers and academics, and is the only ranking to emphasize employability and sustainability — a growing concern among high-net-worth investors and their children.

Gathering and computing the data

The dataset for 27 countries was collected between September 2023 and January 2024 from publicly available open databases for the most recent year available.

Numerical variables were then normalized. For each indicator, the minimum value was transformed into a 0, the maximum value into a 1, and every other value into a decimal between 0 and 1:

x = (x – Min(x))/(Max(x) – Min(x))

Categorical variables are divided into distinct categories based on relevant criteria. Each category is assigned a numerical value to represent its level in a range from 0 to 1. The numerical values are assigned according to the relative importance of each category.

Next, the indicators were grouped into sub-parameters according to theme. Each sub-parameter includes from one to four indicators. The scores for sub-parameters were calculated by summing up the weighted values of their indicators.

The scores for the six key parameters were calculated by summing up the weighted values of their sub-parameters. The scores were multiplied by 100 so that the maximum value for each parameter is 100.

Sub-parameter = ∑ weighted individual indicators

Parameter = (∑ weighted sub-parameters) x 100

The total opportunity score is calculated by equally weighting the scores for the six key parameters, with a maximum possible value of 100:

Total opportunity score = 1/6∑ ( (earning potential + career advancement + top-tier employment prospects + premium education + economic mobility + high livability)

Data sources 

Earning potential 

Earning potential is calculated from earning projections in US dollars over 10 years based on the average salaries for top jobs across the following sectors: agriculture, the arts, business administration, engineering, health, IT, law, and science.

The nominal values are projected for 10 years to 2034 as follows, considering annual inflation and wage growth rates:

The calculations do not consider associated costs, which vary greatly between countries.

Sources: Country national statistics offices, European Commission, Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, Glassdoor, International Monetary Fund, Ministry of Manpower Singapore, OECD, Statista-1, Statista-2, Statista-3, Statista-4, Statista-5

Career advancement

Career advancement is calculated as the weighted sum of the following indicators:

  • Global 500 Companies: the number of companies headquartered in a country listed in Fortune’s 2023 Global 500. Source: Fortune
  • CEO demand: the number of job postings for executive positions, with values adjusted to the working population. Source: LinkedIn, UN, World Population Prospects (2022)
  • Talent attraction and development: the country’s overall score on the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Center World Talent Ranking 2023. Source: World Talent Ranking
  • Labor force with advanced education: the percentage of the total working-age population with advanced education (namely short-cycle tertiary education or bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level or their equivalents). Sources: International Labour Organization 

Top-tier employment prospects

Top-tier employment prospects is calculated as the sum of the following indicators, equally weighted:

  • Probability of employment by prestigious organizations: the average of the two metrics below to avoid skewness and smooth the results, as both are approximate values:
    • The likelihood of finding a job in a prestigious company based on the number of such companies with offices in the country, represented as a percentage. Sources: official company websites
    • The number of job postings by prestigious companies seeking candidates in the country, adjusted per million working population. Sources: official company websites, LinkedIn, UN, World Population Prospects (2022)
  • Presence of start-ups: the number of start-ups founded in the past five years (2018–2023), adjusted to the working population. Source: crunchbase.com
  • Digital development: the country’s universal connectivity pillar score in the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Development Index 2023, which measures the level of development of the information and communication technology sectors of 169 economies. Source: ITU
  • Net migration rate: the difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants per country, divided by the population. The higher the value, the higher the number of immigrants compared to emigrants and the population of the country. Source: International Organization for Migration (IOM) Global Migration Data Portal
  • Country competitiveness: the country’s overall score on the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking 2023. Source: World Competitiveness Ranking
  • European Union mobility: member states of the bloc score 1, others 0

Premium education

Premium education is derived from the Henley Ultimate Portfolio score for premium education, which is calculated as the sum of the following indicators, equally weighted:

  • Innovativeness: calculated as the sum of the country’s Education Index score in the Human Development Index and its education score in the Global Innovation Index, equally weighted. Sources: UN Development Programme Human Development Index, World Intellectual Property Organization Global Innovation Index
  • Private education capacity: calculated as the sum of the following metrics, equally weighted, for each country:
  • Quality of education and study opportunities: calculated as the sum of the following metrics, equally weighted, for each country:
    • Quality Index score in the World’s Best Countries for Education System. Source: CEOWorld
    • Opportunity Index score in the World’s Best Countries for Education System. Source: CEOWorld
    • Education score in the Best Countries ranking. Source: U.S. News

 Economic mobility

Economic mobility is derived from the Henley Passport Power Index score for economic mobility. The Henley Passport Power (HPP) score assesses the 199 countries included on the Henley Passport Index according to the percentage share of global GDP to which their passport holders have visa-free access, by taking into account their visa-free/visa-on-arrival scores out of a possible 227.

  • The GDP for the most recent year available for the 227 destinations on the Henley Passport Index was collected from publicly available and national databases.
  • The national GDP share of global GDP was calculated for each of the 199 countries by dividing the national GDP value by the sum of the GDP of all 227 destinations.
  • The final Henley Passport Power score for each country is the sum of the national GDP shares of global GDP for each of the destinations to which its passport holders have visa-free access including their own GDP. The maximum possible score is 100, representing 100% of global GDP.

For example, if a country has a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 40 (meaning there are 40 destinations its passport holders can travel to without having to obtain a visa in advance), its Henley Passport Power score is calculated by summing the share of global GDP for each of the 40 destinations as well as its own.

SourcesNational Statistics, Republic of China (Taiwan), The Henley Passport Index, The World Bank

High livability

The high livability score is calculated as the sum of the Henley Ultimate Portfolio scores for private healthcare, quality of life, and safety and security, equally weighted.

Private healthcare

The private healthcare parameter in the Henley Ultimate Portfolio evaluates countries’ private healthcare systems is calculated as the sum of the following indicators, equally weighted:

  • Domestic private health: calculated as the sum of the following sub-indicators, equally weighted:
  • Domestic private health expenditure per capita (current USD). Source: World Bank
  • Domestic private health expenditure (percentage of current health expenditure). Source: World Bank
  • The number of insurance companies/population density. Source: OECD
  • The number of private hospitals/population density. Sources: Numerous national statistics, OECD, Statista, World Health Organization
  • Health security: score in the Global Health Security Index. Source: The Global Health Security (GHS) Index
  • Healthcare access and quality: score in the Healthcare Access and Quality Index. Source: University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Health Data Exchange
  • Healthcare: score in the Health Care Index. Source: CEOWORLD
  • Healthcare system: health system score in the Best Countries ranking. Source: U.S. News

Quality of life

The quality of life parameter in the Henley Ultimate Portfolio is calculated as the sum of the following indicators, equally weighted:

Safety and security

The safety and security parameter in the Henley Ultimate Portfolio is calculated as the sum of the following indicators, equally weighted:

  • State fragility: score in the Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index, which evaluates a nation’s vulnerability to internal and external threats, considering factors such as social, economic, and political stability. Source: Fund for Peace Fragile States Index
  • Political stability: political stability and absence of violence or terrorism indicators. Source: World Bank
  • Sustainability: the 2023 SDG Index score (a tool published in the Sustainable Development Report 2023), which incorporates sustainable development goals, providing insights into a nation’s progress towards achieving a balanced and secure socio-economic environment. Source: Sachs, J.D., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G., Drumm, E. (2023). Implementing the SDG Stimulus. Sustainable Development Report 2023. Paris: SDSN, Dublin: Dublin University Press, 2023. 10.25546/102924The Sustainable Development Report 2023 tara.tcd.ie/handle/2262/102924

Number of Top 250 universities 

The number of universities ranked in the Top 250 globally. This data is shown only for the 15 countries offering investment migration options that are also education destination countries. Source. Quacquarelli Symonds Limited QS World University Rankings 2024

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