Global Cities of the Super-Rich

New York City and London have more high-net-worth individuals than any other city.

The Occupy movement focused the world's attention on the "1%" of big banks, large corporations, and wealthy people who control the economy, undermine democracy, and shape extreme inequality. Back in October 2011, Cities published a map of the leading cities and metros where America's one percent lives.

But where do the global super-rich live?

The map below, by my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Zara Matheson, charts the 30 leading global cities of the super-rich.  It is based on data from Knight Frank's The Wealth Report 2013, which identifies the location of high-net worth-individuals (HNWI) with a whopping $30 million or more in net assets. There are slightly less than 200,000 (189,835) people with more than $30 million in net assets worldwide, according to the report. Given the world population is roughly 7 billion people, these high-net-worth people actually account for the upper .003 percent of global population. The U.S. accounts for about a third of all high-net-worth people (60,657); Europe is home to 54,170, and Asia to 43,726. 

Map by MPI's Zara Matheson

New York City is the No. 1 location for the global super-rich, with 7,580 people with $30 million or more in net assets. London is second with 6,015, followed by Tokyo (5,440), San Francisco (4,590), and Los Angeles (4,520). Beijing (2,285), Mumbai (2,105), Hong Kong (3,205), São Paulo (1,880), and Rio de Janeiro (1,740) round out the top ten. Seven U.S. cities number among the top 20 - Chicago 15th (2,615), Houston 17th (2,295), Washington D.C. 18th (2,395) and Dallas 19th (2,020). Toronto is 20th (1,765).  Beijing, Mumbai, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Delhi, and Shanghai are expected to at least double their numbers of high-net-worth individuals over the next decade, according to the report.

The report also ranks the global cities that matter the most to these high-net-worth individuals, based on four categories: economic activity, political power, quality of life, and knowledge and influence.

Overall, New York and London top this list as well, followed by Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Washington, D.C., Toronto, and Zurich. (See the report for the full rankings.) This list is similar to my own ranking of the world's most economically powerful cities. The cities are also ranked on each category individually, and the table below (from the report) charts the leaders in each of the four categories.

Table courtesy of report

About the Author

  • Richard Florida is Co-founder and Editor at Large of CityLab.com and Senior Editor at The Atlantic. He is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and Global Research Professor at NYU. More
    Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative ClassWho's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He's also the founder of the Creative Class Group, and a list of his current clients can be found here