Hong Kong overtakes New York as city with most ultrawealthy people
Hong Kong is now home to more extremely rich people than any other city in the world, surpassing New York City as the rapidly growing Chinese economy mints a new class of financial elites in the east, according to a new report.
Hong Kong has more than 10,000 residents who each control at least $30 million - about a 31 percent jump from 2016 to 2017, according to Wealth-X, a research firm that studies the world’s wealthiest people.
The number of ultrawealthy people in New York City increased to about 9,000 residents over that same period, a seven percent jump. But Hong Kong leapfrogged the Big Apple primarily because of the rapid growth in stock markets throughout much of Asia, particularly China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Investors and executives in Hong Kong have extensive business ties to mainland China, where the amount of wealth overall grew by more than 30 percent, the report found.
“Hong Kong overtaking New York is not about New York losing its shine,” said Vincent White, co-author of the report. “It’s that Hong Kong has grown fantastically, powered by a tremendous stock market performance.”
The ranks of the phenomenally wealthy ballooned in 2017, as the number of people with more than $30 million expanded to 256,000, a 13 percent jump from the previous year. (Their numbers grew by 3.5 percent in 2016.) The ultrawealthy represent 0.003 percent of the world’s population but collectively control 11 percent of its wealth.
Overall, the United States still boasts many more billionaires and multimillionaires than do mainland China and Hong Kong combined, with about 80,000 Americans holding net worth over $30 million, compared with about 17,000 people in mainland China and 10,000 people in Hong Kong who cross that threshold. Japan, at 18,000 people holding net worth over $30 million, is home to the second-highest number of ultrawealthy people.
Of the 10 cities with the most ultrawealthy people, five of them - New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. - are in America, according to the Wealth-X report.
The American economy also remains larger than any in Asia, with the nation’s gross domestic product totaling $18 trillion, compared to the approximately $11 trillion economy of China, the biggest in the east. No city in mainland China cracks the top 10 for containing the most ultrawealthy people.