The global billionaire population is concentrated in a small collection of cities, new research reveals, with the uber wealthy seeking domiciles that balance business with pleasure.
The top five cities for billionaires, according to the Billionaire Census 2014, released by Wealth-X and UBS, are New York, Moscow, Hong Kong, London, and Beijing, which together host 379 of the world’s most wealthy.
More than one-third of billionaires (35%) are based in just 20 cities around the world. Selling points for billionaires include a stable business environment, as well as lifestyle factors, such as good schools, and entertainment.
Wealth-X spokesperson Fauzi Ahmad said that the most surprising city to appear in the top 20 was Istanbul, which has the seventh highest billionaire population in the world. Ninety-two per cent of Turkey’s billionaires reside in the capital.
“London is a great example of ‘billionaire city’ as it is the financial capital of Europe yet it also has a strong history and cultural scene,” Ahmad said. “But if a billionaire is preserving wealth rather than still accumulating it then lifestyle becomes the most important.”
The study found that a high number of billionaires have homes in nearby cities, as this allows them to escape from the hectic pace of city life, while still being close enough to take advantage of big city offerings.
Ahmad said countries hoping to make their cities more appealing to potential ultra-high net worth residents must create a stable business environment that will give future billionaires the confidence to invest large sums of money.
The study found the global billionaire population has grown 7% from last year to 2,325, with just 5% having a net worth of $10 billion or more.
The average billionaire‘s wealth rose 4.4% from last year to just over $3.1 billion. The combined wealth of Asia’s billionaires grew the most by 18.7%.