Cities With The Most Millionaires

By Krista Conrad on September 23 2020 in World Facts

View of Manhattan, New York City Skyline. Image credit: stockelements/Shutterstock
View of Manhattan, New York City Skyline. Image credit: stockelements/Shutterstock
  • There are nearly 47 million millionaires in the world.
  • London is known as an epicenter of the world's financial industry, and is the city with the most millionaires.
  • New York is fighting to keep its wealthy residents in light of COVID-19 driving them out of the city.

Nearly 47 million people across the globe belong to the millionaire club, part of an ever-growing class of private citizens developing fortunes that includes more than 18 million people in the United States alone. What cities do the most millionaires live in?

Which cities have the most millionaires?

The famous financial bank district of London, United Kingdom. Image credit: IR Stone/Shutterstock 

London, United Kingdom

There are 357,200 documented millionaires in London, marking the United Kingdom capital city as the world leader in wealthy citizens. It is also home to more multi-millionaires than other cities with about 4,400 holding net assets of at least $30 million USD and around 100 people who are billionaires as well, when looking at their fortunes in British pounds (£).

London has come to be known as an alpha city, known for being the pinnacle of the global economy and political order, and has developed accordingly. It's the city's status as a center of world finance that makes London attractive to those with high net worth. Generally, its most wealthy people work in the financial service industry, which has become an anchor sector for the city. Wealthy individuals have also made their fortunes working in retail, luxury goods, media, technology and real estate industries, making London a place for wealth creation.

In addition, London is a haven for the rich with its opportunities for business as well as attractive high-class urban neighborhoods next to parks, luxury shops and services, plush hotels, and a general sense of grandeur that highlights the high economic value it espouses.

The Charging Bull statue in the financial district of New York City, United States. Image credit: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/Shutterstock

New York, United States

In New York City, there are around 65 billionaires and 339,200 millionaires, amping the city's overall wealth to nearly $3 trillion in property, cash, equities and business interest assets by all citizens. Once the richest city in the world, New York fell back in total wealth by about $336 billion over the past year due to the COVID-19 outbreak and effects of the global pandemic on investment, as well as the fact many of the city's richest residents fled New York and its dense metropolitan population when it became an epicenter for the viral outbreak in the US. City officials are working to bring back its most financially influential citizens in order to secure its upper tax bracket and restore pre-pandemic economic vitality.

New York has been a leader in the number of millionaires since the late nineteenth century when a survey in the New York Tribune in 1890 revealed a total of 4,047 millionaires in the city, and money has been talking in the city for decades. Money has created a culture of fighting for pre-eminence and social status among those who hold fortunes in the city as millionaires strive to distinguish themselves from one another, which resulted in owning grand and opulent homes, large yachts or fine horses and fine art collections, and throwing the most elaborate and memorable high-society parties. Some societal clash occurred between those with so-called old money, as opposed to the nouveau-riche, whose fortunes were relatively new and who climbed up the socio-economic ladder to join the ranks of the wealthy.

Shinjuku's Kabuki-cho district in Tokyo, Japan. Image credit: Luciano Mortula - LGM/Shutterstock

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo has sealed itself into third-place for the city with the most millionaires with 279,800 tycoons in the Japanese capital. The difference between millionaires in this city versus those found in New York and even London, is that the Japanese rich tend to mask their wealth rather than flaunt it. This mentality stems from a cultural desire not to stand out in a crowd, and the superrich tend to steer away from ostentation, not building mansions or spending frivolously on material luxuries, but will enjoy travel, fine arts and concerts rather than gems and cars.

Wealthy people in Japan also tend to spend their dollars wisely and locally, preferring expensive Japanese wines rather than imports and art from their culture rather than Western works. This practice is viewed as a civic responsibility, with the rich putting their money back into Japan to spur a trickle-down effect through the country's economy.

How do people make millions?

There are several ways wealthy people earn their fortunes, aside from inheritance or lottery windfall. These days, most millionaires work in an industry that produces higher-than-average incomes, with a median annual salary of about $250,000 among 100 of the richest people in America interviewed by Business Insider. This comes from knowing how to grow in careers and put effort into developing the skills necessary to get ahead.

Typically an annual salary is just the tip of the iceberg. Most millionaires have more than one source of income, whether they invest in side businesses, real estate or investments, and take calculated risks in doing so. Sometimes this also involves getting creative in how they spend or invest with their money and networking with like-minded people to find success in money matters.

Saving is also key to growing wealth store, and many millionaires are known to put a significant portion of their income into savings, spending around half or less through the year. By avoiding overspending, these tycoons are able to build up their wealth.

Once upon a time, the millionaire club was extremely exclusive, but with inflation over time, we are seeing a lot more millionaires than just twenty years ago. That said, it could be getting harder than ever to become a millionaire, especially in the US. This is because the wealth gap between the rich and the poor is continuing to widen. Will the billionaire club one day bolster up to the size the millionaire club is today?

Cities With The Most Millionaires

RankCityCountryNumber of millionaires
1LondonUnited Kingdom357,200
2New YorkUnited States339,200
3TokyoJapan279,800
4Hong KongHong Kong227,900
5SingaporeSingapore217,300
6San FranciscoUnited States180,300
7Los AngelesUnited States173,300
8ChicagoUnited States135,000
9FrankfurtGermany128,300
10BeijingChina122,100
11OsakaJapan117,700
12ShanghaiChina117,600
13ParisFrance110,900
14TorontoCanada109,300
15ZurichSwitzerland109,200
16SeoulSouth Korea108,100
17SydneyAustralia106,800
18GenevaSwitzerland104,300
19Mexico CityMexico86,700
20MunichGermany78,900

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