Tokyo and Los Angeles tied for second place in a ranking of 100 global cities with the highest population of wealthy people, according to The Wealth Report 2020. The top spot was taken by New York.
The annual ranking by Knight Frank, a global real estate consultancy, compiles a City Wealth Index, which is meant to gauge the best cities for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) to work, live, and invest in. UHNWIs are people who have investable assets in excess of $30 million USD.
Each year, New York and London vie for top spot, and indeed, in the overall ranking New York captured the top overall spot, with Paris, Hong Kong and Los Angeles rounding out the top five cities. In the top twenty, North America leads with eight cities, followed by Asia and Europe both with five.
The overall city ranking is comprised of sub-rankings, for wealth, investment, and lifestyle.
The wealth category looks at the number of UHNWIs and HNWIs (someone with a net worth of over US$1 million including their primary residence) living in a city. In this category, New York has the highest number of UHNWIs, followed by Paris. Tokyo
is home to the most HNWIs, followed by New York. Los Angeles takes third place for both categories.
If UHNWIs and HNWIs are both counted, New York is first, followed by Tokyo and Los Angeles tied for second, and Paris in fourth place.
The report noted that while the coronavirus pandemic saw a shift away from cities during lockdown, with people moving away in search for more space, the trend was temporary, at least for the rich.
It said factors such as wealth, investment and lifestyle offerings meant the super-rich still by and large prefer cities.
In the investment category, the report looks at the the level and diversity of private investment in real estate in each city. Overall, New York leads this ranking followed by London. For volumes alone, Beijing comes out top with over US$42 billion. However, for diversity of investors (measured by the number of nationalities investing) London is number one.
The 2020 report also assessed the power of cities in terms of the number of top global firms headquartered there. By this measure Tokyo leads, with the highest number of Forbes 2000 firms.
In the lifestyle ranking, the report looks at key luxury measures that encourage individuals to visit and reside in each city. These include luxury hotels and restaurants, quality and number of top universities and, for the first time, levels of connectivity.
To measure “connectivity” the report counted the number of destinations (both national and international) – served by each city’s main airports. European cities dominate, with London (392) the most connected, followed by Paris (320) and Frankfurt (302). In each case, a significant proportion of those connections are international. Overall, London takes the top spot in this category, followed closely by Paris.