Singapore is world’s 4th wealthiest city, attracted 3,400 HNIs in 2023, says report

The ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
The ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Photo courtesy: Instagram/marinabaysands

Consistently ranked among the most developed and affluent cities in the world, Singapore is on its way to becoming Asia’s wealthiest city, according to a new report. At present, the Merlion City is the 4th richest in the world and attracted 3,400 high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) in 2023 alone.

World’s Wealthiest Cities Report 2024, released by the investment migration consulting firm Henley & Partners, shows that the top two of the richest cities in world are in the United States of America — New York City is No. 1; and the metropolitan region of Bay Area, in Northern California, is No. 2.

Former global wealth chart-topper Tokyo now sits at No. 3, followed by Singapore at No. 4, and London at No. 5.

Sunrise view of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Sunrise view of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Photo courtesy: Instagram/marinabaysands

Reporting on the latest Henley wealth index, The Straits Times said: “The Republic [of Singapore] — which is widely regarded as the most business-friendly city globally — is now home to 244,800 resident millionaires or individuals with liquid investable wealth of USD 1 million (SGD 1.35 million) or more, 336 centi-millionaires with investable wealth of USD 100 million or more, and 30 billionaires with investable wealth of USD 1 billion or more.”

“This [presence of HNIs and ultra-HNIs in Singapore] follows an impressive 64 per cent increase in millionaires over the past 10 years from 2013 to 2023, with Singapore looking set to unseat Tokyo as Asia’s wealthiest city very soon,” said the ST report, based on Henley data.

Global Top 5 rich cities and their wealthy residents

● #1 New York City: According to the Henley wealth report, the city nicknamed ‘Big Apple’ has a total resident wealth exceeding USD 3 trillion. It now has 349,500 millionaires; 744 centi-millionaires; and 60 billionaires.

Statue of Liberty, New York City
The iconic Statue of Liberty in New York City. Photo courtesy: Instagram/ newyorkcity.explore

#2 Bay Area metropolitan region: Richer than the famed Silicon Valley, the Bay Area has seen an 82 per cent increase in millionaire residents from 2013 to 2023. It now has 305,700 millionaires; 675 centi-millionaires; and 68 billionaires.

#3 Tokyo: Formerly the richest city in the world, Tokyo has lost 5 per cent of its HNIs in the decade under review. It now has 298,300 millionaires; 267 centi-millionaires; and 14 billionaires.

#4 Singapore: Always diligently working on its business competitiveness, infrastructure, and quality of life, Singapore has become increasingly appealing to HNIs over a decade. It now has244,800 millionaires; 336 centi-millionaires; and 30 billionaires.

#5 London: Historically one of the most preferred destinations for global wealth and international finance, London has dropped a few places down the list, after losing about 10 per cent of its rich residents in the past decade. It now has 227,000 millionaires; 370 centi-millionaires; and 35 billionaires.

Among cities outside the global Top 5, the Chinese capital of Beijing has entered the Top 10 of the Henley index for the first time. The city has seen a 90 per cent growth in its millionaire residents over the decade under review, taking the current number to 125,600.

The former British protectorate of Hong Kong, now under Chinese control, has dropped from fifth to ninth place on this wealth index over a decade, but still remains quite rich. It now has 143,400 millionaires; 320 centi-millionaires; and 35 billionaires.

Juerg Steffen, Chief Executive Officer of Henley & Partners, cited technology as one of the key factors behind the growth in wealth. “The S&P 500’s 24 per cent gain last year, along with the Nasdaq’s 43 per cent surge and Bitcoin’s staggering 155 per cent rally, has buoyed the fortunes of wealthy investors. Additionally, rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence, robotics and blockchain technology have provided new opportunities for wealth creation and accumulation,” said the CEO.