Here's some annoying news to flavour your day. Singapore has been named the fifth richest city in the world, and the second richest city in Asia according to the World's Wealthiest Cities Report 2023. If you're not feeling very rich, know that the report draws on data that tracks the spending habits of high net worth (HNW) individuals across 97 cities worldwide – that is, individuals with an investable wealth of USD 1 million and above.
According to the report, Singapore is currently home to 240,100 millionaires, 329 centi-millionaires, and 27 billionaires, surpassing the HNW individual count even in Asia's richest city, Tokyo. This year, we also overtake Hong Kong, which has seen a flight of disillusioned expats in recent years.
Singapore holds great appeal for the wealthy thanks to its business-friendly environment. Approximately 2,800 HNW individuals migrated to Singapore in 2022, with many of the elite setting up family offices as well as Southeast Asian headquarters to take advantage of favourable tax conditions.
According to Henley & Partners, the influx of HNW individuals is a boon for cities, indicating robust economies, low crime rates, competitive tax rates and fantastic business opportunities – all great news for Singapore. On the other hand, the report notes that "the post-Covid surge in immigration [to Singapore] combined with increased interest rates has pushed the housing market to a near all-time high with no prospect of cooling any time soon". When Singapore consistently ranks as the most expensive city in the world, sentiments are sure to be split about the results of this index.
Here are the top 10 wealthiest cities in the world in 2023: