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The World's High Net Worth are on the Move

Four-in-ten of the world's high net worth live in at least two countries.

| BY Donald Liebenson

From Latin America to North America, and North America to Europe, the world’s wealthy are on the move.

The majority (57 percent) of high net worth individuals live in one country, but the remainder report living in at least two, according to a recent Barclay’s Wealth Insights report that tracks these wealthy individuals’ international movements. Twenty-two percent of survey respondents live in two countries, while 12 percent report living in three. Four percent call four countries home as do 2 percent respectively do of five and six or more countries.

The world’s high net worth are more mobile than ever, the report states. What is driving their moves to a different country? One factor is entrepreneurism and the changing source of wealth. A growing proportion of high net worth individuals are earning their wealth through starting their own business rather than receiving an inheritance, according to the report. These entrepreneurs are broadening their horizons to grow their businesses.

Technology, too, has better enabled high net worth entrepreneurs to communicate and do business across borders.

Business and economic reasons are primary factors in deciding to what country high net worth individuals decide to move. But there are other considerations. Primarily, it’s climate, say 35 percent of respondents, followed by:

  • Economic security (25 percent)
  • Retirement (24 percent)
  • International career (20 percent)
  • Education/opportunities (20 percent)
  • Experience another culture (20 percent)
  • Economic opportunity (19 percent)
  • Lower cost of living (18 percent)

North America and Europe still hold the strongest allure for the world’s high net worth individuals, but increasing numbers are looking Eastward, the report finds. Roughly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents report that they will be making the move from Latin America to North America in the next five years, likewise 43 percent of those from the Asia Pacific region, 38 percent of Europeans and 32 percent of those from the Middle East.

Europe, too, can expect an influx of high net worth individuals. Thirty-six percent are heading there from North America, as are 59 percent from Latin America and 38 percent from the Middle East.

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.