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2022 trends for the migration of the wealthy

Where high-net-worth people move to — and from — says a lot about those respective countries. From the state of their economy to their safety. 

Migration experts Henley and Partners predict the top countries for net inflow in 2022 will be UAE, Australia, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, USA, Portugal, Greece, Canada, and New Zealand. The biggest losers of wealthy residents are expected to be Russia, China, India, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Brazil, the UK, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.

COVID-19 curtailed much of the global migration that has been rising in the past decade. Migration professionals Henley and Partners state there are no country-specific numbers for 2020 and 2021, due to lockdowns and travel restrictions; but 2022 data is available now and has informed predictions on high-net-worth individual (HNWI) migration across the world.

Top 10 countries for inflow of HWNIs in 2022

Projections for the top nations for HWNI inflow this year are as follows:

  1. United Arab Emirates

  2. Australia

  3. Singapore

  4. Israel

  5. Switzerland

  6. USA

  7. Portugal

  8. Greece

  9. Canada

  10. New Zealand

The UAE tops the list with a projected 4,000 millionaires projected to move to that country this year. Australia is a close second with 3,500 expected to make the land down under their new home.

The U.S. as a new home for the wealthy

The United States still makes the top-10 list but is not quite as popular as it has been over the last several years; Henley and Partners speculates the drop-off in HNWI migration is due to the prospect of higher taxes and crime rates in some big cities. The U.S. is expected to have an inflow of 1,500 HNWIs in 2022.

Beyond this, EB-5 stakeholders must wonder if program-related drama contributed to the lower numbers. The 2019 hike to $900,000 (which was declared invalid in June of 2021) froze investor interest; and the shutdown of the Regional Center Program from July 2021 until now, July 2022, caused few EB-5 petitions to be filed.

Millionaires are also migrating within the U.S. to — and away from ‘brand name’ cities

The wealthy are choosy about where in the U.S. they want to call home. Interestingly cities like Austin, Greenwich, and Palm Beach have been the destinations for such internally migrating HNWIs, while big and “brand name” cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York have been losing millionaires.

Top 10 countries for outflow of HWNIs in 2022

Projections of nations with the most HWNI outflow this year:

  1. Russia

  2. China

  3. India

  4. Hong Kong

  5. Ukraine

  6. Brazil

  7. United Kingdom

  8. Mexico

  9. Saudi Arabia

  10. Indonesia

Mother Russia is losing 15% of her wealthiest children this year

Russia leads this rather inauspicious list with an astounding 15,000 HNWIs expected to leave the world’s largest country in 2022; that number comprises 15% of the country’s millionaire population. 

China: slowing economic growth and poor foreign relations lead to migration

China, with the world’s second largest economy, is losing more wealthy residents than it is gaining. 10,000 Chinese HNWIs are expected to leave the country this year.

Henley and Partners cites slowing economic growth and poor relations with countries like the U.S. and Australia as major reasons for China’s HNWI loss.

India: losing many HNWIs, but producing even more

In 2022, India will lose about 8,000 HNWIs. But the country is creating even more wealthy people. 

Henley and Partners believes that as the standard of living increases, the country will regain many wealthy Indians who decide to return to their homeland.

Of note for EB-5 stakeholders, India’s economic future is very bright with HNWIs expected to increase by 80% by 2031. The financial, healthcare, and tech sectors will help drive this impressive growth.

Brazil: substantial losses expected

About 2,500 Brazilian HNWIs are leaving the country in 2022; this comprises about 2% of the nation’s affluent population. The U.S., with robust Latin-American communities and culture, remains a big target for many migrating Brazilians with money.

Read the Henley and Partners article “Millionaire Migration Trends for 2022”

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