USA Wealth Report 2024: America Remains the World’s Top Wealth Hub but Faces Uncertain Future

LONDON, March 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Despite serious concerns over the state of the union with a Biden–Trump presidential election rematch now underway, the USA remains the world’s undisputed leader in private wealth creation and accumulation. America accounts for 32% of global liquid investable wealth — a colossal USD 67 trillion, according to the 2024 USA Wealth Report published by global wealth advisory firm Henley & Partners. The USA is currently home to 37% of the world’s millionaires: some 5.5 million high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) who hold over USD 1 million in liquid investable assets. This number has risen by an impressive 62% over the past decade, well ahead of the worldwide growth rate of 38%.

Although the USA’s GDP is similar to that of rival superpower China, America ranks way ahead when it comes to liquid wealth (which for the purposes of this report only includes listed company holdings, cash and debt-free residential property holdings). Likewise, wealth per capita and the number of super rich is also substantially higher stateside. The USA boasts 9,850 centi-millionaires versus China’s 2,352, and 788 billionaires versus China’s 305. While just over 862,000 millionaires live in China, its wealth per capita is only USD 18,800 compared to USD 201,500 in America, which ranks 6th globally after Monaco, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Australia, and Singapore.

Yet despite the USA’s affluence, Mehdi Kadiri, Head of North America at Henley & Partners, says record numbers of wealthy US-Americans are currently securing additional citizenships or alternative residence rights abroad. “US nationals are our single biggest cohort of applicants right now and they also outnumbered every other nationality last year. With political divisions and societal tensions at an all-time high, American investors, entrepreneurs, and wealthy families are increasingly hedging their bets and pursuing backup citizenship or residence abroad, signaling declining faith in the domestic outlook.”

Commenting in the 2024 USA Wealth Report, award-winning journalist and author Misha Glenny says although just under 2% of the world’s population have the right to decide who will be the next US president, their choice will have far-reaching consequences for the remaining 8 billion around the globe. “The USA remains the decisive economic power in the world but politically it has rarely appeared so unsure of itself. Despite its economic performance, the perception of ordinary voters ahead of November’s high-stakes election is one of stagnating living standards, rising debt levels, and a dangerously polarized society.”

America’s wealthiest and priciest cities

New York City continues to wear the crown as the wealthiest city in the USA (and the world) with 349,500 millionaires calling the Big Apple home (of which 744 are centi-millionaires and 60 are billionaires), followed by the Bay Area (305,700), Los Angeles (212,100), Chicago (120,500), and Houston (90,900). Dallas (68,600), Seattle (54,200), Boston (42,900), Miami (35,300), and Austin (32,700) all make it into this year’s Top 10, with Washington, D.C. in 11th place with 28,300 resident millionaires.

Looking at wealth growth over the past decade, Texas’s capital Austin has enjoyed the biggest leap, with a 110% increase in its millionaire population between 2013 and 2023. The Arizona desert city of Scottsdale and Florida’s Palm Beach and West Palm Beach have also proved to be millionaire magnets with increases of 102% and 93%, respectively. Greenwich and Darien on Connecticut’s affluent Gold Coast, and Northern California’s Bay Area, have sported wealth growth of over 80%, and Miami, Dallas, D.C., Seattle, and Houston have all seen their resident millionaires surge by over 70%. Andrew Amoils, Head of Research at New World Wealth says “future wealth hotspots to watch are Salt Lake City, Tampa, and Naples. Over the next decade, we can expect these cities to attract rising numbers of high-net-worth residents”.

When it comes to the most expensive real estate in America, New York again takes the lead with the average price per m2 of a ‘prime’ (200 to 400 m2) apartment in the city standing at an eye-watering USD 28,400. Next up is LA, where the plushiest pads fetch an average of USD 17,800 per m2, followed closely by Palm Beach (USD 17,500), Miami Beach (USD 17,200), and the Bay Area, where you can spend up to USD 15,500 per m2 for premium residential units in the most affluent locations.

In terms of private wealth outflows, Henley & Partners received the most enquiries from US citizens on record in 2023 (with an increase of 500% over the past five years), making them the highest ranked nationality worldwide when it comes to applying for residence and citizenship by investment programs. To meet demand, the firm has opened offices in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and San Francisco.

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