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The Top 15 Billionaire Cities

Which cities are home to most of the world's billionaires?

Dubai registered the only decline in billionaire population, linked to oil price falls. 

The top fifteen billionaire cities are home to nearly a third of the world's billionaires, according to the annual Billionaire Census, a report compiled by UHNW intelligence provider Wealth-X.

The top 15 cities were home to 29 percent of the global billionaire population in 2019. Reflecting the rise in overall billionaire numbers, these cities recorded a net increase of 37 billionaires, lifting the total to 810 individuals. This was equivalent to annual growth of 4.8 percent, which was weaker than the rise of 8.5 percent in the global billionaire population, implying a slightly reduced concentration of the ultra wealthy in these cities.

The report caveated that this data was taken in pre-COVID times, and that the Coronavirus has taken a major toll on the net worth of billionaires, although some, in sectors like insurance, technology and healthcare, have seen their fortunes rise. 

Eleven of the top 15 cities recorded an increase in their billionaire population in 2019, with only one, Dubai, registering a decline. Seven of the top 15 cities are in Asia, with three each in North America and Europe, and one each in the Middle East and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The US and China each accounted for three of the top 15 cities and were the only countries with more than one city in the rankings. The city rankings remained broadly stable in 2019, with no movement among the top seven cities and only limited changes elsewhere. China was the only country to register an improvement in its cities’ respective rankings, with modest gains for both Shenzhen and Hangzhou. Three of the top 15 cities fell back slightly in the rankings — Los Angeles, Mumbai and Dubai.

New York is still the dominant billionaire city

New York remained the dominant billionaire city, with a solid rise in its billionaire population in 2019. The New York metropolitan area is the largest regional economy in the US and home to the largest billionaire population of any city globally. There was a net increase of eight billionaires in 2019, lifting the total to 113 individuals, 17 more than in the second-ranked city of Hong Kong. Indeed, there are more billionaires in New York than in almost every country in the world, with the exception of China and Germany.

Hong Kong ranks second despite the political unrest.

Hong Kong consolidated its second place in the rankings amid heightened political instability. There was a strong expansion of the billionaire population in the financial services-dominated economy, which recorded the largest net increase (nine individuals) of any city globally, helped by favourable trends in its capital and currency markets. There were 19 more billionaires in Hong Kong than in the third- ranked city of San Francisco. However, political developments and large-scale unrest in the latter half of 2019 — linked to the territory’s relationship with mainland China — raised questions over its future status as a premier hub for international business and wealth creation.

San Francisco has been steadily climbing over the last year and is now at number three. 

There were modest increases in the billionaire populations of the next three highest-ranked cities. San Francisco has risen steadily up the rankings over the past decade to reach its current place at number three, driven by huge wealth gains in the technology sector. However, growth of the billionaire class has moderated over recent years. In 2019, the city added two billionaires, lifting its total to 77.

Moscow came in at fourth place, with London at fifth

The fourth-ranked city of Moscow narrowed the gap slightly, with an increase of three in its billionaire population, while fifth-ranked London added just one to total 66.

Beijing came in sixth, with Shenzhen in joint-ninth (tied with Mumbai) and Hangzhou in 14th place

Growth of China’s billionaire class is widely dispersed across its major cities. Although China recorded the strongest growth in billionaire population of any country in 2019, there were only modest increases in the number of billionaires in its highest-ranked cities of Beijing (two more individuals), Shenzhen (two) and Hangzhou (one). This reflects the broad distribution of the expanding stock of billionaire wealth across a large number of highly populated and economically dynamic cities in China, which contrasts with more highly concentrated pockets of city wealth in most other leading billionaire countries.

Here is the full ranking using data from January to December 2019. For more information click here

1. New York: 113 billionaires (+8 YoY)

2. Hong Kong: 96 billionaires (+9 YoY)

3. San Francisco: 77 billionaires (+2 YoY)

4.  Moscow: 73 billionaires (+3 YoY)

5. London: 66 billionaires (+1)

6. Beijing: 57 billionaires (+2)

7. Singapore: 45 billionaires (+6)

7. Los Angeles: 44 billionaires (+5)

9. Shenzhen: 39 billionaires (+2)

9. Mumbai: 38 billionaires (-)

11. Dubai: 35 billionaires (-3)

12. São Paulo: 33 billionaires (-)

13. Istanbul: 32 billionaires (-)

14. Hangzhou: 32 billionaires (+1)

15. Tokyo: 30 billionaires (+1)