Where to find the real crazy rich: Asia

Bright lights, rich city.
Bright lights, rich city.
Image: REUTERS/Bobby Yip
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Hong Kong has dethroned New York as the city with the most super-rich people in the world, according to a new report by Wealth-X. The number of ultra-wealthy people in Hong Kong—individuals worth $30 million or more—was 10,010 in 2017, a 31% increase from the year before. New York takes second place with 8,865 people, and Tokyo comes in third with 6,785.

The number of people worth more than $30 million increased by 13% worldwide, largely bolstered by strong global economic growth and stock market performance. Asia exhibited the fastest growth: “Wealth creation in 2017 was most prevalent in Asia, where the collective net worth of the ultra-wealthy surged by more than one quarter, driven by developments in China and Hong Kong,” Wealth-X writes.

The report found that 26 of the 30 fastest growing cities for the ultra-rich are in mainland China, where immense wealth is very spread out. Hong Kong’s rising fortunes, Wealth-X said, can be largely attributed to “enhanced trade and investment links with mainland China.”

South and Southeast Asia are booming too. Between 2012 and 2017, Bangladesh had the fastest growing ultra-rich population, followed by China, and then Vietnam. “Asia-Pacific is forecast to close the ultra-wealth gap with other regions over the next five years,” the report said. Asia’s rising wealth creation was also linked to entrepreneurs who are thriving in the region’s emerging markets, and working within the financial, manufacturing, and technology sectors.

The US remains the country with the highest number of super-rich individuals, but more wealth is shifting eastwards to a crazy rich Asia.