Australia is now the No.1 destination for the world's millionaire migrants

Carnival Spirit leaves Sydney Harbour. Photo: Getty / File

The world’s millionaires are on the move, and the place they most want to settle is Australia.

New World Wealth, a research company based in South Australia, has just released its annual report on global wealth and wealth migration trends for 2016.

The fourth annual global wealth migration study was compiled using investor visa program statistics, property registers and  sales statistics in each country, plus interviews with 800 high net worth individuals or those with assets of $US1 million or more.

It finds global wealth migration is accelerating with 82,000 millionaires, or high net worth individuals, migrating in 2016 compared to 64,000 the year before.

And for the second year in a row Australia is the top country for millionaire inflows, beating traditional destinations such as the US and the UK.

An estimated 11,000 millionaires moved to Australia in 2016 compared to 10,000 to the US and 3,000 to the UK.

The top five destinations for millionaire migrants in 2016 were:

  1. Australia: 11,000
  2. US: 10,000
  3. Canada: 8,000
  4. UAE: 5,000
  5. New Zealand: 4,000

New World Wealth says the reasons for Australia’s popularity are varied. They include:

  • Australia has one of the best healthcare systems. In the UK, the NHS is deteriorating, while in the US the mandated healthcare insurance has not turned out well for wealthy and middle class patients.
  • Australia’s location makes it a good base for doing business in emerging Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and India.
  • Australia is relatively immune to the turmoil in the Middle East and the related refugee crisis in Europe.
  • Australia was recently rated as the safest country in the world by New World Wealth. Australia is a particularly safe country to raise children.
  • Australia is a good base for wealthy retired yacht owners who wish to sail the South Pacific Islands.
  • Australia has lower inheritance taxes than the US and much lower inheritance taxes than the UK.
  • Lifestyle: wildlife, beaches, scenery.

New World Wealth says Australia’s superior economic growth over the past decade has no doubt had an impact on confidence and business opportunities.

Over the past 10 years, total wealth held in Australia has increased by 85% compared to 30% in the US and 28% in the UK.

“The average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average US or UK citizen, which was not the case 10 years ago,” says New World Wealth.

Picture: Getty Images

“Climate is also likely to be a factor — Australia has a significantly hotter climate than the UK in particular.

“Notably, there is a trend of large European, American and Asian companies setting up offices in Australia, which assists the businessmen in charge of these companies in moving to Australia via work transfers.”

Other countries with large inflows of high net worth individuals in 2016 included Canada, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Israel.

And countries losing large numbers of millionaire include France, Turkey and Brazil.

The outflow of 12,000 millionaires from France could be due to rising religious tensions between Christians and Muslims.

“We expect that millionaire migration away from France will accelerate over the next decade as these tensions escalate,” says New World Wealth.

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