April 14, 2024

Wealthy Americans are increasingly showing interest in migrating from the U.S., according to a new report by Henley & Partners, a firm that specializes in helping uberrich clients invest their way into gaining residence and citizenship elsewhere.

The report finds that last year, globally 120,000 high net worth individuals —what the firm calls people who have over $1 million of liquid investable assets — moved countries. In 2024, the figure is set to grow to 128,000. For comparison, just 51,000 millionaires relocated in 2013.

While the U.S. remains a top destination for millionaires abroad, the American wealthy are seeking backup citizenship and residence in other countries at record levels.

“Motivations range from mitigating political risk, opening up business opportunities abroad, seeking lower taxes, and enhancing global mobility,” Mehdi Kadiri, managing partner and head of North America at Henley & Partners, wrote in a blog post. The firm says Americans make up the single-biggest nationality of millionaires seeking a second passport or alternative residence. In 2023, a record year, the number of enquires from American clients skyrocketed 504% compared to enquires made in 2019.

Judi Galst, managing director of private clients for the firm, said clients have raised concerns of antisemitism and homophobia as reasons for wanting to move — and now they’re picking up and leaving for places like Portugal, Malta, Spain, Greece, and Italy.

Where are the world’s millionaires are moving

The pandemic decreased the net inflow of millionaires moving to the U.S., but it has since recovered. About 2,100 millionaires flocked to the United States in 2023, compared to 1,500 in 2022. This is still below peak levels of 5,000 or more prior to 2019.

“Civil unrest and brazen political attacks on democracy and the rule of law coupled with eroding social cohesion raise tough questions about America’s future stability and ability to attract global talent over the longer term,” Kadiri wrote.Instead, the world’s wealthiest are now settling in Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

Despite this, the United States remains the top country for private wealth creation and accumulation. The country accounts for about 32% of global liquid investable wealth, about $67 trillion. It’s also home to 37% of the world’s millionaires.

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