A recent report from New World Wealth revealed that thousands of millionaires are leaving countries around the world –including destination cities like Paris and Rome – for other locations. The reasons: rising religious and racial tensions, economic decline, heightened levels of criminal activity, minimal opportunity and the migration crisis affecting Europe from the Middle East and Africa. The report ranked millionaire outflows by city and country. Here are the findings.
Millionaire Outflows by City
A closer look at the numbers by city:
Paris, France – Paris experienced the steepest decline, with 7,000, or 6%, of the millionaire population emigrating to the U.K., USA, Canada, Australia or Israel due to religious tensions and minimal opportunities for growth.
Rome, Italy – Approximately 5,000 millionaires left Rome and headed to the U.K. and USA in search of more economic stability and opportunities.
Chicago, USA – Chicago saw 3,000 millionaires relocate to other parts of the USA to escape rising crime rates and racial tensions.
Athens, Greece – Only 2,000 millionaires left Athens in 2015 for the U.K. or USA, but this accounted for 9% of its millionaire population. The primary concerns at the time of departure were the “economic slump [and] migration crisis with Syria/Turkey,” according to the report.
Millionaire Outflows by Country
A closer look at the numbers by country:
France – A whopping 10,000 millionaires left France in 2015. “France is being heavily impacted by rising religious tensions between Christians and Muslims, especially in urban areas,” says the report. Other observers might point to growing concerns about anti-Semitism; the report does note that “Tel Aviv had large inflows from Europe, especially France.” Unfortunately, emigration numbers are projected to increase as the religious tensions rise, the report adds.
China – China lost 1%, or 9,000 members, of its millionaire population in 2015. However, the report points out, China is “still producing far more new millionaires than they are losing,” and as the living conditions improve, the numbers are expected to diminish.
Italy – Approximately 6,000 millionaires left Italy in 2015, and the trend is expected to continue.
India – Similar to China, the outflow of 4,000, or 2%, of the millionaire population isn’t concerning, because the number leaving is relatively low compared to the number of individuals who are reaching millionaire status. The inflows are expected to increase as the standard of living improves.
Greece – Greece lost 5%, or 3,000 members, of its millionaire population in 2015, and this number is likely to continue to rise.
Russian Federation – “Russia has a number of underlying problems, mainly related to an unhealthy level of government intervention in the local business sector. Its anti-USA stance is also harming inward investment and making it difficult for foreign companies to enter the market,” notes the report. The country lost 2%, or 2,000 members, of its millionaire population in 2015.
Spain – Spain also lost 2%, or 2,000 members, of its millionaire population in 2015. As in Italy and Greece, the large outflow from Spain should continue. “The possible breaking up of the EU would hit these countries the hardest due to their large state pension obligations,” the report adds.
Brazil – “The downturn in the local economy and rising crime rates are pushing many millionaires out of the country,” says the report. One percent, or 2,000 members, of the millionaire population left in 2015.
The Economic Impact
Not only will the large outflow of money negatively affect stock market, currency and property markets in these countries; the unemployment rates could also rise, as 30% to 40% of the millionaire population own businesses, notes the report. Revenue generated by income and sales taxes will also diminish. Furthermore, “millionaires are resilient to economic downturns and can keep an economy going during tough times,” says the report. But if thousands are migrating, what does this say about the current economic state of the countries they are leaving?
The Bottom Line
The mass exodus of millionaires sheds light on religious, racial, criminal and migration issues around the world. However, it also reveals some underlying issues with the economy that shouldn’t be overlooked. (For more, see What Millionaires Fear the Most and How Millionaires Say They’ll Invest in 2016.)