UK to See Biggest Millionaire Exodus Behind China: 2024 Report

Analysts say the ending of the non-dom tax regime and the deteriorating healthcare system are among factors that contributed to the accelerated exodus.
UK to See Biggest Millionaire Exodus Behind China: 2024 Report
Office workers and commuters walking across a bridge in Canary Wharf in London on Oct. 6, 2021. (Victoria Jones/PA)
Lily Zhou

The UK is set to lose more millionaires in 2024 than any other country except China, an annual report says.

According to the Henley Private Wealth Migration Report 2024, published on Tuesday by Henley and Partners, 9,500 more millionaires are projected to move out of the UK in 2024 than those who move in, which represents an “unprecedented net loss.”

A range of factors, including the ending of the non-dom tax regime, the deteriorating health care system, Brexit, and the lack of competitiveness in the hi-tech space, have been blamed for the exodus, with analysts suggesting “unwelcome development” foreshadowed by the general election campaign promises may push more out of the country.

According to the report, the UK’s net loss of millionaires in 2024 will be second only to China, which is projected to lose 15,200 millionaires to migration.

India, South Korea, and Russia, which ranked third, fourth, and fifth on the outflow league table, are projected to see the emigration of 4,300, 1,200, and 1,000 millionaires, respectively.

The top destinations of global millionaires, or individuals with liquid investable wealth of $1 million (£780,000) or more, are the UAE, with a projected net gain of 6,700 people, and the United States (3,800), Singapore (3,500), Canada (3,200), Australia (2,500), Italy (2,200), Switzerland (1,500), Greece (1,200), Portugal (800), and Japan (400).

There are around 602,500 millionaires in the UK, following an 8 percent drop in the past decant while the number was “soaring elsewhere,” according to Henley and Partners.

The UK ranked fifth among the top 15 countries, after the United States, China, Germany, and Japan.

The provisional projections for 2024 are based on millionaire movement data until June 2024. Data for the annual report are provided by wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth, which tracks the movements of more than 150,000 high-net-worth individuals in its in-house database, with a special focus on those with over $ 30 million (£23.6 million) in listed company holdings.

The data only include those who live in their new countries for more than half of a given year.

Multiple Factors

Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, said the UK has begun seeing net losses of millionaires around a decade ago, with 16,500 net emigration in the six years after the Brexit referendum, but the provisional estimates for 2024 are “even more concerning.”

According to his analysis, those who leave the UK in the year 2024/2025 are expected to head to places including Paris, Dubai, Amsterdam, Monaco, Geneva, Sydney, and Singapore, and retirement hotspots such as Florida, the Algarve, Malta, and the Italian Riviera.

A number of factors have driven the millionaire exodus, Mr. Amoils also said, including the country’s tax policies and its overstretched healthcare system, London Stock Exchange losing its charm, booming hi-tech sectors in Asia and the United States, and the improvement in education in other English-speaking countries.

One of the tax policies blamed for the exit of the wealthy is the ending of non-dom status, which Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his spring budget this year.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty arriving in Manchester on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference, in Manchester, England, on Sept.30, 2023. (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty arriving in Manchester on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference, in Manchester, England, on Sept.30, 2023. (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The surprise policy announcement came after Labour called for the scrape of the system for months following the revelation that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty, an Indian heiress and businesswoman, was claiming non-dom status.

Mr. Amoils also said the UK’s high Capital gains tax and estate duty rates are deterring wealthy business owners and retirees from living in the country, and the deteriorating healthcare system has led to safety concerns.

Hannah White, director and CEO of the Institute for Government, said “significant political turmoil” during the Conservative Party’s rapid leadership changes in 2022, “accompanied by a lack of policy space to address the structural factors impeding the UK economy has contributed to an uncertain investment climate.”

Ms. White attributed accelerated exits of the wealthy to policies including inheritance tax and the ending of the tax non-dom tax regime, adding that Labour’s promise to scrap VAT the exemption for private schools “will be a further unwelcome development.”

The analysis was echoed by Alec Marsh, contributing editor of the Spear’s wealth management magazine.

Mr. Marsh said beating Labour to ending the non-dom status may have been clever politics by the Conservative Party, but it “must have been a red flag” for the globally wealthy,

He also said things will likely “get worse before they get better under Labour if the party wins after polling day on July 4.