Where millionaires are moving: Australia tops the list

Selling luxury homes using drones
Selling luxury homes using drones

Australia is the top destination for millionaires on the move.

An estimated 11,000 millionaires moved to Australia in 2016, according to a new report by wealth research firm New World Wealth. That compares to 8,000 millionaires who moved Down Under the previous year.

The U.S. and U.K. have traditionally attracted the highest number of wealthy migrants. But the allure of Australia has increased in recent years, especially for wealthy citizens of China and India.

New World Wealth said migrating millionaires are drawn to the sunny Australian lifestyle, as well as the country's highly rated health care system, which is considered to be in better shape than those in the U.S. and U.K.

It's considered a safe place to live and raise children, and it's geographically isolated from conflicts in the Middle East and the refugee crisis in Europe.

Business considerations also play a role: Australia is a good base for doing business in emerging Asian countries such as China, South Korea, Singapore and India, the researchers said.

australia millionaires migration
About 11,000 millionaires moved to Australia in 2016, according to research from New World Wealth.

The U.S. is still considered a highly desirable destination, welcoming 10,000 foreign millionaires last year. New World Wealth expects demand to remain high.

"We don't think the new leadership in the U.S. will have a big impact. We expect another big net inflow of high-net worth individuals into the U.S. in 2017," said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth.

Canada also saw of surge of 8,000 new millionaires coming to its shores. Rich Chinese citizens are moving to Vancouver while Europeans generally head to Toronto and Montreal.

Related: Why is everyone in Monaco so darn rich?

Fleeing France

Meanwhile, France is suffering from a major exodus of rich individuals.

Over 12,000 millionaires left France last year, according to New World Wealth. In total, the country has experienced a net outflow of over 60,000 millionaires since 2000.

The authors cited religious tensions as one reason why the rich are packing their bags and moving to countries including the U.K., Canada, Australia, the U.S. and Israel.

France's sluggish economy and recent terror attacks may also be contributing to the exodus.

New World Wealth said that crime, taxes and financial issues are some factors that push millionaires to leave their home countries. Increased migration is worrying because millionaires "take large amounts of money with them, which impacts negatively on the local currency, local stock market and local property market."

millionaires leaving france
Over 60,000 millionaires have left France since 2000, according to New World Wealth.

The group's annual report is based on wealth statistics, property data, investor visa information and interviews with migration experts, second citizenship platforms, wealth managers and property agents.

Got a visa?

Rich individuals still face visa and passport restrictions when moving to a new country.

Investor visa programs have become an increasingly popular option, especially for millionaires in the Middle East and Asia. But only one in five migrating millionaires actually use these programs for their move.

"Most still come in via work transfers, second passports, ancestry visas, spousal visas and family visas," the authors said.

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