Which Aussie city is in the rich list top 10? And do we care?

Given my own lack of financial wealth, I don’t usually find myself thinking too often about the richest of the rich. Is Bill Gates’ net worth $120 billion or $140 billion? And does that put him ahead or behind Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos? I mean, really, when your personal wealth reaches that sort of level, who cares? Perhaps they’re after ‘rich list’ bragging rights.

As much as I could do with a healthier financial portfolio, I have no interest in becoming ‘billionaire’ rich. I’d settle for being a humble millionaire. One thing I do love, though, is a list. There’s something about the way my brain is wired that draws me to lists and ‘league tables’.

Even something like a rich list will grab my attention. I wouldn’t actively seek one out, but if I see one I’ll certainly have a look.

So when another rich list turned up last week, I found myself checking it out.

This rich list was a little different to most I’d seen. Rather than ranking individuals, it was looking at the 10 richest cities.

Are there any Australian cities on the rich list?

Interesting, I thought. Two questions entered my mind. The first was, “Did any Australian cities make it to the top 10?” As much as I try to be a ‘global citizen’, there’s a bit of parochialism in me. It would be nice if my little old Down Under nation cracked it for a place in the top 10.

The second question made me uncomfortably aware of just how parochial I am. That question was: “Who ranks higher out of Sydney and Melbourne?”

Being Melbourne born and bred, I’m proud of my home city, but the whole Melbourne versus Sydney thing has always bemused me somewhat. Perhaps that’s because my mum was born and grew up there.

Whatever the reason, I’ve never really bought into the ‘rivalry’. (To Sydneysiders looking to take the Grand Prix from us, I say, “When can you come and pick it up?”)

And yet, here I was, wondering whether either Sydney or Melbourne had cracked a place in the rich list top 10. Worse still, I was hoping it would be Melbourne.

Sadly, I was to be disappointed. One of our fair cities did indeed make it to the top 10, but it was Sydney.

Ah well, I thought, at least we have better coffee.

Which cities made it to the top 10? And how is it measured?

The 10 cities, in order are:

  1. New York
  2. Tokyo
  3. The Bay Area
  4. London
  5. Singapore
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Beijing
  9. Shanghai
  10. Sydney

For those wondering what ‘The Bay Area’ is (as I was), it comprises San Francisco City and Silicon Valley. My guess is that Silicon Valley is doing a lot of the heavy lifting there.

Like me, you might be curious as to how one goes about measuring a city’s wealth. In this case, Henley and Partners, a firm specialising in residence and citizenship planning, compiled the rankings. And their approach was simply to count the number of resident millionaires in each city.

For this exercise, Henley and Partners defined millionaires as “individuals with investable wealth of US$1 million or more”. There are approximately 15 million such individuals in the world.

So there you have it. We do have one of the 10 richest cities in the world. Well done us!

Am I disappointed my home town of Melbourne didn’t make it? I’d like to say ‘no’, but the truth is there is a slight pang of regret deep within me.

Did I try to find out how far Melbourne ranks behind Sydney? No. But it took a lot of willpower to resist succumbing to that temptation.

Do you pay heed to rich lists? Were you surprised to see Sydney make the top 10? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: How wealthy are Australians compared to the rest of the world?

Written by Andrew Gigacz

Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.

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  1. Melbourne’s obsession in competing with Sydney is becoming tiresome. I can assure you its all one way and its not coming from Sydney and where on earth did the claim of better coffee come from? Its up there with all the other claims by Melbourne e.g. its more cultured, has better live music, dining etc

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