Where the UK's wealthiest people live - and how they made their money

The UK is the 4th largest wealth market in the world - in terms of total wealth held - after the US, China and Japan, according to a new report by global market research group New World Wealth.

The report analysed wealth data for June 2019 and rates the wealthiest cities and towns in the UK according to the "total wealth" - in terms of private wealth - held by all the individuals living in each city or town.

"Total wealth" includes all an individual's assets - property, cash, equities and business interests - less any liabilities.

For the purposes of the report, billionaires are defined as individuals with wealth of US$1bn (about R14.67bn) or more and millionaires (HNWIs) are defined as individuals with wealth of US$1m (about R14.67m) or more.

There are just over 760 000 US dollar millionaires and 95 dollar billionaires living in the UK. Only three counties have more US dollar billionaires than the UK, namely the US, China and India.

The research found that most dollar millionaires in the UK made their wealth from financial and professional services (26%), followed by real estate (12%), tech and telecoms (10%), media (9%), diversified (9%), healthcare (8%) and retail and fashion (5%).

The wealthiest cities

London was found to be the wealthiest city in the UK, holding total wealth of US$2.4trn, also making it the 4th wealthiest city in the world after New York, Tokyo and San Francisco.

The most affluent suburbs in London include Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Mayfair, Chelsea, Kensington, Westminster, Hampstead, Richmond, Wimbledon, Regents Park and St Johns Wood. The houses and apartments that overlook Hyde Park, Regents Park and Hampstead Heath are especially affluent areas.

Manchester and Trafford (a borough of Greater Manchester) are next in line in the UK, listed together with total wealth of US$262bn. Manchester is the main financial and business hub in Northern England and one of the fastest growing cities in the UK in terms of wealth growth over the past 10 years, according to the report.

Edinburgh, the financial capital of Scotland, is the third wealthiest city in the UK with total wealth of US$182 billion. Major sectors in the city include financial and professional services.

UK wealthiest cities
(Source: New World Wealth)

Small towns

The research found that there are a number of affluent small towns and villages in the UK with fewer than 30 000 people that are home to a large amount of wealth. According to the authors, wealth growth in these towns appears to have outperformed wealth growth in the big UK cities over the past 10 years.

The report argues that this is because, over the past few years, many wealthy Londoners have moved out of the city to nearby small affluent "commuter towns" such as Taplow, or have second residences in these towns.

On the list of most affluent small towns in the UK - based on the number of multi-millionaires with homes in each town - is Windsor, followed by Ascot, Virginia Water, Leatherhead, Weybridge, Henley, Marlow and Bray.

Top performers in terms of wealth growth in these small towns include Taplow, Marlow, Henley and Bray.

wealthiest UK towns

(Source: New World Wealth)

* Compiled by Carin Smith.

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