Millionaires leave Russia, Ukraine over war as wealthy bypass U.S.

June 13 (UPI) — Millionaires are on the move again as the war in Ukraine, political instability and the threat of higher taxes force the world’s wealthy out of Russia, Ukraine, Britain and even the United States, according to the latest Henley Global Citizens Report, which tracks worldwide investment migration trends.

The report released Monday showed Russia suffered the largest emigration of millionaires in the past six months, with 15,000 expected to leave the country by the end of the year. Russia’s invasion is also driving out affluent investors from Ukraine which is expected to lose 2,800 millionaires, its highest net loss in the country’s history.

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“The 2022 forecast reflects an extremely volatile environment worldwide. By the end of the year, 88,000 millionaires are expected to have relocated to new countries,” said Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners.

While millionaires tend to migrate to financial giants such as Britain and the United States, the data shows that trend is changing. Britain, which was once touted as the world’s financial center, continues to see a steady loss of millionaires due to Brexit and rising taxes, with more than 1,500 expected to leave the country by the end of 2022.

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The United States is also becoming less popular for migrating millionaires with financial experts pointing to political instability and the threat of higher taxes. The United States still attracts more wealthy than it loses, but the net inflow projected for 2022 is 1,500, an 86% drop from 2019 levels which saw a net inflow of 10,800.

“Affluent individuals are extremely mobile, and their movements can provide an early warning signal into future country trends,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth. “Countries that draw wealthy individuals and families to migrate to their shores tend to be robust, with low crime rates, competitive tax rates and attractive business opportunities.”

According to the report, those countries gaining the most millionaires in 2022 include the United Arab Emirates, which overtook the United States in the top spot, Australia, Singapore, Israel and Switzerland. Large numbers of millionaires are also expected to move to Malta, Mauritius and Monaco.

And the millionaire migration is far from over, experts say, and is projected to increase in 2023.

“Next year, the largest millionaire migration flows on record are predicted — 125,000 — as affluent investors and their families earnestly prepare for the new post-COVID world, with an as yet-to-be revealed rearrangement of the global order, and the ever-present threat of climate change as a constant backdrop,” Steffen said.

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