Where All the Billionaires Want to Live

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The U.S. may be short on money at the moment, but we’re certainly not short on super wealthy households.

The U.S. is currently home to 396 billionaires, by far the most of any country in the world, but according to the 2011 Wealth Report put out by Citibank, our lead in this category may not last for much longer.

In the past six years, China has jumped from 35th to second on the list of countries with the most billionaires, and now boasts 77 individuals who are worth at least 10 figures. In fact, the total wealth sitting in China shot up by an incredible 140% in the past year, and now stands at roughly $2 trillion. That number is only expected to increase more in the coming years as the country’s economy continues to grow.

Other eastern countries like Russia and India have seen their billionaire populations grow in recent years and now rank among the top five, ahead of European countries like Germany and Britain, which had previously placed near the top of the list.

The growth of these countries has helped the Asia Pacific region as a whole boost its status as a home for the super wealthy, as this region now has a total wealth of $11 trillion, roughly the same as the total wealth in Europe and just behind North America’s $13 trillion in wealth, the most of any continent.

But even as other countries begin to catch up to ours, the U.S. remains a leading destination for those in the high-wealth bracket.

The U.S. is the most common place for the super wealthy in Latin America to purchase a second home, and the third most popular destination for those in Europe, according to surveys of wealth advisers in the report. Moreover, the U.S. is the most popular choice for the super wealthy in east Asia looking to relocate their primary residence, and the third most popular choice for those in the Middle East.

Interestingly though, the super wealthy living in North America are most likely to relocate their primary residence to Canada and purchase a second home there. Perhaps all the billionaires are just looking to move to a country with free health care.

For more about the changing face of wealth in America, check out this MainStreet article about how the lifestyles of the super rich have changed post-recession.

—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the BankingMyWay.com Credit Center.

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