OFW’s seeking greener pastures aren’t the only ones eager to migrate to Oz. Those on the other end of the spectrum are seeking the same too, apparently.
Last year, it was reported that global wealth migration was at an all-time high, with 95,000 high net-worth individuals (HNWI’s) moving away from their home countries, as compared to 82,000 in 2016 and 64,000 in the preceding year. 10,000 of the said HNWI’s were found to have migrated to Australia, propelling it to the top of the list of countries favored by rich migrants and pushing the United States with its 9,000 HNWI migrants down to the no. 2 spot.
For reference, HNWI’s are defined as individuals with net assets worth USD1 million or more.
The US and the UK have invariably attracted the highest number of wealthy migrants for the longest time, but Australia has been gaining on them in the past few years, especially among moneyed circles in emerging economies like China and India. Why? It all boils down to a handful of key factors:
Australians have long had a reputation for sunny, laidback lifestyles, especially when compared to their counterparts in most Western countries. So, if you’re coming in from tropical climates, you’d probably opt to migrate to a place where the weather isn’t that different from the sort you’re accustomed to.
Then, there’s the relatively high level of religious and societal tolerance Down Under. HNWI’s who lead unconventional lives thus feel more comfortable putting down roots in this country-continent as a result.
Oz’s Medicare is one of the best in the world, and it’s now considered to be in better shape than the currently beleaguered American and British healthcare systems. Whether you’re an aging tycoon looking to secure high-quality medical attention for your twilight years or a strapping start-up founder with the means to get the best healthcare for yourself and your family, that’s bound to be one heck of an incentive.
3. Public Safety.
Unlike the US, the UK, and France, Australia has been subjected to far less terrorist attacks in the past decade, and it’s also considered to be the safest country for women. Furthermore, unlike the US, which has done next to nothing despite the alarmingly high incidents of school shootings, Australia reformed its gun laws a couple decades back and there have been no mass shootings reported since.
Another thing that makes Oz one of the safest places to raise children in is that its place on the map puts it at a safe distance from the conflicts in the Middle East and the refugee crisis in Europe.
Australia’s geographical location also makes it an excellent base of operations for HNWI’s that have business interests in up and coming countries like China, South Korea, Singapore, and India.
5. Tax Considerations.
While AU taxes are considerably high, there are no inheritance taxes in this country, which is a major draw for heirs and heiresses in line to inherit their families’ vast business holdings the world over.
6. Lower Population Density.
Countries with low population density often turn out to be among the richest on a wealth per capita or per person basis, oftentimes because they have less dependence on other nations for trade and resources, less competition for local land and resources, and less waste and pollution. In addition to that, such countries can also afford to allot for more wild spaces, thus improving their environment and in turn, the quality of life.
Australia, of course, very much ticks all the boxes in this regard.
7. Overall Economic Growth.
Total wealth held in Australia has reportedly risen by 83% in the past decade. This is in stark contrast to the 20% growth of such in the US within the same time period.
As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American, which was not the case not too long ago.
Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Perth, and Brisbane were all named as popular relocation hubs for HNWI migrants, who all cited issues with taxes, crime, and business regulations as common reasons for leaving their birth countries.
However, despite their formidable wealth, rich migrants still have to contend with visa and passport restrictions. While the eye-wateringly expensive yet equally convenient investor visa programs are becoming increasingly popular among the world’s 1%, only one in five of them actually opt for the said option. Majority still come in to Australia via traditional pathways like work transfers, spousal visas, family visas, and ancestry visas.
Goes to show that rich people often stay that way by opting for the more cost-effective option whenever possible regardless of what they can actually afford, I suppose.