71,300 UHNWIs Already Have Second Citizenship; Another 57,400 considering it

Data from Knight Frank’s Attitudes Survey reveals the share of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals holding a second passport – those with a net worth greater than US$ 30 million – has reached 36%, up from 34% in August last year.

A further 29% are considering a second citizenship, while 26% are contemplating permanent emigration.

Overall, Knight Frank found that there are some 198,000 UHNWIs in the world in 2019 – some 86% of whom are in Europe, North America, or Asia – a number they expect to rise to nearly 250,000 over the next five years.

In other words, not only is the share of super-wealthy interested in second citizenships growing; their absolute number is growing at an equally prodigious clip.

Read our analysis of last year’s figures here: Third of UHNWIs Hold Second Passport, Another Third Plan to Buy One, Wealth Report Finds

“Increasingly,” says the report, “governments around the world are targeting globally mobile wealth, albeit for a variety of different reasons. […] Enabling this is a growing number of citizenship and residency by investment schemes, with Moldova and Montenegro the latest to jump on the bandwagon in 2018. “

While the rate of UHNWIs holding more than one passport has increased across the board (rates are up in all regions save for Australasia and Russia CIS), nowhere is the trend more pronounced than in Latin-America, where the share of ultra-wealthy who are dual citizens has catapulted from 41% to 71%.

The high rate of dual citizenship among Lat-Am’s super-rich is in large part attributable to the ease with which many of them can obtain Spanish citizenship by descent.

Indeed, the data shows that another 54% of Latin UHNWIs are considering a second citizenship, as are 42% of those in former Soviet states, 32% in Africa, and 29% in the Middle East.

Somewhat perplexing is the fall in share of Russia-CIS UHNWIs holding a second citizenship from 58% last year to 39%, as well as a drop among those of the same demographic group who say they are considering another citizenship (42% versus 50% last year).

Possibly explaining this reduction is that there’s also been a significant fall int he share of former Soviet citizens declaring their intentions to permanently emigrate, indicating that many have already left their home country, leaving behind fewer UHNWIs to consider and to obtain second citizenships.

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Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider. He welcomes readers to connect on Linkedin.

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