The Loss Of Millionaires In South Africa Is Striking Yet Unfazing

By  |  January 6, 2021

Between 2017 and 2020, South Africa saw the loss of 8,600 millionaires.

Money Leaving SA

It’s no news that South Africa has the most industrialized economy in Africa, in front of Nigeria, which is also the largest economy in the continent. In the past year, the country is reported to have lost 3,400 dollar millionaires, bringing the home total of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) to just 35,000.

The figures come from the latest research by New World Wealth and AfrAsia Bank, showing that a considerable number of people with a net worth of USD 1 Mn or more are departing the country.

As it appears, South Africa is losing a significant amount of millionaires every year. The numbers seem to be steadily shedding weight for about 3 years in a row.

As of December 2019, no less than 38,400 millionaires were living in the country. But that figure was less than what was recorded in 2018 when 39,200 HNWIs were still in the country. In 2017, there were 43,600 of them.

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Some of these millionaires are leaving South Africa as a result of migration, supposedly to greener pastures. But there’s also the reason of wealth destruction, where a weak economy slowly eats its way into the value of assets possessed by these individuals.

Still The African Millionaire Hub

Despite constantly shrinking numbers, South Africa remains the country with the highest concentration of millionaires in Africa. In fact, it is still home to twice as many HNWIs as any other country in the continent.

Meanwhile, in terms of this dollar-millionaire ranking, South Africa occupies the 30th position in the world. That means the country has more HNWIs than nations like Portugal, Greece and even Turkey.

The country isn’t the poster child for 2020 global millionaire inflows; neither is it the place where most HNWIs departed the most last year. Still, the report says SA is among the handful of countries that hemorrhaged a substantial amount of millionaires for the stated time.

Speaking of greener pastures, Portugal seems to check most of the boxes for millionaires leaving South Africa. While the report says more than 100 HNWIs moved to different countries, Portugal proved quite the popular destination for these individuals.

Thanks to its investor visa program, Portugal has attracted swaths of wealthy people from across the world, including places such as China, Brazil, Russia and Turkey.

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