Which countries will be the key sources of investment migration four years from now? Let’s pick up demographics, supply and demand and try to draft the 2023 forecast.

The first crucial metric here is the number of high net worth individuals (HNWI). This figure scarcely correlates with a country’s overall population. For instance, some highly populated countries in Africa (e.g., Uganda) may host very few HNWIs who can afford a Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programme.

A country’s GDP per capita is also hardly indicative. Two countries with comparable population and gross product may still have very different numbers of HNWIs. Take Canada and Saudi Arabia. The raw figures being more or less equal, Canada has 5x more individuals worth over $30 million just because wealth is highly centralised in Saudi Arabia.

Another factor is the ‘quality of nationality’. The Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) ranks countries by such metrics as the UN Human Development Index (UNHDI), freedom of movement, freedom of settlement, peace and stability, economic strength and more.

The United States, for one, scores well on quality of life, travel freedom and other factors so their HNWIs generally have little demand for second passports. The same applies to the EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc.

Countries that score low on the index have great demand for CIP programmes, yet most of their citizens simply can’t afford them. Such states include Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, etc. Between the extremes sit the countries with high investment emigration potential – China, Russia, and some Middle Eastern countries.

Based on Knight Frank research, these thirty countries will be home to the most HNWIs in 2023:

1. US

2. Japan

3. China (Mainland)

4. Germany

5. UK

6. France

7. Canada

8. India

9. Switzerland

10. Australia

11. Italy

12. Spain

13. Hong Kong

14. Sweden

15. South Korea

16. Singapore

17. Russia

18. Mexico

19. Brazil

20. Taiwan

21. Austria

22. Ireland

23. Turkey

24. Thailand

25. Greece

26. New Zealand

27. South Africa

28. UAE

29. Saudi Arabia

30. Indonesia

Now, we’ll eliminate the countries with high QNI scores since their HNWI may not have any substantial need for alternative residency or citizenship. Also, Brazil and Mexico stay in the picture. They do score high on the QNI, yet it’s mainly due to their impressive mobility scores. Otherwise, they fall behind in terms of economy and security, breeding demand for alternatives abroad.

Crossing out the extra lines, we are left with our 12 largest markets:

1. China (mainland)

2. India

3. Hong Kong

4. Russia

5. Mexico

6. Brazil

7. Turkey

8. Thailand

9. South Africa

10. UAE

11. Saudi Arabia

12. Indonesia

Now that we have the final list, it’s crucial to tell apart the CIP-oriented markets from the RIP (residency) oriented markets. For example, EU states running citizenship programmes – Malta and Cyprus – might not want to excessively focus on HNWIs from Hong Kong, Brazil or Mexico since these countries’ nationals enjoy high freedom of travel and are interested in residency rather than citizenship.

In addition, some countries with small HNWI numbers could also be worth the effort for CIP/RIP providers. Bigger sources may be oversaturated whereas smaller sources may still be waiting for their only choice.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Moscow, Dubai, Cyprus and China and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in the UK,  EU & the Caribbean

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at

[email protected] or call +44 207 292 2977.