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Here’s how many real millionaires there are in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary

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On the surface, Canada is awash in millionaires. More than a decade of soaring property prices has minted a legion of house-rich paper millionaires, helping to devalue the concept of what it takes to be a millionaire in Canada.

But an overpriced home does not a high-net-worth individual make, and an annual study tallying up the wealthiest cities in the world by their number of liquid millionaires captures a more realistic picture of real wealth in three of Canada’s largest cities.

Toronto had roughly 106,000 individuals with liquid investable wealth of at least US$1-million last year, giving it the 13th spot on the global list and the fifth-highest count among cities in North America, behind New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, according to a report released by Henley & Partners, a London-based immigration consulting firm that caters to high-net-worth individuals.

Vancouver had just over 41,000 liquid millionaires, while Calgary had 15,000.

Although it was not included in the report, the authors found that Montreal had approximately 17,500 millionaire residents last year.

Of the three Canadian cities in the report, Vancouver has seen the fastest growth in wealthy individuals over the last decade, with its number growing by 50 per cent between 2013 and 2023, compared to 44 per cent in Calgary and 25 per cent in Toronto.

On a population basis, Toronto still appears to come out on top. Direct per-capita comparisons between cities are difficult because the database of millionaires is mainly based on work locations of individuals, and includes people commuting from adjacent cities and outlying areas, said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, which prepared the report.

Still, a back-of-napkin calculation using population counts for census metropolitan areas, which include surrounding municipalities, shows Toronto had about 16 millionaires for every 1,000 residents, compared with 14.5 for Vancouver and 9.3 in Calgary.

Decoder is a weekly feature that unpacks an important economic chart.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Toronto has the fourth-highest number of millionaires among cities in North America. It has the fifth-highest count, behind New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. This version has been updated.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on May 10, 2024 to include data for Montreal, which was not included in the Henley & Partners report.

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