New World Citizenship Report 2023 shows HNWIs and mass affluent in search of freedom
The second edition of the annual World Citizenship Report, reveals how high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) and the mass affluent are in search of greater freedoms – whether that means being able to enjoy better social safety and security for oneself and family, increased access to better employment prospects and business opportunities or being able to live in territories with higher social and institutional stability – the post-Covid ‘normal’ has global citizens looking beyond the confines of their own borders when thinking about their own future, and the future of their families.
With so much change happening so rapidly around us – inflation, broader macroeconomic volatility, geopolitical instability, energy uncertainty – it can be challenging to keep up with how all these disparate factors coming to bear on the prevailing attitudes toward global citizenship.
The World Citizenship Report is the world’s first-ever endeavour in investigating the value of citizenship through the lens of the global citizen. It answers how can we keep abreast of the shifting kaleidoscope of citizenship values and priorities using the World Citizenship Index, an innovative tool that takes a holistic approach to rank the world’s citizenships across multiple dimensions.
The World Citizenship Index is the product of a research-driven approach that goes beyond ordinary concepts of passport strength by placing greater emphasis on the diverse attitudes regarding key facets of citizenship. Unlike other rating tools, the World Citizenship Index ranking is designed to reflect a citizenship’s value through the lens of the newest generation of global citizens: the mass affluent population.
Biggest motivators to invest in alternative citizenship include quality of life, safety and security and financial freedom
The World Citizenship Report measures 188 countries across five motivators that are most relevant among the newest generation of global citizens – Safety and Security, Economic Opportunity, Quality of Life, Global Mobility and Financial Freedom.
This year, the Quality of Life ranked in first position of the five pillars, overtaking both Physical Safety and Financial Freedom.
Quality of Life looks at territories’ ability to provide its citizens with essential services required for a good standard of living, including higher standards of education and healthcare facilities.
Monaco, Denmark and Hong Kong took the top three spots in the Quality of Life pillar.
The United States came in at 29th position. African countries took the bottom 10 positions, with Somalia taking 185th place.
We are unfortunately living through a period where the standard of living is falling at the fastest rate in over a generation.
At the end of 2022, the UK Office for Budget Responsibility reported that UK households are set to suffer a 7.1 per cent fall in living standards over the next two years, the largest decline in six decades. And, according to the latest United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report published at the end of 2022, living conditions in 90 per cent of the world’s countries deteriorated in 2021 – something that hasn’t been seen since the height of the previous global recession caused by the financial crisis in 2007. Moreover, it marked the first consecutive year of decline in the 32-year history of the Human Development Index (HDI).
This data shows why quality of life is so highly coveted among global mass affluents, and indeed all individuals.
The Safety and Security motivator assesses how people in a certain country have the ability to enjoy greater social safety and security for themselves and their families and whether they have a safety net against being trapped in a territory with civil disorder.
Iceland took first place in the Safety and Security motivator, New Zealand came a close second place and Switzerland took third place. Afghanistan scored the lowest in this pillar.
Safety and Security remains an obvious top priority for the average mass affluent global citizen. This comes as no surprise given the uncertain state of the world – one need to look no further than the war in Ukraine as a painful reminder of the relative fragility of peace. Western nations now have a growing preoccupation or sense of danger around the prospect of war, having an active war so close to home compared with conflicts in Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world.
The Financial Freedom motivator measures the ability of a country to provide a favourable and stable regulatory climate for the establishment and functioning of businesses, as well as the holding of personal and business assets.
Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore took the first three spots in this pillar.
The growing desire for citizens to conduct their own financial affairs such as wealth management and estate planning without undue surveillance and burdensome regulations appears to be a feature of the current economic climate. While 43 per cent of World Citizenship Report survey respondents placed the heaviest emphasis on the employment opportunities typically associated with economic performance, those that placed importance on investments, estate planning, and wealth planning combined for a total of 37 per cent.
These sentiments reflect the growing perception that the rising costs of living and broader economic uncertainty are being accompanied by a creeping tax burden as state expenditures continue to escalate due to rocketing debt-servicing costs brought on by a tightening monetary landscape, rapid demographic changes, and other factors.
It must also be noted that governments themselves are being stressed by this tightening fiscal landscape due to the rising costs of servicing their debt – a factor that is fuelling the trend of rising tax burdens globally.
“In the 2022 edition of the World Citizenship Report, we only surveyed high-net-worth individuals (HNWI), this year, we expanded the survey to include a wider audience in order to gain a better perspective of what people prioritise in terms of their own nationality. The expanded audience of over 1000 participants included both HNWIs and the mass affluent from across the globe. Findings from the survey showed that while the research participants came from varied backgrounds and cultures, all with different needs and pain points, they all had one common goal: freedom,” concludes Micha Emmet, CEO of CS Global Partners.