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Top 25 cities for billionaries

New data by WealthInsight shows secondary Chinese cities are rivals to Middle East in financial attr

New figures released by the data provider and wealth sector analyst WealthInsight demonstrate the global spread of the world's wealthiest individuals. A list of the top 25 cities with the largest population of billionaires features seven in mainland China, six in the US, four European cities and three in the Middle East. WealthInsight's list is compiled from its exhaustive database of the world's high-net-worth individuals [HNWIs].

At 18th place, Dubai features as the highest-ranked Middle Eastern city. Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia also made the list, ahead of Hangzhou in China -- a city ranked by WealthInsight as having the best opportunities for the wealth sector in the country with the world's second-largest economy. Karishma Gupta, an Analyst with WealthInsight, said:

We are likely to see much change to this list in the year ahead as the Saudi Arabian duo are contested by China's Hangzhou and other second-tier Chinese cities such as Jinjiang in Fujian pronvince, which lurks in the shadows in 26th place.

However, the city with the highest population density of HNWIs in the world is expected to overtake Dubai in the near future. On the 19th city in the list, Gupta said: "Singapore will be Dubai's biggest contender in the year ahead as the pair compete to attract billionaires to the financial centres."

Only one South American city, Sao Paulo in Brazil, featured in the rankings; none from Africa. According to another WealthInsight Analyst, Andrew Amoils:

Much of Africa has been experiencing an often over-looked boom over the past few years, but we don't forsee that any cities from the region will make the top 25 list in the near-term. That said, Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos and Accra all have bourgeoning Ultra-HNWI populations and show great potential. It's only a matter of time until we see an African city on the list.

Ultra-HNWIs are defined as those with more than US$30 million in assets (personal residence exempted).

Top 25 cities by number of billionaires

1. New York
2. Moscow
3. London
4. Hong Kong
5. Mumbai
6. Istanbul
7. San Francisco
8. Shanghai
9. Paris
10. Beijing
11. Chicago
12. Shenzhen
13. Los Angeles
14. Houston
15. Dallas - Fort Worth
16. Tokyo
17. Guangzhou
18. Dubai
19. Singapore
20. Jeddah
21. Sao Paulo
22. Taipei
23. Amsterdam
24. Riyadh
25. Hangzhou

[Source: WealthInsight's HNWI Database]

WealthInsight also recently provided data showing that the wealth of high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong is equal to that of Australia's -- at US$845 billion -- despite the former having almost 100,000 fewer HNWIs. After Singapore, Hong Kong has the second highest population density of HNWIs in the world: approximately 1 in 40 people have a net worth greater than US$1 million, whereas in Australia the ratio is closer to 1 in 80.

WealthInsight provides tailored research to global clients and maintains a HNWI Database including all of the world's 1,340 billionaires, whose combined wealth comes to US$4.37 trillion.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.