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These 3 Animated Maps Show the World’s Largest Cities Throughout History

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In 300 B.C., Carthage was one of the world’s largest cities with up to 700,000 people living within its walls. The Carthaginian republic was a force to be reckoned with, controlling inconceivable amounts of wealth and land all around the Mediterranean.

However, just over a century later in 146 B.C., Carthage was burnt to the ground by the Romans. The destruction of Carthage was so thorough that many things are still not known about their civilization today. Carthage went from being a major power to literally being wiped off of the map.

A few decades after the annihilation of Carthage, it was Rome’s turn to become the world’s largest city for close to 500 years. Of course, Rome itself would fall by 476 A.D. for a variety of reasons.

And so the title of the world’s largest city would transfer again, this time to Constantinople across the Mediterranean.

The World’s Largest Cities Throughout History

In the grand scheme of history, things change quite fast. One cataclysmic choice or event can turn even the greatest empire into a heap of rubble. Sometimes the decline of a world-class city is more gradual – and it is over time that it loses its title to another place in a far and distant land.

The following animated map from KPMG Demographics tracks the world’s largest cities from 4,000 BC to today, and it shows how temporary a city’s rise to prominence can be.

World's Largest Cities Throughout History
(Keep in mind that there is some disagreement by historians over which cities were the biggest in certain time periods.)

The power of industrialization and technology can be seen here. Up until the 1800s, it was almost unfathomable to have a city of more than a million inhabitants.

Sanitation was a major limiting factor, but other issues like transportation and a lack of density also made it a challenge. The Industrial Revolution changed that, and starting in the 1800s you see cities like London, New York, and Tokyo taking the title in an exponential fashion. It caps off with Delhi in 2050, expected to have a whopping 40 million inhabitants by that time.

However, it’s worth seeing this urban growth through a different lens. Instead of looking at the biggest cities overall, the below map from Max Galka’s Metrocosm blog looks at the founding of major cities to show the progress of urbanization from 3700 B.C. until today.

You can use the sliding bar to adjust the date. The real fireworks begin in the year 1200, with an explosion in cities between 1800 and today.

Here’s one final look at cities and their modern populations, this time an interactive 3d globe also from Metrocosm:

This gives an idea of where the largest concentrations of people live today. The globe also puts into perspective a small subsection of Asia, which holds more of the world’s population within a small circle than outside of it.

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Chart of the Week

Map: Cities With the Most Ultra-Rich Residents

What cities are the world’s ultra-rich flocking to? This map looks at ultra high net worth individual (UHNWI) growth rates in cities around the world.

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Mapped: The Cities With the Most Ultra-Rich Residents

As of 2018, there is a grand total of 198,342 ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) globally with assets over US$30 million, according to the most recent edition of Knight Frank’s Wealth Report.

Although these millionaires and billionaires can be found all over the globe, the reality is that most of the world’s ultra-rich population tends to congregate in world-class cities.

Generally speaking, UHNWIs are looking to live in places that are conducive to safeguarding and growing their wealth, but that also give them access to top-end amenities that allow them to live comfortably and luxuriously.

Top 10 Cities for the Ultra-Rich

To start, we’ll look at a list of global cities, organized by expected number of UHNWIs in 2023:

RankCityUHNWIs (2018)UHNWIs (2023e)Change (%)
#1๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง London4,9446,01521.7%
#2๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore3,5984,39322.1%
#3๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Tokyo3,7324,12510.5%
#4๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ New York City3,3783,89115.2%
#5๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Beijing1,6732,24734.3%
#6๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Paris1,6672,03121.8%
#7๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท Seoul1,5942,02026.7%
#8๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taipei1,5191,86422.7%
#9๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Zurich1,5071,79619.2%
#10๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Shanghai1,2631,69033.8%

London continues to top the list, with a roster of 4,944 ultra-rich residents today and the projected growth over the coming years to eclipse the 6,000 mark by 2023.

Tokyo has the second highest amount of UHNWIs today, but the city is adding them at a slower rate than other rival cities. As a result, Singapore will move into the #2 spot overall by 2023, with an expected total of 4,393 high net worth residents.

Finally, it’s worth noting that only two cities on the top 10 list are expected to see growth above a 30% clip over this five-year period. Shanghai and Beijing could be cities to watch for decades to come, as they add millionaires and billionaires at a faster rate than any of the other heavyweights.

Fastest Growing Cities

Where are the billionaire meccas of the future?

Here are the 10 cities that are expected to add UHNWIs the fastest between 2018-2023:

RankCityUHNWIs (2018)UHNWIs (2023e)Change (%)
#1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ Mumbai7971,10138.1%
#2๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ Delhi21129137.9%
#3๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ Manila 11515736.5%
#4๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Shenzhen52770834.3%
#5๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Beijing1,6732,24734.3%
#6๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Guangzhou39452934.3%
#7๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Shanghai1,2631,69033.8%
#8๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Jakarta40152931.9%
#9๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Kuala Lumpur37649631.9%
#10๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท Seoul1,5942,02026.7%

Not surprisingly, all 10 of these cities are located in Asia.

Two Indian cities (Delhi and Mumbai) top the list, and are likely to add nearly 40% to their ultra-rich populations over the next five years. China also has a strong showing here.

Interestingly, just missing the above top 10 were a few non-Asian cities: Auckland (#11), Madrid (#12), Munich (#13), and Nairobi (#14) are all expected to grow their UHNWI populations by roughly 25% by 2023.

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Demographics

Unlocking the Power of Women in Investing

Women are better at saving money, but invest less of it – this infographic looks at the specific needs of women in investing and how to better serve them.

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Unlocking the Power of Women in Investing

The financial services industry is undergoing a dramatic shift.

The next generation of investors will be younger and much more diverse, with women taking an increasingly prominent role in building and growing family and personal wealth.

Today’s infographic comes to us from New York Life Investments, and it showcases how this new paradigm will shape the future of products and services on offer in the industry, as well as how wealth managers can cater to these changing needs.

Growing Economic Might

Women are underrepresented in the investing world, but this is changing fast. While various cultural and societal reasons are contributors to this, there is also a more simple driver: rising economic might.

  • Women-controlled wealth in the U.S. will increase from $14 trillion to $22 trillion between 2015-2020
  • Women control 51% of all personal wealth in the United States today
  • Women are set to inherit $28.7 trillion in intergenerational wealth over the next 40 years

Women are becoming more important drivers of income and wealth for their families, as well:

  • Women are now the primary breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households – a 4x increase from 1960.
  • Women own 30% of all private businesses in the U.S.
  • Women now hold the majority of management, professional, and related positions (52%)

Finally, women now make up the majority of recipients of Associateโ€™s degrees (61%), Bachelorโ€™s degrees (57%), Masterโ€™s degrees (60%), and Doctoral degrees (52%) in the United States.

The Wealth Management Gap

As women increase raise their level of economic influence to new levels, how will they manage this wealth?

Interestingly, studies show that women think about money and wealth differently than men โ€“ and differently from precedents already set in the financial services industry:

The Good NewsThe Bad News
Women are better savers, saving 9.0% of their salary in comparison to men (8.6% of salary)
Women consistently tend to score lower on financial literacy tests
Some research points to women generating better returns (+0.4%) off of investmentsSome research points to women investing up to 40% less than men

Changing Concerns

Data from a recent survey by New York Life Investments sheds light on why women may be underserved by the financial services industry.

Reasons why women switch financial advisors:

  • 33% poor performance
  • 29% lack of personal connection
  • 27% poor customer services

In other words, women donโ€™t switch investment advisors simply because of poor performance โ€“ there are other, more complex factors involved. Part of this is likely because 62% of women say they have unique investment needs and challenges:

Perceptions of women and investing:

  • Financial professionals treat women differently – 40%
  • Women feel patronized by financial advisors – 36%
  • Financial advisors are less likely to listen to investing ideas from a woman – 30%
  • Financial advisors push women out of financial conversations – 28%
  • Women have less access to financial education – 26%
  • Financial professionals find it hard to relate to women – 26%
  • Financial advising is a man’s world – 24%

A Deeper Dive

It is crucial for advisors to understand that women are not one large, homogeneous group.

In fact, research shows that there are four unique segments of women that each approach investing differently โ€“ and they all have different sets of needs.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this infographic series, which will detail the differences between these segments.

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