More than a third of Chinese millionaires want to leave China, here's where they want to go

  • More than a third of rich Chinese surveyed “are currently considering” emigrating to another country, according a new report.
  • The U.S. topped the list as the most popular destination for the fourth year in a row while the U.K. ranked second, followed by Ireland and then Canada.
  • Los Angeles was the top city for Chinese millionaires to buy property, followed by New York, Boston and San Francisco.
A view of Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA in Westwood, California. 
Anne Cusack | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
A view of Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA in Westwood, California. 

The U.S. is the top destination among Chinese millionaires looking to move their families, and money, to another country, according to a new study.

More than a third of rich Chinese surveyed “are currently considering” emigrating to another country, according to a report from the Hurun Research Institute, a China-based wealth research firm, and Visas Consulting Group, an immigration advisory firm. They surveyed 224 Chinese people with an average wealth of $4.5 million.

Many rich Chinese are leaving China for better education systems elsewhere and to flee the country's polluted cities and strict government. They're also looking to protect their wealth. Overseas assets account for an average of 11 percent of the total assets of Chinese millionaires, the report said.

The U.S. topped the list as the most popular destination for the fourth year in a row while the U.K. ranked second, followed by Ireland and then Canada. The strong education system, cleaner air and better food safety made the U.S. a favorite for Chinese investors. The Trump administration's tax plan also got high marks from respondents.

“The American education system remains one of the main reasons Chinese investors most favor the United States,” the report said. “In addition, it came out tops in terms of visa-free travel and ease of adaptability. President Trump’s tax cuts also saw it score higher in the tax category this year.”

Canada had been ranked second but it fell to fourth place after raising its net worth and investment requirements for its investment visa program in March.

Buying overseas real estate has become a popular way for the Chinese rich to offshore their fortunes. Foreign exchange deposits and “immovable property” are the most popular overseas investment options. They spend an average of $800,000 on buying a property, the report said.

Los Angeles was the top city for Chinese millionaires to buy property, followed by New York, Boston and San Francisco.

It was the fifth year in a row that Los Angeles dominated the list, although New York rose from third to second place, displacing Seattle, which is now tied for fourth place.

When asked about their priorities for purchasing overseas real estate, the respondents said, “high cost-effectiveness” ranked first, followed by investment value and “permanent property rights.”