06/13/2013 04:09 EDT | Updated 06/13/2013 04:10 EDT

Foreign Millionaires In BC Highest In Canada: BMO Study


Over half of British Columbia's millionaires come from a foreign background, says a survey published by BMO Harris Private Banking.

The study found that 68 per cent of B.C. millionaires identified as new Canadians, either coming from another country or having at least one parent born outside of Canada. That's more than anywhere else in Canada and well above the national percentage of 48 per cent.

"For generations, many have considered Canada to be a place that provides opportunities for those who are willing to move here and contribute to the growth of the country. The findings of this study confirm this long-standing belief," Alex Dousmanis-Curtis, vice-president and head of BMO Harris Private Banking, said in a news release.

B.C. also has the highest proportion of millionaires in Canada with investable assets over $2 million,The Vancouver Sun reported. Three quarters of millionaires reported that they had personally generated their wealth, and four per cent said that it had been generated by their spouses, the newspaper said.

Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of B.C., told the Vancouver Sun that the province is attracting a "disproportionate share" of wealthy immigrants, and they come to B.C. because it's a "fertile environment" in which to run a business.

The study also found that 74 per cent of B.C. millionaires are self-made. Meanwhile, the province has the second-lowest proportion of female millionaires at 26 per cent - only Quebec had fewer at 24 per cent. Both were below the national percentage of 32 per cent.

BMO pulled its numbers from an online survey by Pollara between March 28 and April 11 that queried 305 Canadian adults with more than $1 million in investable assets, the news release said. The survey had a 5.6 per cent margin of error.

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