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Wealth in Great Britain Wave 2: Main Results from the Wealth and Assets Survey, 2008-2010 (Part 3) This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 26 July 2012 Download PDF

Executive Summary

This is the third and final part of Wealth in Great Britain: Main Results from the Wealth and Assets Survey: 2008/10. This report aims to publish key results from the second wave of the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) covering the period July 2008 – June 2010, making comparisons with results from the first wave of the survey which covered the period July 2006 – June 2008.

The first two parts1 of the report presented cross sectional estimates from both survey periods i.e. the comparison of two ‘point in time’ estimates based on all households interviewed in wave 1 and all households interviewed in wave 2. However, the WAS is a longitudinal survey, returning to households every two years for repeat interviews. The availability of wave 2 data therefore provides the first opportunity to explore the longitudinal data now available i.e. considering the information for individuals responding in both waves of the survey, allowing the direct study of change2.

  • For households moving out of the lowest total wealth band between 2006/08 and 2008/10, 61 per cent of individuals were in employment compared to 36 per cent of individuals in employment from households remaining in the lowest wealth band.

  • Over one-fifth of individuals living in households that had moved into negative net financial wealth between 2006/08 and 2008/10 were from households with total wealth of £400,000 or more.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

  • Over two thirds (68.7 per cent) of individuals from households in the lowest total wealth band (£50,000 or less) who were willing to take a financial risk in 2006/08 changed their attitude, becoming risk averse in 2008/10. This compared with 51.6 per cent of individuals from households in the highest total wealth band (£750,000 or more).

  • Nearly one quarter of individuals (24.0 per cent) aged up to 5 years over SPA  were in employment in both 2006/08 and 2008/10.

  • Most individuals (84.3 per cent) did not change their private pension contribution behaviour between 2006/08 and 2008/10. The study finds that 8.8 per cent of individuals who were contributing to a private pension in 2006/08 were no longer doing so by 2008/10. Conversely, 6.9 per cent of individuals who were not contributing to a private pension in 2006/08, were contributing by 2008/10.

  • Almost four-fifths of those individuals who were renting their main residence in 2006/08 and continued to do so in 2008/10 lived in households with net financial wealth of £5,000 or less.

These are just a few of the conclusions drawn from some short studies undertaken using longitudinal analysis of the Wealth and Assets Survey. Further details are given in Chapter 2, where these conclusions are put into a broader context.

The current report will be organised as follows. In Chapter 1, the structure of the two waves of the WAS will be discussed. Particular attention will be paid to individual characteristics and life events which require consideration when analysing the data on a longitudinal basis.

The second chapter aims to demonstrate the potential of WAS to better understand how an individual’s behaviour and attitudes are affected by, or influence, their own or their household’s wealth; how different life events can affect household wealth; and, how an individual’s circumstances relates to their propensity to either gain or lose wealth.

Although this is the final part of Wealth in Great Britain: Main Results from the Wealth and Assets Survey: 2008/10, the analyses presented are a few illustrative examples of the huge variety of analyses possible using the WAS. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be publishing more ‘short stories’ based on WAS data alone or alongside other data sources, from the Autumn of 2012.

Given the wide variety of data included in the WAS: demographics, attitudes, ownership of different asset types, value of different asset types and more, the potential for more detailed longitudinal analysis in the future is vast. Results from the survey should inform a wide range of policy areas and the availability of data to the research community should add to its use in the future.

The WAS microdata is released via the UK Data Archive , currently only to Approved Researchers , although the possibility of producing ‘End User Licence’4 datasets which will increase the accessibility of the data, is currently being investigated.

Interviewing for the third wave of the survey was completed in June 2012. The data are currently being processed and the results are expected to be published towards the end of 2013. The fourth wave of the survey commenced in July 2012 and will run until June 2014. Greater benefits will be realised from the longitudinal nature of the survey once three or four waves of data are available and changes for individuals can be observed over a number of years.  This first analysis using two waves is a starting point to demonstrate the potential of the survey both now and for the future.

Notes for Executive Summary

1. Part One, Part Two.

2. Some missing data is imputed and can be used for longitudinal analysis – see section on Imputation in Chapter 1.

3. SPA is State Pension Age, taken to be age 60 for women and aged 65 for men.

4. An End User Licence (EUL) permits analysts instant access to non-disclosive datasets, anywhere in the world, once they have provided online agreement to specified terms and conditions. 

Chapter One

Longitudinal Analysis using Wealth and Assets Survey data

Overview of the first two waves of WAS data

  • The first wave of the WAS ran over a period of two years from July 2006 through to June 2008. In total 71,268 adults and children were recorded in 30,595 private households in Great Britain. The second wave of the survey ran from July 2008 to June 2010 where 46,347 adults and children were recorded in 20,170 private households.

  • Of the 71,268 individuals recorded at the first wave, 54,951 were aged 16 or over and eligible to answer the ‘individual questionnaire’ – the remaining 16,317 being children (i.e. under the age of 16 or aged 16-18 in full time education).

  • Similarly, of the 46,347 individuals recorded at the second wave, 36,218 were eligible adults aged 16 over (10,129 children).

  • Wave 2 responders included 41,300 individuals in 18,910 private households who were also recorded as respondents at wave 1 of the survey. These are referred to as ‘linked records’.

  • Finally of the 41,300 linked records, 32,915 were eligible adults (8,385 children) at wave 2 of the survey. 748 of these individuals had been ineligible at wave 1 because they were children, but were eligible adults at wave 2.

Technical details

  • Weighting

The weighting methodology used for the WAS accounts for both the initial selection probabilities and the sample attrition between waves (i.e. it adjusts for any bias resultant from the response of individuals who were interviewed at wave 1, but who did not respond at wave 2).

Weights are produced for individuals and households for each of the cross-sectional samples, and for individuals whose records can be linked across the two waves. It is important to note that longitudinal analyses can only be carried out at an individual level, not at a household level. This is discussed further below.

For more information on the weighting methodology please refer to the Technical Chapter in part one of this report.

  • Imputation

The imputation methodology was changed for wave 2 to take account of the changes between waves.

-  Wave 2 data was imputed taking into account, where possible, observed responses given at wave 1.

-  Data imputed at wave 1 were re-imputed for linked record cases, taking into account any observed responses given at wave 2.

-  Where imputation was required at both waves, imputation was carried out in a single stage to ensure any longitudinal change for the record was a reflection of changes in the observed data.

For this reason, when analysing the data on a longitudinal level, there is no need to omit imputed data. The analyses presented in Chapter 2 of this report make no distinction between observed and imputed data. However, a detailed evaluation of the use of imputed data for longitudinal analysis will be carried out at a later date, although the appropriateness of the use of imputed data is likely to vary from one variable to another and on the level of imputation required.

For further information on the imputation methodology please refer to the Technical Chapter of part one of this report.

  • Individuals vs. Households

All longitudinal analyses are carried out at an individual level. The individual is the only unit that remains constant between periods, so longitudinal weights can only be constructed at an individual level. The structure of households change: households can split, gain individuals, and move address; the classification of the household reference person (which is based on home ownership and highest income provider) can also change. These factors further reinforce the inability to perform longitudinal analysis at a household level and are considered in more detail in the next section.

  • Household estimates of wealth

To date total wealth and some components of wealth are produced only at a household level1. For this reason, household wealth is used only as a classificatory variable i.e. to describe the wealth of the household in which an individual lives. The only exception to this rule is pension wealth, which is wholly collected at an individual level and aggregated to household level to be combined with the other components of total household wealth.

It is therefore not possible to use mean and median values of household wealth when analysing the data at an individual level (with the exception of pension wealth). If an attempt is made to calculate mean and median values, the results obtained can be very deceptive as each individual within a household would be given the same household wealth estimate. A simple example is given below to demonstrate this point.

Example: A sample of three households:

    Household A Household B Household C
Household Wealth   £150,000 £100,000 £50,000
No. Individuals   6 2 2

Table notes:

  1. Both the mean and median household wealth for these households is £100,000. However if this was calculated at an individual level the mean would be estimated at £120,000 and the median at £150,000 as Household A is over-represented due to the number of individuals in the household.

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Similarly, it is not possible to present the data in terms of deciles or quintiles of wealth, as these can only be established at a household level using weighted data to create the various bands. The analyses presented in this part of the report therefore uses banded wealth estimates. These bands are broadly based on the decile or quintile breaks for unweighted linked records.

However, great care needs to be taken when interpreting these data, as the wealth band refers to the position of a household in the distribution of wealth of all households (the linked sample being weighted to the total private household population of Great Britain) and not just the subset of households being represented by any specific set of individuals under consideration.

Current longitudinal analysis allows the consideration of an individual’s circumstances at one or both points in time in relation to their household wealth. The development of individual based wealth estimates (which will be available2 by the end of 2012) will further enhance the power of analysis which can be performed.

Correlates of change

When analysing longitudinal data, it is important to consider some groups of individuals and decide whether or not to include them in a specific analysis. Some groups are likely to demonstrate different characteristics or behaviour due to an external factor, irrespective of what else is happening, in this case, in the general economy (i.e. they demonstrate a ‘change’ that will directly affect their wealth, behaviour or attitudes even if there were no other reasons for change).

In addition, changes in household structure and circumstances should also be taken into account. There are a number of reasons why the structure or circumstances of a household might change between waves:

  • Movers

These are households or individuals that have moved address between waves. An attempt is made to interview movers at their new address where possible. Of the 18,910 households in the linked records sample, 1,034 had moved between waves one and two.

  • Split Households

These are households that have split between waves. This could be for a number of reasons: breakdown of a relationship, adult children moving away etc. An attempt is made to follow-up both sides of a split household at subsequent waves of the survey. With split households one side of the split will definitely be living at a new address and therefore also be a mover, but the other side of the split may or may not be a mover.

Of the 18,910 households in the linked records sample, 1,910 were split households of which 393 had also moved between waves one and two.

  • New Entrant Households

There are two types of new entrant household: households with an additional child and households with an additional adult. The latter might be due to a new relationship or an adult child returning to live at home etc. Once again a household could be a combination of this and other types of household above. Of the 18,910 households in the linked records sample, 691 households had a new birth entrant, 1,030 households had some other new entrant; and a further 106 households had both a birth and some other new entrant.

These three types of households have been identified as being likely to show changes to their wealth due to these ‘structural’ changes. If analyses were to include these, it is difficult to isolate, without additional analysis, whether a change in wealth is due to this or some other factors.  If these three groups are taken together, of the 18,910 households in the linked records sample, 15,024 households, or 79 per cent of these households showed no structural change, with 3,886 households, 21 per cent, having one or more of these changes.

The analyses in Chapter 2 of this report consider only individuals from households where there have been no structural changes, i.e. from the 15,024 households identified above. This does not mean longitudinal analyses cannot be made for the excluded households, but this should be taken into account when interpreting the results. (See Populations used for analysis, below.)

In addition to these differences in household structure some other changes can occur within households:

  • Change of Household Reference Person (HRP)

This can happen for a number of reasons: a split in the household with the original HRP leaving; a change in the employment status of the HRP between waves making someone else in the household the main wage earner; a new entrant into the household; the death of the HRP etc. Of the 18,910 households in the linked records sample, 2,353 households (12 per cent) had a change of HRP between waves. Some of these can be due to, for example, split households (1,691 of the 2,353 were also split households), but some are just personal circumstances, for example redundancy or retirement of the former HRP.  Individuals where there is no structural change to the household are included in analyses in Chapter 2, as the circumstances of the individual are considered rather than that of the household.

  • Ineligible to Eligible

The survey is split into two sections, the household questionnaire which is asked of one person in the household (usually the HRP or spouse of HRP) and an individual questionnaire which is asked of all persons aged 16 and over (exc. those aged 16-18 who are still in full time education). There will always be some individuals who move from being ineligible in one wave to being eligible at the next.

There were 748 individuals who were eligible for interview at wave 2, but were ineligible for interview at wave 1 because they were either aged 15 or younger (117 individuals) or because they were 16-18 in full time education at wave 1 (631 individuals). The following table indicates the economic activity of these individuals at wave 2.

Table 2: Individuals eligible for interview at wave 2, but not wave 1: sample by economic activity, 2006/08, 2008/10

Status in Wave 1
Activity at wave 2 Aged 15 or under Aged 16-18 in Full Time Education
In Employment 49 251
Unemployed 31 58
Economically Inactive 21 200
Insufficient information 16 122
Total 117 631

Table notes:

  1. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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These individuals, who were ineligible at wave 1, have not been specifically excluded from the analyses presented in Chapter 2, but may be excluded when considering some characteristics (such as economic activity) where analyses are restricted to those who have valid responses for a characteristic at both waves.

Populations used for analysis

The longitudinal analyses presented in Chapter 2 have been restricted to a subset of the population, depending on what is being considered.

  • Analyses are based on individuals from households where there has been no structural changes (please refer to the section in chapter one covering ‘correlates of change’ for a further explanation).

  • At wave 1, it is only possible to estimate total household wealth  for half of the sample, as some questions required to make this estimate were only addressed to half of all households.

Figure 3 gives details of the various populations available for analysis both in terms of the underlying sample and the weighted population figures.

If the full sample of eligible adults from the linked records data were used for analysis, then the weighted estimates would represent estimates for all individuals 16 and over in private households in Great Britain. However, as only a subset is being used to explore the longitudinal data, only percentage figures have been quoted, though the underlying data are given in the background tables.

Notes for Chapter One

  1. In order to produce individual level wealth, shared assets need to be split. This is not straight forward and this aspect of the survey is still being developed.

  2. These data will be added to the datasets available via the UK Data Archive.

Chapter Two: Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to present some simple analyses, illustrating the benefits that longitudinal data can bring to the understanding of changes in the wealth of private households.

A number of distinct analyses are presented each of which demonstrate how longitudinal data can be used. These analyses merely scratch the surface of what is possible and further analytical work will be carried out by ONS and presented in articles from the Autumn of 2012.

A number of wealth measures are presented within the following studies. Gross financial wealth is the sum of: formal financial assets (not including current accounts in overdraft) + informal financial assets held by adults + children’s assets + endowments for the purpose of mortgage repayment. Financial liabilities are the sum of: arrears on consumer credit and household bills + personal loans and other non-mortgage borrowing + informal borrowing + overdrafts on current accounts. Net financial wealth is gross financial wealth minus financial liabilities. Total wealth is the net value of accumulated assets minus the value of accumulated liabilities.

Chapter Two: Study One

Study 1

Total Wealth: Transitions to and from the lowest household wealth bands and the characteristics of the individuals in those households

  • The percentage of individuals remaining in the same household total wealth band at each wave of the survey was fairly stable.

  • For households moving out of the lowest total wealth band between 2006/08 and 2008/10, 61 per cent of individuals were in employment compared to 36 per cent of individuals in employment from households remaining in the lowest wealth band.

Table 1.1 presents individuals1 by their total household wealth in each wave of the survey. Total household wealth has been presented in bands, broadly based upon quintile points at wave two (2008/10). These bands permit analysis on the movement of households between these banded values over the two year period between waves of the survey.

Table 1.1: Individuals by household total wealth bands: 2006/08, 2008/10

Percentages

    Household total wealth, 2008/10
Household total wealth, 2006/082 <£50,000 £50,000 but    < £200,000 £200,000 but < £400,000 £400,000 but < £750,000 £750,000 or more
< £50,000 73.6 23.0 2.6 .. ..
£50,000 but < £200,000 9.5 62.3 23.7 3.7 0.9
£200,000 but < £400,000 .. 10.5 60.1 24.3 4.1
£400,000 but < £750,000 .. 2.0 14.1 60.6 23.1
£750,000 or more .. .. 2.4 13.4 83.1

Table notes:

  1. Excludes households which changed structure in any way between waves.

  2. 2006/08 figure is based on half sample.

  3. ..  These figures have been suppressed as they are based on unweighted data of fewer than 30 cases.
  4. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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The percentage of individuals remaining in the same household total wealth band at each wave of the survey was fairly stable. The highest level of stability was demonstrated for those individuals belonging to the wealthiest household total wealth band (£750,000 or more). Over four-fifths (83.1 per cent) of individuals who lived in households with this band of household total wealth in 2008/10 were from households within the same wealth band in 2006/08. It is important to note here that the proportion remaining in the lowest and highest wealth bands is anticipated to be highest of all of the wealth bands given that these households can only move out of their particular band in one direction.

Figure 1.2: Transitions between household total wealth bands: by economic activity of individuals: 2006/08, 2008/10

Figure 1.2: Transitions between household total wealth bands: by economic activity of individuals: 2006/08, 2008/10.

Notes:

  1. Excludes households which changed structure in any way between waves.
  2. 2006/08 figure is based on half sample.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Figure 1.2 considers three groups: those individuals from households which had moved into the lowest household total wealth band (less than £50,000) at wave two (Figure 1.2a); those individuals who were from households in the lowest wealth band in both waves (Figure 1.2b) and those individuals who were from households which had moved out of the lowest wealth band between waves (Figure 1.2c). It compares the breakdown by economic status at wave two (2008/10) of the individuals in each of these groups.

Sixty-one per cent of individuals from households which had moved out of the lowest wealth band (moving out) were employed. This compares with 47 per cent of individuals living within households which moved into the lowest wealth band (moving in) and 36 per cent of individuals living within households which remained in the lowest wealth band (remaining).

The highest percentage of economic inactivity was seen amongst those individuals living within the ‘remaining households’; 56 per cent of individuals within this group reported economic inactivity compared with 47 per cent of individuals living in households within the ‘moving in’ group and 34 per cent within the ‘moving out’ group.

Figure 1.2 considered transition between household total wealth bands by an individual’s reported economic activity at wave two of the survey. Analysis was also performed to investigate whether changes in the employment status of individuals between waves might also differ between the three groups considered i.e. those from households that move into; move out of or remain within the lowest household total wealth band.

For each of the three groups, there was very little change in the reported economic activity of individuals between 2006/08 and 2008/10; 90 per cent of individuals living in households moving into the lowest wealth band reported no change in economic activity between waves, 89 per cent of individuals living in households moving out of the lowest wealth band reported no change in their economic activity, and 88 per cent of individuals living in households which remained within the lowest wealth band reported no change in their economic activity.

In conclusion, the economic status of individuals does appear to be a factor when considering the likelihood that the household that they live in would be in the lowest household wealth band. However, it appears to have little bearing on whether the household are likely to remain in, move out of, or move into this lowest wealth band across the two year period.

The above analysis has concentrated solely upon transitions into and out of the lowest household total wealth band. Further work could explore whether the economic activity of individuals living within households impacts upon movement into and out of other wealth bands. 

Notes for Chapter Two: Study One

  1. Includes only individuals from households who responded in both waves of the survey and were not in households which changed structure in any way and were in the half sample for whom total household wealth can be established (14,889).

Chapter Two: Study Two

Transitions into and out of negative household net financial wealth

  • Over one-fifth (21.1 per cent) of individuals living in households that have moved into negative net financial wealth between 2006/08 and 2008/10 were from households with total wealth of £400,000 or more. 

  • Nearly two fifths (39.4 per cent) of individuals from households with positive net financial wealth at both waves were over state pension age (SPA1) at wave 2.

In Chapter 3 from part one of this report it was reported that in 2008/10 nearly a quarter (24.3 per cent) of all households in Great Britain had negative net financial wealth.

This study considers this group, and the characteristics of individuals living in households that have moved into and out of negative household net financial wealth.

Table 2.1 shows that over one fifth of individuals2 were from households that had negative net financial wealth in each of the time periods 2006/08 (21.3 per cent) and 2008/10 (21.2 per cent), which would imply little if any change had occurred. However, this table also shows the percentage of individuals from households where there was a transition into or out of negative net financial wealth between 2006/08 and 2008/10.

There were a similar percentage of individuals from households that had moved from positive net financial wealth in 2006/08 to negative net financial wealth in 2008/10 (8.0 per cent) and from households that had moved from negative to positive net financial wealth (8.1 per cent) over the time period. These are referred to as the ‘household transition groups’.

Table 2.1: Household net financial wealth groups1, 2006/08, 2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

  Individuals in 2008/10
Individuals in 2006/08 Households in negative net financial wealth Households in positive net financial wealth All
Households in negative net financial wealth 13.2 8.1 21.3
Households in positive net financial wealth 8.0 70.7 78.7
All 21.2 78.8 100.0

Table notes:

  1. Includes individuals from households where there has been no structural change between waves.
  2. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics

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Figure 2.2 shows the age distribution of individuals from households from each of the two transition groups alongside households that had negative net financial wealth in both time periods and households that had positive net financial wealth in both periods.

Nearly two fifths (39.4 per cent) of individuals from households with positive net financial wealth at both waves were over state pension age (SPA1) at wave 2. However only 8.1 per cent of individuals from households with negative net financial wealth at both waves were from this age group.

Figure 2.2: Household net financial wealth groups, by age to SPA and above 2006/08, 2008/10

Figure 2.2: Household net financial wealth groups, by age to SPA and above 2006/08, 2008/10

Notes:

  1. SPA is State Pension Age, 60 for women and 65 for men.
  2. Includes individuals from households where there has been no structural change between waves.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics

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The highest proportion of individuals from households that had negative net financial wealth in both time periods were in the 35 to 44 year old age range (at wave 2). This was also the case for both the transition household groups.

Figure 2.3 considers the distribution of individuals from households from each of the four groups across socio-economic group (at wave 2). Whilst the size of each of the four groups varies considerably in size (see Table 2.1) the distribution of individuals across socio-economic group appears similar. There are a higher proportion of individuals in the higher socio-economic groups from households that had positive net financial wealth at both waves, and a smaller percentage in these socio-economic groups from households that had negative net financial wealth at both waves. The reverse is the case for individuals from households in negative net financial wealth in both waves, with a higher percentage of these individuals coming from the lower socio economic groups. 

Households which have moved from positive financial wealth to negative financial wealth contain individuals from all socio-economic groups. The highest percentage of individuals from these households (19.0 per cent) are in semi-routine occupations (socio-economic group 6). 

The socio-economic group of individuals appears to be a factor when considering the likelihood that the household they live in would be in negative net financial wealth. However, there is little evidence that it has a bearing on whether these households are likely to move into or out of negative net financial wealth.

Figure 2.3: Household net financial wealth groups, by socio-economic group, 2006/08,2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

Figure 2.3: Household net financial wealth groups, by socio-economic group, 2006/08,2008/10

Notes:

  1. Includes individuals from households where there has been no structural change between waves.
  2. 1.1: Large employers / higher managerial; 1.2: Higher professional; 2: Lower managerial / professional; 3: Intermediate; 4: Small employers / own account workers; 5: Lower supervisory / technical; 6: Semi-routine; 7: Routine; 8: Never worked or long term unemployed.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics

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Financial wealth is likely to be quite volatile when compared to property wealth or private pension wealth, as it is an easier asset to liquidate and to accumulate.  Analysis of the data to date has not revealed any factors or characteristics of individuals which determine the likelihood of a household moving into or out of negative net financial wealth. Indeed, individuals from households in, or moving into or out of, negative net financial wealth vary considerably.

Figure 2.4 examines the distribution of individuals from households in each of the four net financial wealth transition groups by the total household wealth of the household they live in. The total wealth values used here are for 2006/08, as the exact amounts are unimportant and it is wealth at the beginning of the period that is likely to influence behaviour in the period. Total wealth in 2008/10 would indicate the resulting wealth after any actions.

For households in negative net financial wealth in both waves of the survey, 45.9 per cent of individuals were from households that had total wealth of ‘£50,000 or less’. However, 32.0 per cent were individuals from households that had total wealth of ‘£50,000 but less than £200,000’, and 22.2 per cent of individuals were from households that had total wealth of ‘£200,000 or more’.

For households in positive net financial wealth in both waves, the distribution of individuals in households in the various total wealth bands is a little more even. Over a quarter (25.9 per cent) of individuals from these households is also from households with total wealth of ‘£200,000 but less than £400,000’. Similarly, 24.8 per cent of individuals are from households with total wealth of ‘£400,000 but less than £750,000’ and 21.0 per cent of individuals from households with total wealth of ‘£750,000 or more’. However, 11.3 per cent of individuals from households that have positive net financial wealth in both waves were from households from the lowest total financial wealth band of ‘£50,000 or less’.

Figure 2.4: Net financial wealth groups by total household wealth at wave 1, 2006/08, 2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

Figure 2.4: Net financial wealth groups by total household wealth at wave 1, 2006/08, 2008/10

Notes:

  1. Includes individuals from households where there has been no structural change between waves.
  2. Based on half-sample at wave 1.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics

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For those households moving from negative net financial wealth in 2006/08 to positive net financial wealth in 2008/10, 43.3 per cent were from households in the lowest total wealth band of ’£50,000 or less’ and 27.5 per cent were also from households in the next total wealth band of ‘£50,000 but less than £200,000’.

For households moving into negative net financial wealth, 55.7 per cent in of individuals were from households in the lowest two total wealth bands (less than £200,000) but 21.1 per cent of individuals were from households from the top two total wealth bands (£400,000 or more).

At present this final investigation, looking at the relationship between financial wealth and total wealth can only be considered by looking at the distribution of individuals within households. This analysis will be greatly enhanced once individual estimates of wealth are available3.

Notes for Chapter Two: Study Two

  1. SPA, State Pension Age is taken to be 60 for women and 65 for men.

  2. This analysis is restricted to households where there has been no structural change between waves, see Chapter 1 for details.

  3. Individual based wealth estimates will be available by the end of 2012 – see Chapter 1 for details.

Chapter Two: Study Three

Attitudes to financial risks and gains

  • Over two thirds (68.7 per cent) of individuals from households in the lowest total wealth band (£50,000 or less) who were willing to take a financial risk in 2006/08 changed their attitude, becoming risk averse in 2008/10. This compared with 51.6 per cent of individuals from households in the highest total wealth band (£750,000 or more).

  • 68.0 per cent of individuals opted for an immediate financial gain of £1,000 in 2006/08 and 2008/10 rather than a payment of £1,100 a year later.

Respondents to the WAS were asked a range of questions about their attitudes towards, perceptions of, and expectations about issues such as spending, saving and borrowing.  The following section is focussed particularly upon two questions which aimed to determine an individual’s financial risk preference and time orientation1. By considering responses to the same question at two separate waves a longitudinal analysis can be performed.

Table 3.1: Financial risk preference, 2006/08, 2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

2008/10
2006/08 Would choose guaranteed £1,000 Would choose 1 in 5 chance of winning £10,000 Total
Would choose guaranteed £1,000 69.2 9.5 78.7
Would choose 1 in 5 chance of winning £10,000 12.5 8.8 21.3
Total 81.7 18.3 100.0

Table notes:

  1. Excludes households which changed structure in any way between waves.
  2. Excludes responses for those who did not know or had no opinion at either wave.

  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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The first of these questions investigated risk aversion and asked respondents to decide between receiving a guaranteed payment of £1,000 or a one in five chance of winning £10,000. Table 3.1 compares the risk preference reported by individuals at each of the two waves. In total, 69.2 per cent of individuals opted to take the risk free approach of a guaranteed payment of £1,000 at both waves of the survey. This result reiterates the finding from the cross-sectional publication whereby people were predominantly averse to risk.

Where we focus upon those who opted for the riskier strategy, 8.8 per cent of individuals opted for the chance of winning £10,000 when asked at both waves of the survey. However, 12.5 per cent of respondents changed their preference from adopting the riskier strategy at wave 1 to the guaranteed payment of £1,000 at wave 2.

Figure 3.2 presents the response to the financial risk aversion question at wave 2, for those individuals who at wave 1 opted for the riskier strategy i.e. those 21.3 per cent of individuals who opted for a chance of winning £10,000 at wave one.  The graph has been presented by household total wealth bands for wave 2 (2008/10). These bands have been created to illustrate the distribution of household total wealth. The breaks were broadly based on the quintile points observed in 2008/10 data.

Figure 3.2: Financial risk preference at wave two for those opting for a chance of £10,000 at wave one1, 2, 2006/08, 2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

Figure 3.2: Financial risk preference at wave two for those opting for a chance of £10,000 at wave one1, 2, 2006/08, 2008/10

Notes:

  1. Excludes households which changed structure in any way between waves.
  2. Excludes responses for those who did not know or had no opinion at either wave.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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As shown in Figure 3.2, over two-thirds (68.7 per cent) of individuals within the lowest household total wealth band who opted for the high risk strategy at wave 1 changed their preference when they were asked the question again at wave 2. The percentage of respondents whose preference changed from risk to certainty between the two waves reduces where we move from the lowest through to the highest household total wealth bands. Of those who belonged to the highest household total wealth band, 51.6 per cent of individuals changed their answer and opted for the guaranteed £1,000 at wave 2 who had opted for the riskier strategy at wave 1 (Figure 3.2).

The results also showed that almost one in ten individuals (9.5 per cent) whose preference was for a guaranteed £1,000 at wave 1 opted for a one in five chance of winning £10,000 at wave 2 (Table 3.1). A preference change in this direction, from certainty to risk, was seen to be greater where we move up the household total wealth bands.

Over one in eight (12.4 per cent) of individuals from households in the lowest household total wealth band who opted for a guaranteed £1,000 at wave 1 altered their preference to the one encompassing a higher level of risk for wave 2. Where we compare this to those individuals living in households in the highest total household wealth band, 23.3 per cent of individuals who opted for a certain but considerably smaller financial payment at wave 1 opted for the chance of a larger one at wave two.

A further attitudinal question focussed on identifying an individual’s preference towards financial time-orientation i.e. whether they would select an immediate but smaller financial payment or wait for a larger financial payment. The question itself offered individuals the opportunity to decide between receiving £1,000 today or £1,100 next year (equivalent to a 10 per cent net return on their investment).

Table 3.3 shows that people preferred a more immediate financial outcome; 68.0 per cent of individuals indicated that they would like to receive £1,000 when asked at both waves of the survey whereas only 8.8 per cent of respondents selected the long term financial outcome at both waves of the survey. Where we focus on those who changed their response between the two waves, 11.3 per cent of individuals selected the immediate financial gain at wave 1 but changed their response to select a long term return at wave 2.

Conversely, 12.0 per cent of individuals opted for a longer-term financial gain at wave 1 but changed their response and opted for the short term return where they were asked the question again at the second wave of the survey.

Table 3.3: Financial time orientation, 2006/08, 2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

2008/10
2006/08 Would choose £1,000 now Would choose £1,100 in a years' time Total
Would choose £1,000 now 68.0 11.3 79.2
Would choose £1,100 in a years' time 12.0 8.8 20.8
Total 79.9 20.1 100.0

Table notes:

  1. Excludes households which changed structure in any way between waves.
  2. Excludes responses for those who did not know or had no opinion at either wave.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Figure 3.4 presents responses to the time orientation question for those individuals who selected the long term financial return option at wave 1 i.e. those 20.8 per cent of individuals who selected to receive £1,000 in a years time in 2006/08. The graph has been presented by household total wealth bands for wave 2 (2008/10). Almost one third (31.8 per cent) of individuals selecting the long term financial return option at wave 1 who lived in households in the lowest total wealth band also selected the long term option at wave 2. Conversely, 56.1 per cent of individuals choosing the long term financial return option who lived in households in the highest total wealth band also selected the long term option at wave two.

Figure 3.4: Financial time orietation at wave two for those opting for £1,100 in a years time at wave one, 2006/08, 2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

Figure 3.4: Financial time orietation at wave two for those opting for £1,100 in a years time at wave one,  2006/08, 2008/10

Notes:

  1. Excludes households which changed structure in any way between waves.
  2. Excludes responses for those who did not know or had no opinion at either wave.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Notes for Chapter Two: Study Three

  1. Time orientation in this context relates to whether an individual would choose an immediate but smaller financial payment or wait for a larger financial payment.

Chapter Two: Study Four

Older individuals – Economic activity transitions

  • Nearly one quarter of individuals (24.0 per cent) aged up to 5 years over SPA1 were in employment in both 2006/08 and 2008/10.

  • 4.1 per cent of those aged more than five years above SPA had been employed in both waves.

This study explores the economic activity of individuals around retirement age (age at wave 2 has been used). Table 4.1 shows the economic activity of individuals aged 55 and above in each wave of the survey; it considers those who were employed at both time points, those unemployed or economically inactive at both time points and two transitions groups, into and out of employment.

For individuals aged 55 to SPA, 58.6 per cent were in employment in both 2006/08 and 2008/10. A further 28.3 per cent of individuals were unemployed or economically inactive at both time periods. The two transition groups of individuals moving into or out of employment were much smaller, with 10.1 per cent of individuals being in employment in 2006/08 but unemployed or inactive in 2008/10 and 2.9 per cent of individuals moving into employment from unemployment or inactivity.

Table 4.1: Individuals aged 55 and over, by age and economic activity transitions, 2006/08, 2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

  Age
Economic activity 55 - SPA2 SPA2 and above All
Employed in both waves 58.6 9.5 23.3
Unemployed or Economically inactive in both waves 28.3 83.7 68.1
Transition from Employment to Unemployment or Inactivity 10.1 5.8 7.1
Transition from Unemployment or Inactivity to Employment 2.9 1.0 1.6
All 100.0 100.0 100.0

Table notes:

  1. Includes individuals from households where there has been no structural change between waves.
  2. SPA is State Pension Age, taken to be age 60 for women and age 65 for men.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics

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For those individuals aged SPA and above, 83.7 per cent were unemployed or economically inactive at both waves, whilst only 9.5 per cent were employed at both waves. A further 5.8 per cent moved from being in employment at wave 1 to unemployed or economically inactive at wave 2. However, 1.0 per cent of individuals in this age group moved from being unemployed or economically inactive at wave 1 to being employed at wave 2.

For those who were unemployed or economically inactive at both waves, 39.9 per cent of those aged 55 to SPA in this group claimed to be retired in 2008/10, whilst 97.4 per cent of those aged SPA and above gave their reason for being inactive as ‘retired from paid work’. For those aged 55 to SPA, 40.9 per cent said they were long term sick or disabled, and 11.0 per cent gave their reason for inactivity as ‘looking after family or home’; a small group (3.4 per cent) were classified as unemployed.

The transition groups are small, but of those aged 55-SPA who reported being employed at wave 1 but unemployed or economically inactive at wave 2, 52.7 per cent moved into retirement, 21.8 per cent were unemployed and 11.0 per cent were long term sick or disabled.

Figure 4.2 disaggregates the figures further by age. Figure 4.2a presents the four economic activity groups described above, but for individuals aged up to 5 years prior to SPA (i.e. women aged 55 to 59 and men aged 60 to 64); Figure 4.2b is restricted to individuals aged from SPA and up to five years after (i.e. women aged 60 to 64 and men aged 65 to 69); Figure 4.2c is restricted to individuals aged five years or more above SPA (i.e. women aged 65 and over, men aged 70 or over).

Over half (52.1 per cent) of all individuals aged up to 5 years prior to SPA were in employment in both 2006/08 and 2008/10 (Figure 4.2a). 31.4 per cent of individuals in this age group were unemployed or inactive in both waves, 11.0 per cent had moved from employment into unemployment or inactivity and 3.4 per cent had moved from unemployment or economic inactivity back into employment.

For those individuals in the next age group (SPA to five years over SPA) the picture was noticeably different. Whilst the largest percentage of this group was those who were unemployed or economically inactive in both waves (59.2 per cent), nearly a quarter (24.4 per cent) of individuals in this age group was in employment in both waves.

A further 14.8 per cent of individuals in this age group had moved from employment into unemployment or economic inactivity and only 1.6 per cent had moved back into employment. It is interesting to note that 72.1 per cent of those who were in employment in both waves in this age group were women. (Further details of the gender split for these groups will be given in background tables).

Once again the third age group (more than 5 years above SPA) shows another very different picture.  Individuals in this age group were mainly in the group who had been unemployed or economically inactive in both 2006/08 and 2008/10 (92.6 per cent). A further 2.6 per cent had moved from employment into unemployment or economic inactivity. However, 4.1 per cent of this age group had been employed in both waves and 0.8 per cent had moved back into employment at wave 2.

Figure 4.2: Individuals aged 55 and over, by age and economic activity transitions, 2006/08, 2008/10

Figure 4.2: Individuals aged 55 and over, by age and economic activity transitions, 2006/08, 2008/10

Notes:

  1. Includes individuals from households where there has been no structural change between waves.
  2. Excludes those who gave insufficient information to determine economic activity at either wave.
  3. SPA is State Pension Age, taken to be age 60 for women and age 65 for men.
  4. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics

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Notes for Chapter Two: Study Four

  1. SPA is State Pension Age, taken to be age 60 for women and aged 65 for men.

Chapter Two: Study Five

Transitions in pension membership (2006/08 to 2008/10)

Overview

As reported in Part 2 Chapter 2: Total wealth, private pension wealth makes up the largest component of aggregate wealth in Great Britain (46.3 per cent in 2008/10). Table 1 provides an overview of the percentage of the population (aged 16 plus) by whether or not they were contributing to a private pension in 2006/08 and 2008/10.

Table 5.1: Proportion of population by whether contributing to private pensions in 2006/08 and 2008/10 (Great Britain)

    Men Women All
Wave 1 (2006/08) Wave 2 (2008/10)
Not contributing Not contributing 49.5 60.9 55.3
Not contributing Contributing 7.7 6.1 6.9
Contributing Not contributing 9.7 8.0 8.8
Contributing Contributing 33.2 25.0 29.0
  Total 100.0 100.0 100.0

Table notes:

  1. 'Contributing' refers to those actively contributing to any private pension in 2006/08 or 2008/10.  Private pensions cover all pensions except the state pension. For further information see Part 2: Chapter 4: Pension Wealth 2008/10.
  2. Based on linked records for individuals from households with no structural change.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Table 5.1 shows that most individuals (84.3 per cent) did not change their private pension contribution behaviour between 2006/08 and 2008/10. 55.3 per cent of the population did not contribute to a private pension in 2006/08 and continued not to do so in 2008/10. 29.0 per cent of the population were contributing in both 2006/08 and 2008/10.

15.7 per cent of the population did change their behaviour between the two waves. The group that did not contribute to a private pension in 2006/08 but did contribute in 2008/10 are referred to as transition group 1. The group who were contributing to a private pension in 2006/08 but had stopped by 2008/10 are referred to as transition group 2.

  • 6.9 per cent did not contribute to a private pension in 2006/08 but did contribute in 2008/10 (transition group 1).

  • 8.8 per cent, who were contributing to a private pension in 2006/08, had stopped doing so by 2008/10 (transition group 2).

More men than women actively contributed to private pensions in both waves (see Part 2: Chapter 4: Pension Wealth 2008/10). Table 5.1 shows that 17.3 per cent of men and 14.1 per cent of women changed their behaviour between waves:

  • 6.1 per cent of women were in transition group 1 compared with 7.7 per cent of men.

  • 9.7 per cent of men were in transition group 2 compared with 8.0 per cent of women.

Economic activity

This section explores the ‘economic activity’ status of the group of individuals who changed their pension contribution behaviour between 2006/08 and 2008/10.

Figure 5.2 shows the 6.9 per cent of individuals in transition group 1 (those that did not contribute to a pension in 2006/08, but contributed in 2008/10):

  • 57.6 per cent were employed in both waves and 9.7 per cent had moved into employment.

  • over a quarter (28.0 per cent) were unemployed or inactive.

Please note: Percentages are calculated excluding cases where there was insufficient information to determine economic activity status in one or both waves.

Figure 5.2: Economic activity status of those individuals who did not contribute to a private pension in 2006/08, but contributed in 2008/10 (Great Britain)

Figure 5.2: Economic activity status of those individuals who did not contribute to a private pension in 2006/08, but contributed in 2008/10 (Great Britain)

Notes:

  1. Excludes cases where there was insufficient information to determine economic activity status in one or both waves.
  2. Based on linked records for individuals from households with no structural change.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Figure 5.3 shows the 8.8 per cent of individuals in transition group 2 (those that did contribute to a pension in 2006/08, but did not do so in 2008/10):

  • Just under three-fifths (59.6 per cent) of those that stopped contributing to a private pension were either not in employment in both waves, or moved out of employment between waves. This latter group will include some people who stopped contributing to their pension as they retired.

  • 38.3 per cent of those who stopped contributing to a private pension were employed in both waves. It should be noted that the category ‘employed in both waves’ will include people who have moved employer between waves.

Please note: Percentages are calculated excluding cases where there was insufficient information to determine economic activity status in one or both waves.

Figure 5.3: Economic activity status of those individuals who contributed to a private pension in 2006/08, but did not contribute in 2008/10 (Great Britain)

Figure 5.3: Economic activity status of those individuals who contributed to a private pension in 2006/08, but did not contribute in 2008/10 (Great Britain)

Notes:

  1. Excludes cases where there was insufficient information to determine economic activity status in one or both waves.
  2. Based on linked records for individuals from households with no structural change.
  3. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Age

Figure 5.4 looks at the age (in wave 2) of individuals who were in the two transition groups. The chart gives the proportions within each age band. The text also gives the proportions within each age band by transition group (these estimates are available in the download file for Figure 5.4).

Transition group 1 (individuals not contributing in wave 1 but contributing in wave 2):

  • The proportion of individuals in transition group 1 was highest for the 35-44 year age group (22 per cent in this group were in the 35-44 year age band). 8 per cent of all those aged 35-44 had were in transition group 1.

  • Economic activity status is one factor affecting private pension membership. For individuals in transition group 1, those aged 35-44 had the highest proportion employed in both waves (29.1 per cent) and one of the highest proportions moving into employment (25.5 per cent).

  • As expected, the proportion of individuals in transition group 1 was lowest for those aged State Pension Age (SPA - 60 for women, 65 for men) and over. Only 2.6 per cent of those aged SPA and above were in transition group 1.

Transition group 2 (individuals contributing in wave 1 but not contributing in wave 2):

  • The proportion of individuals in transition group 2 increased with age and was highest for those of State Pension Age and above (32.9 per cent were in this age band compared with 4.5 per cent in the 16-24 age band). 10.6 per cent of those SPA and over were in transition group 2.

Figure 5.4: Proportion within each transition group by age band (2006/08 and 2008/10) (Great Britain)

Figure 5.4: Proportion within each transition group by age band (2006/08 and 2008/10) (Great Britain)

Notes:

  1. Age at wave 2.
  2. Based on linked records for individuals from households with no structural change.
  3. SPA = State Pension Age (60 for women, 65 for men).
  4. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Chapter Two: Study Six

Longitudinal household tenure, movements from rental to ownership and wealth

  • Almost one in ten individuals (9.4 per cent) living in households who rented their main residence at wave 1 were living in a household who owned their main residence by wave 2.

  • Nearly four-fifths (79.5 per cent) of those individuals from households whose tenure was reported as renting in both periods lived in households within the lowest two net financial wealth bands.

  • 30.0 per cent of individuals from households moving from renting to ownership were from households with net financial wealth in the top two wealth bands at wave one.

The following analysis investigates longitudinal movements in tenure between waves of the survey. The definition of renting within this study includes all those living in households who were either renting (public or private sector) or living in their main residence rent-free. Household ownership reflects individuals living in households who either owned their property outright, were buying their property with the help of a mortgage or paying part-rent and part mortgage on a shared ownership scheme.

Table 6.1 presents the distribution of individuals by their household tenure in both 2006/08 and 2008/10. Nearly three-quarters of individuals (74.1) lived within households who owned their main residence at wave 1 compared with 75.0 per cent of individuals in wave 2. Just over one quarter of individuals (25.9 per cent) were living in households who were renting their main residence at wave one. In 2008/10 the percentage of individuals who were living in households renting their main residence had shown little change (25.0 per cent).

Table 6.1: Distribution of individuals by their household tenure: 2006/08,2008/10

Great Britain, Percentages

Individuals in 2008/10
Individuals in 2006/08 Household own main residence Household rents main residence Total1
Household own main residence 72.6 1.5 74.1
Household rents main residence 2.4 23.4 25.9
Total1 75.0 25.0 100.0

Table notes:

  1. Includes individuals from households where there has been no structural change between waves.
  2. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Analysis now focuses solely on those 25.9 per cent of individuals from households who were renting their main property in 2006/08 and identifies whether, by 2008/10 their households were continuing to rent or now owned their main residence. Of those individuals from households who were renting their main property at wave 1, over nine out of ten individuals (90.6 per cent) were from households which continued to do so at wave 2. Only 9.4 per cent of individuals from households renting in wave 1 were living in households which owned their main residence by wave 2.

Figure 6.2: Individuals from households renting their main residence at wave one: tenure at wave 2 by household net financial wealth bands: 2006/08, 2008/10

Figure 6.2: Individuals from households renting their main residence at wave one: tenure at wave 2 by household net financial wealth bands: 2006/08, 2008/10

Notes:

  1. Includes only those individuals from households with no structural change between waves.
  2. Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, Office for National Statistics.

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Figure 6.2 compares individuals from households who were renting their main residence at both waves of the survey with those whose tenure status changed from renting to ownership. The graph has been presented by household net financial wealth bands for wave 1 (2006/08).

Almost four-fifths (79.5 per cent) of those individuals from households renting in both periods were also from households within the lowest two net financial wealth bands. In comparison, two-fifths of individuals (40.0 per cent) from households whose tenure changed from renting to ownership across the two year period were from households with net financial wealth in the lowest two wealth bands combined.

The middle net household financial wealth band (£5,000 but less than £50,000) contained the highest proportion of individuals from households changing tenure from renting to ownership between 2006/08 and 2008/10. Almost a third of individuals (30.4 per cent) from households whose tenure changed from renting to ownership between the two waves lived in households at wave 1 within this band of net financial wealth.

Just over one in twenty (5.96 per cent) of individuals from households whose tenure status was reported as renting in both of the periods lived within households which had net financial wealth belonging to the top two wealth bands (more than or equal to £50,000). In comparison, 30.0 per cent of individuals from households which demonstrated a change in tenure from renting to ownership lived within households with net financial wealth in the top two wealth bands at wave one.

Background notes

  1. Wealth in Great Britain: Main results from the Wealth and Assets Survey Wave 1: 2006/08

    Wealth in Great Britain: Main results from the Wealth and Assets Survey Wave 2: 2008/10, Part 1

    Wealth in Great Britain: Main results from the Wealth and Assets Survey Wave 2: 2008/10, Part 2

  2. Contributions

    Authors:

    Elaine Chamberlain, Office for National Statistics
    Matthew Steel, Office for National Statistics
    Hazel Clarke, Office for National Statistics
    Guled Guled, Office for National Statistics
    Jon Smetherham, Office for National Statistics
    Hannah Duffy, Office for National Statistics
    Alan Newman, Office for National Statistics

    Editors:

    Ole Black, Office for National Statistics
    Ian O’Sullivan, Office for National Statistics

    Ackowledgements

    Wave 2 of the survey was funded by a consortium of departments including: Office for National Statistics, Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Communities and Local Government and the Scottish Government.

    The Editors would like to thank all those who involved in the continued development of the Wealth and Assets Survey as well as to the writing of this report. These include the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, HM Treasury, the Scottish Government.

    Thanks also go to the interviewers and staff in the Data Collection team in Social Survey Division, staff in the Methodology Directorate (Karl Ashworth, Steven Rogers, Jennifer Bowers, Oliver Dorman, Rachel Skentlebery, Phil Lewis, Hannah Finselbach, Patience Eastwood) and the research team in Social Survey Division (Tom Howe, Martina Aumeyr, Ellis Daniel, Maureen O’Brien, Lloyd Shemwell, Peter Rhys Jones, Michelle Cooper, Hilary Mainwaring, Rhian Murphy, Rachael Ryan, Lara Henderson, and Martin Riley) in the Office for National Statistics who developed the questionnaire, collected, edited and processed the data.

    This Office for National Statistics publication draws on information provided by individuals in the randomly selected private dwellings in Great Britain. As participation in the survey was voluntary their continued cooperation was very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the Office for National Statistics would not be available. The valuable conceptual and methodological contributions made by members of the survey Technical Group were also greatly appreciated as were the ongoing efforts of the panel of ONS interviewers. All information received by the Office for National Statistics from the survey was treated in strict confidence as required by the National Statistics Code of Practice Protocol on Data Access and Confidentiality.

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

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