The total net worth of the United Kingdom at the end of 2010 was £7.3 trillion in current prices, according to the annual non-financial balance sheets published today by the Office for National Statistics. This was an increase of £695 billion, or 10.5 per cent, on 2009 values. It equates to approximately a net worth of £120,000 per head of the population.
Households and non-profit institutions remained the sector with the highest net worth in 2010 – in fact, at £7,685 billion it was actually bigger than the overall worth of the country. This was possible as several other sectors had negative net worth, the largest of these negative valuations being for central government at -£547 billion.
Housing remained the most valuable asset at £4,260 billion, or 58.1 per cent of the total net worth. This was up £211 billion, or 5.2 per cent, on the 2009 value, although still below the £4,314 billion that the nation’s housing stock was worth in 2007. The value of housing stock belonging to households and non-profit organisations was £4,037 billion. The next most valuable category of tangible asset was commercial, industrial and other buildings at £807 billion, or 11.0 per cent of total net worth. This sector had the strongest value growth in 2010 and overtook civil engineering works, which was relegated to third place with a value of £790 billion.
The significant increase of £245 billion in the value of commercial, industrial and other building was driven by an increase of £218 billion in such buildings held by private non-financial corporations. This is mainly due to the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards which has resulted in an upward revision on the valuation of some tangible assets.
The population estimate used to derive net worth per head is consistent with the 2010 mid year population estimates, at 62 million, published on the ONS website http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-231847.
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