Aggregate total wealth of all private households in Great Britain was £9.5 trillion.
The wealthiest 10% of households owned 44% of total aggregate household wealth.
The least wealthy half of households combined owned 9% of total aggregate household wealth.
Private pension wealth was the largest component of aggregate total wealth.
Half of all households had total wealth of £218,400 or more.
Households in the South East had the highest median wealth (£309,700).
This chapter looks at total net wealth of private households in Great Britain. The definition of wealth used in this survey is an economic one: total wealth (gross) is the value of accumulated assets, and total wealth (net) is the value of accumulated assets minus the value of accumulated liabilities.
Total net wealth is defined as the sum of four components: property wealth (net), physical wealth, financial wealth (net) and private pension wealth. It does not include business assets owned by household members, for instance if they run a business; nor does it include rights to state pensions, which people accrue during their working lives and draw on in retirement.
Net wealth is a ‘stock’ concept rather than a ‘flow’ concept. In other words, it refers to the balance at a point in time. In contrast, income refers to the flow of resources over time. Income allows the wealth to be accumulated, but equally, wealth is capable of producing flows of income either in the present or – as in the case of pension wealth – in the future.
Aggregate total wealth (including private pension wealth) of all private households in Great Britain in 2010/12 was £9.5 trillion, increasing from £9.0 trillion in 2008/10 and £8.4 trillion in 2006/08 (Table 2.1). All estimates are presented as current values (i.e. the value at time of interview) and have not been adjusted for inflation.
|Property Wealth (net)||3,537||3,379||3,528|
|Financial Wealth (net)||1,043||1,091||1,299|
|Private Pension Wealth||2,886||3,470||3,586|
|Total Wealth (including Private Pension Wealth)||8,426||8,955||9,515|
|Total Wealth (excluding Private Pension Wealth)||5,540||5,485||5,929|
|Property Wealth (net)||0.63||0.63||0.64|
|Financial Wealth (net)||0.89||0.89||0.92|
|Private Pension Wealth||0.77||0.76||0.73|
Of the four wealth components, inequality remains lowest for physical wealth, with a Gini coefficient 0.45 in 2010/12. Unlike the other wealth components, every household has some physical assets (i.e. a positive wealth value). Similarly, inequality remains highest for the net financial wealth component, with a Gini coefficient 0.92 in 2010/12. However, although the order in which the four components display inequality remains the same, inequality has worsened for both property wealth and financial wealth (i.e. the Gini coefficients have increased slightly over time), but improved for pension wealth and physical wealth (i.e. the Gini coefficients have decreased slightly over time).
A Lorenz curve is created by ranking households from poorest to richest and graphing the cumulative share of household wealth and households as a proportion of total wealth and households respectively.
In the next section total household wealth is considered. This is a net wealth measure for each household created by adding together the different components of household wealth; property wealth (net), financial wealth (net), physical wealth and private pension wealth.
|Median household wealth including pension wealth||196,700||204,300||218,400|
|Median household wealth excluding pension wealth||146,600||144,500||146,200|
|Percentage of households (%)||Median (£)|
|Less than £12,500||12||10||10||4,200||4,600||4,800|
|£12,500 but < £40,000||12||11||11||23,500||24,200||23,700|
|£40,000 but < £100,000||12||12||12||66,600||66,400||65,300|
|£100,000 but < £150,000||8||8||8||125,900||125,000||125,100|
|£150,000 but < £250,000||14||14||13||199,000||196,700||197,100|
|£250,000 but < £300,000||6||6||6||275,200||273,400||273,800|
|£300,000 but < £450,000||13||13||12||364,900||364,000||365,800|
|£450,000 but < £600,000||8||8||8||515,700||517,700||513,600|
|£600,000 but < £1 million||9||10||11||745,800||748,000||750,900|
|£1 million or more||6||7||9||1,382,800||1,390,300||1,394,700|
Figure 2.10 shows median household total wealth (including private pension wealth) according to the location of the main residence of the household. It shows Scotland, Wales and the nine English regions (with London shown separately; the figures for the South East exclude London).
Across all three waves of the survey the South East was the wealthiest; median household total wealth stood at £309,700 in 2010/12. The South East was followed by the South West and the East of England in 2010/12, with median household total wealth of £288,300 and £259,900 respectively. Households located in London demonstrated the largest proportional increase in median household total wealth between 2008/10 and 2010/12 of 19%. Households in the South West saw the second largest proportional increase in median household total wealth of 11%.
Scotland had the lowest median household total wealth in 2006/08 with a value of £149,700. However, the North East had the lowest median household total wealth in 2008/10 and 2010/12, with values of £143,700 and £142,700 respectively. The median household total wealth in Scotland remained low for 2008/10 and 2010/12, at £155,000 and £165,500 respectively. Households in the North East saw the only decrease in median household total wealth between 2008/10 and 2010/12, with a proportional fall of 1%.
The median household total wealth for the whole of England rose by 6% to £224,300 in 2010/12. In comparison, the median household total wealth for Scotland increased by 7% to £165,500 and the median household total wealth for Wales increased by 4% to £207,400 from 2008/10. However, the median household total wealth for Scotland is a fifth (20%) lower than the corresponding value for Wales and over a quarter (26%) lower than the value for England.
Figure 2.11 presents the change in median household total wealth between 2006/08 and 2010/12 for all households by English region, Scotland and Wales. Eight of the nine regions of England saw an increase in median household total wealth, with households in London demonstrating the largest proportional rise – an increase of 31% in median household total wealth between 2006/08 and 2010/12. Referring back to the component wealth chapters, median household wealth in London increased for all components between 2006/08 and 2010/12 but was most considerable for private pension wealth and net financial wealth (with rises of 48% and 26% respectively).
In contrast, the North East saw the only fall in median household total wealth, with a proportional fall of 10% between 2006/08 and 2010/12. Considering the individual wealth components, despite a rise of 12% in median private pension wealth and a rise of 10% in median physical wealth, the financial wealth of households in the North East was the same in 2010/12 as in 2006/08 and median property wealth was 10% lower.
Scotland saw a proportional rise of 11% in median household total wealth between 2006/08 and 2010/12, while Wales saw a proportional rise of 4%. Great Britain, as a whole, saw an 11% proportional increase in median household total wealth.
Figure 2.12 shows the distribution of total household wealth (including private pension wealth) by the composition of the household. It shows the ten different categories for household type. It should be noted that some household types will have more adults than others. We would expect households with more than one adult to have higher levels of wealth than single person households because, in general, each additional adult makes a positive contribution to wealth accumulation.
The median value of household total wealth was the highest for couple households without children, where one person is over and the other under the state pension age1, at £607,800. Similarly this household type demonstrated the highest median total wealth in 2006/08 and 2008/10 (£452,000 and £538,000 respectively).
There were two other household types with considerable median total household wealth in 2010/12. These were couple households where both adults were over the state pension age with no children (£434,100) and couple households with non-dependent children (£406,200).
The type of household with the lowest median household total wealth across all three waves was ‘lone parent with dependent children’ with a median value of £23,900 in 2006/08, £26,500 in 2008/10 and £28,800 in 2010/12.
The most common household type comprised couple households with dependent children, accounting for 19% of all households. These households had median total wealth of £199,900 in 2010/12, a fall of 3% from 2008/10.
The household type with the largest proportional increase in median household total wealth between 2008/10 and 2010/12 was for couple households who have no children, where one person is over and the other under the state pension age, at 13%. The household type with the largest proportional decrease between 2008/10 and 2010/12 was for single adult households where the individual was under the state pension age, a fall of 6%.
This section looks at some key characteristics of individuals living in households with the various total wealth bands (including private pension wealth), where the lowest band of household total wealth includes negative total wealth. It is important to remember that analysis presents individual characteristics by the total wealth of the household that the individual lives within. In certain instances it is possible that this wealth is more likely attributed to other individuals living within that household.
|Gender and Marital Status||Less than £12,500||£12,500 but < £40,000||£40,000 but < £100,000||£100,000 but < £150,000||£150,000 but < £250,000||£250,000 but < £300,000||£300,000 but < £450,000||£450,000 but < £600,000||£600,000 but < £1 million||£1 million or more|
|Age||Less than £12,500||£12,500 but < £40,000||£40,000 but < £100,000||£100,000 but < £150,000||£150,000 but < £250,000||£250,000 but < £300,000||£300,000 but < £450,000||£450,000 but < £600,000||£600,000 but < £1 million||£1 million or more|
|Education Level||Less than £12,500||£12,500 but < £40,000||£40,000 but < £100,000||£100,000 but < £150,000||£150,000 but < £250,000||£250,000 but < £300,000||£300,000 but < £450,000||£450,000 but < £600,000||£600,000 but < £1 million||£1 million or more|
|Degree level or above||4||5||9||7||11||5||12||10||16||20|
Table 2.16 considers the economic activity of individuals living across the different household total wealth bands. Of individuals who were economically inactive, 26% who gave their reasons for inactivity as ‘sick or disabled’ were from households in the lowest total wealth band of less than £12,500. The second highest percentage of individuals living in households within the lowest total wealth band were those who reported their economic activity to be unemployed (22%). Retired or self-employed individuals were the least likely of all the economic activity groups to live in households within the lowest band of total wealth (4%).
As the values of the total wealth bands increase, the percentage of individuals in the different economic activity groups varies. In 2010/12, the percentage of all individuals in the top total wealth category of ‘£1 million or more’ was 10%. Individuals who were self-employed, retired or who reported their economic activity as being an inactive student were the most likely to live in households in the top wealth band of £1 million or more (14%). In comparison, 1% of economically inactive sick/disabled individuals were living in households in this top total wealth band.
|Economic Activity||Less than £12,500||£12,500 but < £40,000||£40,000 but < £100,000||£100,000 but < £150,000||£150,000 but < £250,000||£250,000 but < £300,000||£300,000 but < £450,000||£450,000 but < £600,000||£600,000 but < £1 million||£1 million or more|
|Looking after family/home||20||18||13||8||11||4||9||5||6||6|
|Socio-economic Classification||Less than £12,500||£12,500 but < £40,000||£40,000 but < £100,000||£100,000 but < £150,000||£150,000 but < £250,000||£250,000 but < £300,000||£300,000 but < £450,000||£450,000 but < £600,000||£600,000 but < £1 million||£1 million or more|
|Large employers and higher managerial||1||3||8||6||11||5||13||11||19||23|
|Lower managerial and professional||4||7||11||8||14||7||16||11||14||9|
|Small employers and own account workers||7||12||14||9||17||7||13||9||9||3|
|Lower supervisory and technical||11||14||14||9||15||6||12||7||9||4|
|Never worked/long term unemployed||19||12*||12||8*||10*||3*||10||8*||9||10|
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