The total net worth of the United Kingdom at the end of 2015 was £8.8 trillion in current prices, according to the annual national balance sheet published today by the Office for National Statistics. This was approximately £135,000 per head of the population, or £327,000 per household.
Commenting on the figures, ONS statistician Ole Black said “The £8.8 trillion figure represents an increase in cash terms of £493 billion, or 6%, on 2014. This continued the general long-term upwards pattern in net worth except during the economic downturn of 2008-09. Much of this increase came from dwellings, where there was a £355 billion rise in value.”
UK total net worth more than tripled between 1995 and 2015, with an increase of £6.0 trillion. This was equivalent to an average increase of £87,000 per person from £49,000 per person in 1995 to the 2015 figure of £135,000 per person. Since 1995, UK total net worth increased consistently until the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009. From 2010 onwards it has increased in almost every year, with the exception of a small decrease in 2012.
The biggest sector continued to be households and non-profit institutions – such as charities, social clubs, churches and trade unions – that together were worth £10.2 trillion at end-2015, up from £9.8 trillion the previous year. The most valuable assets in this sector were dwellings, at £5.2 trillion – just over half the total – followed by insurance and pension schemes at £3.7 trillion. By contrast, most of the other sectors had negative net worth. A negative net worth means that a sector owed more in liabilities (such as loans) then it owned in assets (such as buildings).
By asset type, dwellings again were the most valuable type of non-financial asset. Adding in those belonging to other sectors, their total value came to £5.5 trillion at end-2015, up 7% on the previous year. This was over four times their value in 1995, when they came to £1.2 trillion; the increase was mainly due to increases in house prices rather than a change in the number of dwellings.
- A more detailed statistical bulletin can be found at The UK national balance sheet: 2016 estimates.
- The net worth estimates of the UK economy exclude ‘human capital’, that is the value of knowledge, skills and know-how, and ‘environmental or natural capital’. ONS today publishes a separate article on human capital at Human capital estimates: 2015.
- Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the media office.
- National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
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