The wealth of the richest 1% of households is more than 230 times that of the poorest 10%, according to a new analysis from the Office of National Statistics.
The richest 1% of households have wealth in excess of Â£ 3.6million each and hold 43% of all wealth in Britain.
This is compared to household wealth of Â£ 15,400 or less for the poorest ten percent. The figures, released on Friday, show that the richest people in the UK have family wealth about 233 times that of some of the poorest people in society.
The data, which covers the period between April 2018 and March 2020, showed that the poorest 50% of the population hold only 9% of the country’s wealth.
Among the poorest ten percent of households, almost half had more financial debt than assets.
The figures also highlight the challenges the government faces in its new upgrading strategy.
Analysis of the geographic distribution of UK household wealth found that median wealth in the South East was the highest in the country, at Â£ 503,400. This figure – when adjusted for inflation – has increased by 43% since 2006.
By comparison, the median household wealth in the North East was Â£ 168,500.
Some regions, such as the North East and Scotland, experienced a decline in wealth compared to the previous period from April 2016 to March 2018. They both experienced an inflation-adjusted decline in wealth of 7% and 12% respectively.
London also saw a sharp drop of 8 percent, while the east of England and the West Midlands saw the strongest growth – 14 percent and 13 percent each.
The numbers have also shown that wealth and assets are the privilege of older households rather than young people.
The median wealth of households headed by 55 to 65 years old was 25 times higher than that of the youngest households (aged 16 to 24).
While age was an indicator of a person’s wealth, so was gender. Women had less individual wealth than men – down from Â£ 101,000.
The same goes for people with long-term disabilities – down Â£ 65,000 from those without – and for other characteristics, such as certain ethnic minority groups and those who identify as bisexual.
Total net wealth was calculated using four main components. These were “equity” (the value of your house or apartment minus mortgage debt), “physical” (household contents, vehicles, etc.), private pension and “net financial” (sum of your total savings or investments).
Median household net wealth for Britain was Â£ 302,500, a marginal increase from the previous two years.
However, compared to the period from July 2006 to June 2008, this is a jump of 20%.
London School of Economics researchers Arun Advani and Hannah Tarrant argued that ONS figures underestimated the share of wealth going to wealthier households.
They said the ONS analysis did not take into account the wealth of companies.
They also pointed out that in ONS data, “differences in wealth between households of different ethnic groups are stark”.
âHouseholds whose ‘household reference person’ (main respondent to the survey) is of white ethnicity are four times more likely to have wealth above Â£ 500,000 than households with a black reference person African, âthey wrote.
âPakistani and Indian households are less likely to hold retirement wealth, as home ownership is more important in their holdings. “
Resolution Foundation researcher Krishan Shah reacted to the numbers saying: âWith wealth inequality remaining high and unchanged, it means Britain’s huge absolute wealth gaps have continued to grow.
âWith limited financial resources to protect them from economic shocks, the poorest households were arguably in the worst position before the pandemic. Policymakers must help those most affected to build their financial resilience before future shocks. “