UK Statistics

Statistics – Household Wealth by Region and Age

Released: 04 June 2013 – Download PDF

Contents

 

Key Points

Impact of age

On average, wealth is highest amongst the 45-64 year old age group; remains relatively high amongst the 65+ age group but is lower for households in which children or young adults (25-44) live.

  • The share of the population in Great Britain living in households1 with total household wealth2 greater than £500,0003  is 20% for 0-15 year olds, 17% for 25-44 year olds, 43% for 45-64 year olds and 31% for adults aged 65 or over4.
  • The share living in households with total household wealth less than £50,000 is 30% for 0-15 year olds, 25% for 25-44 year olds, 12% for 45-64 year olds and 14% for adults aged 65 or over.

 Impact of region/country

The impact of region on wealth is smallest for those in the 25-44 age group.  There are larger regional differences apparent amongst the 45-64 and 65 and over age groups.

A higher share of individuals in the South East region live in wealthy households than is the case for other regions.

  • Only 6% of adults aged 45-64 in the South East region live in households in which the total household wealth is less than £50,000 whilst 28% live in households in which the total household wealth is greater than £1 million (GB averages 12% and 19% respectively).

Individuals in the North East region are more likely to live in relatively less wealthy households than is the case for other regions. This is particularly the case for those aged 65 and over.

  • The North East is the only region in which more  individuals aged 65 or over live in households with total wealth below £50,000 (24%) than in households with total wealth >£500,000 (21%).  (GB averages 14% and 31% respectively).

Amongst those aged 45-64 and 65 or over, London has a hollowed out wealth distribution with relatively high shares at both the top and bottom of the wealth distribution and therefore relatively fewer in the middle.

  • In London, 22% of those aged 45-64 live in households in which the total household wealth is greater than £1 million and 18% in households in which the total household wealth is less than £50,000 (GB averages 19% and 12% respectively).

For children in London however, the distribution is skewed more towards them living in less wealthy households.

  • 41% of children aged 0-15 in London live in households in which the total household wealth is less than £50,000.   (For Great Britain overall the share is 30%).

Types of Wealth.

Pension wealth5 and property wealth are the most likely sources of wealth to differentiate those at the top and bottom of the wealth distribution. Whilst there is regional variation in both, the regional variation is larger for property wealth.

  • The share of individuals aged 65 or over living in households with net property wealth over £250,000  is 41% in London, 38% in the South East , 32-33% in the East of England and the South West; but only 10-15% in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, Scotland and Wales.

The share of individuals living in households with negative net financial wealth (where liabilities such as borrowing, overdrafts & debts exceed assets such as savings) varies from 21% in Scotland to 35% in the North East.

Notes:

1  The analysis and data in this article shows the total wealth of the household in which an individual lives, but makes no assertion as to whether the particular individual is responsible for the wealth in the household or not.  In other words, it does not present information on a person’s individual wealth nor does it examine how wealth within any household is distributed across the occupants of the household.

2  Total household wealth is a net wealth measure for each household created by adding together the different types of household wealth; property wealth (net), financial wealth (net), physical wealth and private pension wealth. It does not include business assets, accrued rights to state pensions or assets held in Trusts.

3  There is no specific economic rationale for the choices of £50,000, or £500,000, or £1 million as cut-off points for this analysis – alternative figures could just as easily have been chosen.  The choice of these cut-off points was to simultaneously allow a means of analysing the groups towards the top and the bottom of the wealth distribution whilst also using rounded figures that are easily accessible for users.   Note the <£50,000 group will include those with negative wealth.

4  The data would be consistent with a life-cycle view of wealth in which wealth increases through a working career, peaking at close to retirement age before gradually reducing during retirement.  However, in addition to life cycle effects, the data is also influenced by cohort effects, such that particular generations can be favoured or disadvantaged by impacts such as the timing of house price increases or the relative generosity of private pension schemes. It is not, however, possible to disentangle the relative importance of these life-cycle and cohort effects when using cross-sectional data such as in this analysis.

5  For most people aged below 65, pension wealth differs from other types of wealth in that it is an entitlement to receive an income in future, rather than wealth available to utilise in the present moment.

 

Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.

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