Changes in wealth inequality

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 8 October 2017

Changes in wealth inequality

What does this chart show?

This graph looks at changes at the tenth, 30th, 50th, 70th and 90th percentiles for London and Great Britain between 2010–12 and 2012–14. These are the levels of wealth which a corresponding proportion of the population have below. Total wealth here includes financial, property, physical and pension wealth. The bottom 10% in London in 2012–14 had a wealth of £4,600 or less. In 2010–12, this figure was £6,800: a fall of 32%. The tenth percentile in Great Britain as a whole also fell, by 2% from £12,900 to £12,600. In contrast, the wealth of the median household in London rose more than in Great Britain as a whole, by 14% compared with 4%. At the 90th percentile, the increase was 25% in London and 15% in Great Britain. To be in the top 10% in London, a household required wealth of more than £1.4 million.

Wealth at the bottom tenth in London is lower than in Great Britain. This is true at the 30th percentile as well, with these households in Great Britain having £82,400 compared with £46,600 in London. Between this point and the median, London overtakes Great Britain for total wealth. By the 70th percentile, London households have 17% more wealth. By the 90th, this figure is 29% higher.

Another way of measuring inequality is to use ratios of these percentile values, as other indicators in this chapter have done. Because of the very low values at the London 10th percentile and the very high values at the top, London’s 90:10 ratio for wealth is 295, i.e., wealth at the top 10% is 295 times higher than at the bottom 10%. In Great Britain, this figure is 83. These figures have increased from 160 and 71 respectively over the period 2010–12 to 2012–14.