Income inequality

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 20 April 2020

Net income inequality before housing costs (1996/97 - 2017/18)

This indicator shows one way of measuring income inequality; the 90:10 net income ratio. This compares the net income of those at the 90th net income percentile with those at the 10th net income percentile. A higher figure means that inequality is higher.

In 2017/18 those in the 90th net income percentile in London took home 10.2 times more than those in the 10th net income percentile (a 90:10 net income ratio of 10.2). In the rest of England the 90:10 net income ratio is 5.2.

Net income inequality has risen gradually in London over the last 20 years. In contrast, it has been relatively stable in England overall. 

This means that the gap between the rich and poor in London and the rest of England is much larger today than it was two decades ago. In 1996/97, the gap between London’s 90:10 net income ratio and that of the rest of England was 2.5, today it is 5.

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