About Economic Inequality
UK income inequality is among the highest in the developed world and evidence shows that this is bad for almost everyone, because more equal societies work better for everyone
The Equality Trust works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality
UK income inequality
People in the bottom 10% of the population have on average a net income of £8,628. The top 10% have net incomes almost ten times that (£80,240).
Income spread between the UK’s regions and nations
Income is also spread unequally across the UK’s regions and nations. The average household income in London is considerably higher than in the North East.
UK wealth inequality
The richest 10% of households hold 44% of all wealth. The poorest 50% own just 9.5%.
Out of the 30 OECD countries, the UK is the fourth most unequal.
Compared to other developed countries the UK has a very unequal distribution of income and is the most unequal in Europe.
Inequality in recent years
Since the early 1990s, changes in inequality have been less dramatic than the change from 1979 to 1991. After falling slightly over the early to mid-1990s, inequality, rose again from 1997, reaching a new peak in 2000–01. Despite falling for three years from 2000-01, inequality rose again from 2005-2010. Inequality fell in 2010 and has stayed relatively level since.
Inequality since the financial crisis
The unequal way that income is shared across society has, however, changed very little over the last few years. The financial crisis, which occurred in 2008, has had only a very small effect. Inequality in 2011-12 was lower than before the recession. This was due to falling incomes at the very top of the distribution and increases at the very bottom, largely from social security payments.