Richest 10% of UK owns 40% of wealth

A report from the Office for National Statistics has revealed that the richest 10% of households in the UK are 850 times wealthier than the poorest.  Those at the top own an average of £1.2m in property, cash and pensions whilst those in the bottom 50% own just £4,400.

Further highlighting the growing gap between the richest and poorest in society, the report also revealed that half of UK households have just £400 in net cash at hand compared to balances of £123,200 held by the top 10%.

The wealthiest households were typically in London and the south-east where they are three times more likely to be headed by someone with a degree.

The biggest gap between the rich and poor however can be seen not in cash but in pensions.  The top 10% owned property averaging £340,000 but has also built up pension savings averaging £742,000.  Those in the bottom 50% had no net property wealth and just £4,000 in pension savings.

The ONS found that entry level into the top 10% of wealthy households was £967,000 in net assets.  In London and the south-east one in seven households had these assets whilst in Scotland and the north the figure was one in fourteen.

The report also revealed that physical wealth in terms of household possessions and valuables only made up a small percentage of the assets held by the rich.  In the top 10%, households had physical wealth of £68,000 compared with the average of £18,000 in the bottom 50%.

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