UK high earners mapped: If you work in Tower Hamlets you're probably paid more than people who live there

Billy Ehrenberg
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Where are workers better off than residents?

Where are the best places to work in the UK if you want to make money? And where do high-powered professionals have superior spending power to the natives?

According to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there are some big gaps between the amount earned by residents in certain areas and the amounts earned by those who work there.

The data shows the pull of the capital: in central London , especially in Tower Hamlets, the highest earners commute in, while the south east is a hotbed of residential wealth. Commuting is the key word, of course, because often people work in the area in which they live and the ONS data doesn't discriminate.

Here are the results, mapped. Blue areas show where workers earn more than residents; the deeper the blue, the greater the difference. Yellows, oranges and reds show the areas where residents are wealthier than those who work there. It is worth noting that the ONS indicates some values are too unreliable, or that the data might disclose personal information. This might affect the median wages of workers or residents. Where one or both values are compromised, we haven’t included the data.

To scroll past the map on mobile, swipe down on the right-hand side of the screen. Click on any local authority to reveal the difference between workers’ median pay and that of the residents.

The data used is annual median gross wages, with the median preferred to the mean to avoid the skewing of figures by especially high or low outliers. This means taking the value at which 50 per cent of the sample is above and 50 per cent below.

Many of the areas where workers earn more than residents are cities: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Nottingham, Coventry, Reading, Derby, Exeter, Leicester and Southampton are all examples.

London is an exception, possibly because of its size, and Glasgow has two areas of higher residential earnings just outside: East Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.

Here is a chart showing the 10 local authorities where the difference is greatest in favour of residents (first 10) and the 10 where the gap is biggest in favour of workers.

Notably missing from the list is the City of London, which would have offered some valuable insight. Luckily for politicians, workers in Westminster earn less than those resident there, although both groups earn around £11,000 more than the UK median, which is £22,044.

In the north, the general trend for residents to earn more than workers is repeated but the differences are less and wages lower. In West Lancashire, one of the northern authorities with a larger gap, residents earn £22,005 and workers £18,363 - both below the national average.

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