Good news: We’ve become more valuable over the past year. This is according to the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) new human capital figures, which look at how our potential future earnings measure up.
The average Briton of working age is now worth £448,358, putting the total value of the country’s human capital at £18.22 trillion.
This is a measure that tries to pinpoint an exact value of our knowledge, skills, personality and health:
All of these factors enable individuals to work, and therefore produce something of economic value.
Although our worth is on the rise, we’re still far off from the real high notes.
Human capital peaked in 2008, when the average working person had a worth of £480,000, and then dropped during the recession, as unemployment rose and earnings fell.
The total value of women’s human capital only comes up to 59 per cent of men’s, because women both work less and earn less for the hours they work. Younger people also have a disproportionately high human capital, for the perhaps obvious reason that they have more years left to work and earn money.
Broken down by education, those with higher education embodied 36 per cent of human capital stock, despite representing only 27 per cent of the working population.