Over a third of UK’s richest are in south east

Julian Harris
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OVER a third of the UK’s wealthiest households are located in London and the south east, according to a data set released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday.

The official stats body has found that 891,100 households in the south east have wealth in excess of £961,000 – putting them in the richest ten per cent of the country.

For the UK overall, there are 2.47m households with this level of wealth. That means the capital and the south east make up 36 per cent of the richest families.

The data – which was recorded for the 2008 to 2010 period – revealed a median average level of household wealth of £232,000.

The density of wealth is far stronger in the south east than elsewhere in the UK, the figures showed.

In the south east region – excluding London – nearly one in six households are among Britain’s wealthiest 10 per cent.

In London the figure is 12.5 per cent, while at the other end of the scale only around one in 15 Scottish homes (6.9 per cent) have a level of wealth that puts them among the top 10 per cent in the country.

Pensions and property are the main sources of wealth for those at the top. For the highest decile, private pensions made up over half (56.6 per cent) of their wealth, with property contributing 25.9 per cent.

For the bottom half of the country by wealth, however, private pensions contributed only 30.4 per cent – unsurprisingly lower, given that two out of five households (43.3 per cent) of the bottom half have no private pension wealth at all.

Property was also revealed as a strong dividing line between the those at the top and the bottom of the scale. “Only 41.4 per cent of households in this group [the bottom 50 per cent] had any value of property wealth,” the report said.