UK Wealth distribution, 2006

The top 1% own 25% of national wealth

The top 10% own 52% of total wealth

The top 50% own 94% of total wealth

Income distribution

GINI Index : 0= perfect equality, 100 = perfect inequality (One person owns all the wealth)


In Europe, only Greece has more unequal income distribution than Britain. The US stands out as having the highest level of inequality in the developed world

Relative wealth and poverty

Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Poverty Facts

Poverty is defined as income of less than 60% of median household income. In 2006, this was £103 per week for a single person and £301 per week for two adults with two children.

Crime and imprisonment

Number of prisoners per 100 thousand population

UKScandinavia (av.)GermanyFranceIrelandUS(all)US (black)

Number of prisoners per 100 thousand (2001) and incidence of crime

  England and WalesScotlandDenmarkSwedenFinland
Homicide/ 100k1.
Robbery/assault (% of people who were victims, 2001)5.2-

There appear to be no causal links between incidence of crime and imprisonment

Source: Home Office/Council of Europe 2003

Voting in last Parliamentary election, %


UK had the lowest voter turnout in Europe

Trust in democratic representatives %


Trust in other people generally - 10=very high, 0=very low

UKScandinavia (av)NetherlandsGermanyFrance

Upper secondary education attainment aged 25 to 64 %

UKPoland/Baltic statesScandinaviaGermanyPortugalFrance
728584 (av)832766

Minimum standards

27% of 19 year olds fail to reach the minimum stsandard of NVQ2

25% of 16 year olds are not in education or training programmes

Access to higher education: % from unskilled and professional households

Professional class5572

Percentage of people with a degree by parental income, 1999

Lowest 20%Middle 60%Highest 20%

Education, skills, earnings and economic performance

From Britain's record on skills, Layard, McIntosh, & Vignoles

%adult population who are functionally illiterate and inumerate


% of 17-year-olds involved in any formal maths study


Productivity per hour

The UK lags behind Germany and France by about 20% and the US by about 40%. The researchers assess that this is a result of low capital investment and poor education and skills.

Hourly wages (£'s)

Top 40%12.812.3
Bottom 40%5.63.6


There have been considerable changes in the distribution of occupations in the economy between 1995 and 2005.

Whilst the numbers of men and women employed in professional, senior managerial and associate professional work has grown considerably, the opportunities for men in skilled and semi-skilled occupations have significantly decreased, to be replaced by work in 'customer services', and unskilled work in services such as hospitality, security and cleaning. For women, there has been a marked decrease in secretarial and administrative work and rapid increases in sales, customer and personal service work.

Trade Union Membership % working population


Immigration and emigration, 2005

Inflow to Britain - 590,000 people

Outflow - 350, 000

Human development Index

In the UN Human Development Index, which measures how countries convert their wealth into educational, health and life expectancy outcomes, the UK comes 18th, trailing behind the US, Japan and most of Europe.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation, EurLIFE, Eurostat, "Britain's record on skills", Layard, McIntosh and Vignobles, UN, EU, OECD.

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David Westlake 10 Feb 14 15:27

Fascinating stats, however I too would be very keen to see up-to-date figures. If this was the state of play before the economic downturn and the Conservatives massive clamp-down on the benefits system, God only knows how bad it is now..?

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