Britain's richest people live in London and South East and avoid the North

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Photo: Getty

The richest people in Britain predominantly live in London and the South East of England and seem to avoid the North.

According to a report by independent economics think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the wealthiest — those classified as the top 1% of earners with a pre-tax income of at least £160,000 ($194,891) — are increasingly congregating in those two areas.

Chart: IFS

The IFS said “the top 1% of income tax payers have become more geographically concentrated since the turn of the century. The 65 (out of 650) parliamentary constituencies with the highest density of people in the top 1% now contain half of all of the top 1%. This is up from 78 constituencies in 2000–01.”

The proportion of those top earners living London has risen to 35% from 29%, from 2000/01 and 2014/15.

Map: IFS

There is also a huge discrepancy between men and women and age when it comes to wealth.

IFS data shows that just 17% of the top 1% are women, making men more than four times as likely than them to have those sky-high incomes. The think tank also points that “more than a third of people in the top 1% are in their late 40s or early 50s, which is more than twice as many as one would expect based purely on the size of that age group.”

“This largely reflects the fact that earnings tend to be highest in the latter half of a career as people benefit from labour market experience,” it highlighted.

Chart: IFS

But one data point that IFS points out is that the top 1% of earners don’t necessarily hold onto that accolade forever.

“The top 1% of income tax payers are not a stable group – a quarter of those in the top 1% in one year will not be there the next. After five years, only half will still be in the top 1%,” it said.

“As a result, someone has a much higher chance of being in the top 1% at some point in their lives than they do in any given year. 3.4% of all people (and 5.5% of men) born in 1963 were in the top 1% of income tax payers at some point between 2000–01 and 2015–16.”

READ MORE: The richest people in Britain in 2019