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Distribution of aggregate wealth in London

Key points

  • The richest 10% of households account for £290 billion of financial and physical wealth in London.
  • The poorest 10% hold more debt than financial assets so have negative financial wealth amounting to -£1.3 billion.
  • As with financial wealth, the property wealth held by the poorest 30% of households is negligible.
  • At £280 billion the property wealth of the top decile is more than double that held by the 9th decile of £120 billion.

Distribution of aggregate wealth in London

What does the graph show?

This graph shows the aggregate wealth held by parts of London's population. In this analysis, wealth is split into four categories: financial (e.g. money in the bank and debts), physical (the value of physical assets such as household furniture, cars and collectables), property (but not the proportion still under mortgage) and private pension.

It shows that the richest 10% of households account for £290 billion of financial and physical wealth in London. Meanwhile the poorest 10% hold more debt than financial assets so have negative financial wealth amounting to -£1.3 billion. In fact aggregate financial wealth in London remains below half a billion until the 4th decile. It also shows that in the poorest half of the distribution physical wealth is much greater than financial wealth. This reverses at the 8th decile when the aggregate financial wealth becomes much greater and continues to increase sharply to the top of the income distribution.

Property wealth is the largest component of the wealth held in London. As with financial wealth, the property wealth held by the poorest 30% of households is negligible. But unlike financial wealth it increases by a relatively steady amount after that point, by about £20 billion per decile. Again though, the property wealth held by the richest 10% is much higher than the decile below; at £280 billion it is more than double that held by the 9th decile of £120 billion. Of the total wealth held by the top 10 per cent (£780 billion), 36% is from property and 34% is financial.

Data used

Wealth and Assets Survey, ONS, The data is for 2010/12

Indicator last updated: 15 October 2015