Levels of inequality changed dramatically over the course of the 20th century. Income inequality fell from a high point in the 1930s, remained fairly static until 1979, and then increased dramatically from 1979 to 1991. Since 1991 it has remained fairly stable, including during the recent financial crisis.
Scale and Trends
How is economic inequality defined? How unequal is the UK? How has UK inequality changed over time?
The UK has the 7th most unequal incomes of 30 countries in the developed world, but is about average in terms of wealth inequality. While the top fifth have nearly 50% of the country's income and 60% of the country's wealth, the bottom fifth have only 4% of the income and only 1% of the wealth.
There are several different forms of economic inequality, including income, pay and wealth inequality. It is distinct from poverty and can be measured using numerous methods, such as the Gini Coefficient and ratio measures.