Billionaire Britain

December 2019

New analysis by The Equality Trust, using the wealth estimates of Forbes and Credit Suisse, reveals a shocking level of wealth inequality in the UK, which has spiralled since 2010.

  • In the UK, the five richest families own more wealth than 13 million people.
  • Over the last ten years the number of billionaires in the UK has almost doubled and the wealth of the UK’s billionaires has more than doubled.
  • The richest 1% of people in the UK owns the same wealth as 80% of the population, or 53 million people.
  • 14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials.

Levels of wealth (which often produces income) and income inequality in the UK are some of the highest amongst rich countries. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shown that income inequality undermines economic growth. Research has shown that in countries with high levels of income inequality, there are also higher levels of mental and physical ill health, violent crime, imprisonment, drug and alcohol addiction and lower levels of educational attainment, social mobility, and trust.

Full report available here.