A Divided Britain? - Inequality Within and Between the Regions

July 2014

When economic growth and wealth is talked about, a simple story has taken root– London is rich, and our other regions are poor. But is this true?

This briefing note sets out the facts on regional inequality to bring clarity and evidence to the debate. It sets out where income inequality is greatest, presents the data on which region has the highest median wage and which the lowest, looks in detail at the differing wealth of regions and addresses how this varies by financial and property wealth and how this relates to regional house prices. Finally, it examines where men and women can expect to live the longest and shortest number of years and explains how this is related to the income and wealth of the region.

In doing so it shows that inequality between and within regions is far less significant than inequality within the UK as a whole. In other words, the gap between rich and poor people within and between regions is far less than the gap between rich and poor when the whole of the UK is looked at. This highlights the need for inequality reduction policy to be targeted at the whole of the UK.