What exactly does it take to be in the 1% in Britain? A lot, it turns out.
The chart from the Office for National Statistics below shows that to be in the 1% in the UK you have to have personal wealth of at least £2.8 million to count as a 1%-er. Wealth is calculated by the sum of financial assets, like shares and bank deposits, and non-financial assets, like property and cars, minus financial liabilities.
The £2.8 million figure for the 1% is over 12 times the median household wealth of £225,100. It’s also over double the cut-off point of £1 million which you need to reach to be in the top 10%.
An interesting detail about the ONS chart is that the biggest jump in wealth is between the 99th percentile of wealthy and the 100% percentile. The top 1% are not just wealthy — they’re also much wealthier than the next richest people in the country.
The steep rise of the wealth curve shows that inequality is still a big problem in the UK. The ONS says the top 10% of households control 45% of total household wealth. The top 10%’s wealth is also five times the combined wealth of the bottom 50% of people in the country.
Whether you’re rich or poor, the biggest contributor to most people’s wealth is property — unsurprising given the national obsession with it.