William Eichler 06 August 2019

Majority of top 1% of earners in South East, study reveals

More than half of the top 1% of earners in this country live in London and the South East, new research has revealed.

A study published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has revealed the extent of income inequality in the UK.

Using data from income tax records, it found that if you have a pre-tax income of a little over £50,000, you will be among the highest 10% of income tax payers.

However, the IFS study also found that in order to get into the top 1% of earners you had to earn three times that amount, while the top 0.1% have pre-tax incomes in excess of £650,000 a year.

The study also revealed the levels of inequality between regions.

More than half of the top 1% live in London and the South East, with more than a third in London alone.

Half of them lived in just 65 parliamentary constituencies in 2014-15 – down from 78 in 2000–01. Of those 65 constituencies, 52 are in London and the South East.

‘The highest-income people are very over-represented in the country’s south east corner, most of them are men, and many are in their 40s and 50s,’ said Robert Joyce, deputy director at the IFS.

‘This geographic and demographic concentration may be one reason why many of those on high incomes don’t realise quite how much higher their incomes are than the average.

‘The sheer scale of the gap between the top 1% and the top 0.1% may also help explain that.’

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