While wealth inequality was on the decline throughout most of the 20th century, it is now on the increase and is worsening due to an uneven housing market, according to a report compiled by left-leaning think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and commissioned by Channel 5.
Overall, wealth inequality across the country is twice as great as income inequality, with the wealthiest 10 per cent of households owning 45 per cent of the country’s wealth, while the least wealthy half of all households own just nine per cent.
Average household wealth among the least wealthy half of Britons is just £3,200 in net finances, property and pensions, compared with £1.32 million held on average by the wealthiest 10 per cent.
The IPPR also highlighted wealth discrepancies between age groups, noting that fewer than half of millennials – those born between between 1981 and 2000 – are expected to own their own home by the age of 45 based on current market trends.
“Every generation since the post-war ‘baby boomers’ has accumulated less wealth than the generation before them had at the same age,” the IPPR said.
“The next generation is set to have less wealth, largely due to housing inequalities.”
Carys Roberts, research fellow on the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, said: “The old social contract in which each generation could expect more wealth than the last is broken.