The differences between rich and poor in the UK

This week, the Equality Trust released its third quarterly Research Digest. Unlike previous releases this is comprised of original research done by freelance researcher Anna Barford. The digest deals with how living standards, education, health and social mobility vary across quintiles (fifths).

In brief:

Social gradients: Incremental increases in income correspond to incremental improvements in outcomes.

Distribution: households in the richest quintile earn almost 15 times more than those in the poorest quintile. Tax and benefits reduce this difference to just over 4 times more.

Perceptions: People tend to misperceive which income group they are in.

Health: Richer groups have a lower risk of mental illness. Poorer groups have higher prevalence of obesity and eat less fruit and fewer vegetables.

Possessions: As groups get richer they have more and bigger cars. Better off groups also have more household insurance than their poorer counterparts.

Education: As parents become more professional, their children have more academic qualifications.

Gender: When individuals’ rather than household incomes are compared, women are disproportionately found in poorer income groups whereas there are more men in richer groups.

Social mobility: Over a 10-year period very few people moved between the top and bottom income quintiles.

You can read the full research brief here.

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