Income inequalities

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The poorest tenth of the population have, between them, around 1½% of Wales’ total income and the second poorest tenth have 4%.
  • In contrast, the richest tenth have 25-30% and the second richest tenth have 15%.
  • The income of the richest tenth is similar to the income of all those on below-average incomes (i.e. the bottom five tenths) combined.
  • The overall distribution of income has changed little over the last decade, except for the recent sharp rise in the proportion of total income going to the richest tenth (which could be a statistical artefact arising from small sample sizes rather than a real change).
  • Most of these proportions are similar in Wales as for Great Britain as a whole (see the UK indicator on income inequality).  When comparing incomes of those at the top and the bottom with those in the middle, income inequality in Wales is somewhat lower than in Great Britain as a whole.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the share of the total net income of the population for selected income deciles (tenths), namely the two poorest deciles and the two richest deciles.  Clearly, the shares added up for all ten deciles would total 100% of the total income.

The second graph shows the distribution of total net income across the ten income deciles.

The third graph shows the income of households at the 10th and 90th percentiles of the net income distribution as proportions of average (median) net Welsh income.  For comparison purposes, the equivalent figures for Great Britain as a whole are also presented.

The data source for all the graphs is Households Below Average Income, based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS).  Income is disposable household income after deducting housing costs, equivalised (adjusted) for household size and composition.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  The FRS is a well-established annual government survey, designed to be representative of the population as a whole.

External links