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Wealth Distribution

Volume 892: debated on Friday 23 May 1975

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if of the percentage of wealth held by the richest individuals in 1961, 28·4 per cent. was held by 1 per cent. of the population in the United Kingdom, what was the position in 1951; and what are the figures for each of the years following up to 1973.

The figure of 28·4 per cent. for 1961 refers to the wealthiest 1 per cent. of wealth owners identified from estate duty statistics. In all, such wealth owners comprised 46·3 per cent. of the adult population of Great Britain. Comparable figures for 1962 to

Current balanceCurrent balance per householdCurrent balance per head of population
£ million££
1946-230-4·67
1947-381-7·69
1948+26+0·52
1949-1-0·02
1950+307+6·07
1951-369-24·78-7·30
1952+163+3·21
1953+145+2·85
1954+117+2·29
1955-155-3·03
1956+208+4·04
1957+233+4·51
1958+344+6·63
1959+152+2·91
1960+255-4·85
1961+6+0·36+0·11
1962+122+2·28
1963+1312·44
1964-353-6·52
1965-27-0·50
1966+103+5·93+1·88
1967-300-5·44
1968-274-4·95
1969-460+8·27
1970+698+12·51
1971+1,052+56·49+18·88
1972+82+1·47
1973-1,117-19·94
1974-3,828-68·26
NOTES:
(1). The current balance per household is derived from estimates of the number of households as defined in the Census of Population. Statistics of the number of households are available only for census years.
(2) The current balance per head is obtained using mid-year estimates of total population. The 1974 estimate is a projection from a 1973 base.

1973 inclusive are: 27·2, 26·7, 25·9, 24·4, 23·6, 23·0, 24·2, 21·4, 20·7, 20·4, 22·1 and 21·8 per cent. respectively. These figures are subject to the qualifications spelled out in the notes to the Tables in Inland Revenue Statistics 1974 and in particular take no account of personal wealth held in trusts which were not liable to estate duty which it is thought has grown substantially in this period. No official estimates of personal wealth have been made for years before 1960.