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Inequality in the UK

How does inequality differ across the UK? Is there a regional divide? Watch this video to find out more....
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We saw that poverty does not fall evenly. Some are more at risk than others, such as children. However just as a national poverty rates hides pockets of deprivation, so does it also miss other contributing factors; children in lone-parent families are more likely to be in poverty. As are children from black or minority ethnic groups. This uneven spread of poverty and on the flip side, both wealth and income is what we mean by inequality. In the UK, to be part of the top ten percent of earners, you would need to earn just over £60,000, but within the North East that would be over £10,000 less. In London, you’d need to earn over £85,000.
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And that’s just looking at income – it doesn’t consider other forms of wealth such as savings and property. The richest fifth of the UK account for more income than the poorest three fifths combined. In terms of wealth, the top 10% have over half of the wealth in the UK. To be in that category you would need to have at least £800,000 per adult in each family – the average for that group was actually £1.5 million per adult in each family Wealth, income, money, is concentrated in certain areas in the UK – notably the south east and London. But again, this tells only part of the story.
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In London the super wealthy live relatively close to some of the poorest in the UK. While many regions outside London are not home to the super wealthy, the gaps between rich and poor can be found in all cities, sometimes divided purely by a road or couple of streets. These reginal differences, between North and South for example, are perhaps legacy issues left over from a long time ago, and in fact we have seen these levels of inter-regional inequality reduce over the past twenty years. However, as a whole country the picture is much different. The income of the richest fifth has increased by nearly 5% over five years whereas for the poorest fifth, it has fallen by 1-and-a-half percentage points.
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Quite simply, the rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer. On top of this, the rich stay healthy longer, while the poor die younger. Nationally, on average, a boy born in one of the most affluent areas of England will outlive one born in one of the poorest parts by 8.4 years. And if we drill down to that within region inequality, it can be quite stark. In Stockton-on-Tees, those living in the wealthier areas can expect to live as much as 18 years longer than those in the more deprived parts of the same town. And while money is key – as I have said a few times, it tells only part of the story.
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Place matters – living in a deprived area of the North East is worse for your health than living in a similarly deprived area in London, to the extent that life expectancy is nearly five years less. Inequality matters. It is complicated, interacting with health, education, crime, and other issues. But it is deepening. Is that a problem? Is it as big a problem as poverty? Should we do something about it and if so what?

Poverty does not fall equally. Some parts of the UK have higher rates of poverty and some groups of people are more likely to experience poverty than others.

This video explores the state of inequality in the UK.

Share your thoughts on the key points from the film which you felt were of key importance.

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