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Release: Middle Income Households, 1977 - 2011/12

Released: 02 December 2013


Richard Tonkin

Household Income and Expenditure Analysis

Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456082

Categories: Economy, Personal Finances, Personal Income and Wealth, Effects of Taxes and Benefits on Households, Income Distribution of Individuals, Income Inequality of Households, People and Places, Housing and Households, Households, Household Income and Expenditure

Frequency of release: Ad-hoc

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: UK

Survey name(s): Living Costs and Food Survey



Key points

The key points from this release are:
  • Growth in UK median household disposable income since 1977 has closely mirrored growth in GDP per person, rising during periods of economic growth and falling after the recessions of the early 1980s, early 1990s and late 2000s.

  • Since the start of the economic downturn, median household income for the overall population has fallen by 3.8%, after adjusting for inflation.

  • However, when looking separately at non-retired and retired households, the median income for non-retired households fell by 6.4% between 2007/08 and 2011/12, while the median income for retired households grew by 5.1%.

  • Between 2007/08 and 2011/12, average income from employment and investments for the middle fifth of non-retired households fell from £37,900 to £32,600.

  • Cash benefits for the middle fifth of non-retired households rose from £3,100 to £4,600 between 2007/08 and 2011/12. As a result, the average proportion of gross income coming from cash benefits increased from 7.6% to 12.3% for this group. 

  • Average direct taxes paid by the middle fifth of non-retired households have fallen from £8,700 in 2007/08 to £6,800 in 2011/12. As a percentage of gross income, this is equivalent to a fall from 21.1% to 18.3%. 

  • The average amount paid in indirect taxes by the middle fifth of non-retired households also fell between 2007/08 and 2011/12, from £6,400 to £6,000, partly reflecting falling average expenditure. However, as a proportion of gross income, indirect taxes rose from 15.6% to 16.2% over this period, due to gross income falling at a faster rate.
This article studies the median income of UK households from 1977 to 2011/12.

These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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