BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 31 January, 2003, 05:14 GMT
Nation's wealth to be 'mapped'
UK map and piggy bank
UK's wealth map is under consideration by the government
Sarah Toyne

First we had The Sunday Times rich list, now it has emerged the government plans to map individual wealth.

Unlike the former's rich list, it won't concentrate on chronicling the individual bank balances of the seriously loaded.

The Office for National Statistics has told the BBC it is planning the first official national wealth survey.

The new survey could include collecting data on a range of wealth indicators, from secured loans, investments, possessions and pensions take-up to house prices - and is aimed at getting a better picture of the country's and individual wealth.

People who take part in the survey may even become more wealthy in the process, as giving people a small cash incentive to take part in the survey is up for consideration.

Nation's first

It is believed the data could be used to formulate fiscal and social policies and to link the government's policies closer to people's real wealth.

The survey has been considered by the government for some time, and has been discussed at a "Wealth and Asset Steering Group".

It may focus on different "life stages" to get a better idea about how "wealth" changes throughout someone's lifetime.

For example, the different wealth of someone coming up for retirement and someone in their twenties.

The survey could, for example, could track how many people hold pensions.

The traditional way wealth is measured is through household income, for example cash income.

But with the growth of mass share ownership and home ownership over the last few decades, the government is believed to be keen on adopting a more accurate measure.

It is unlikely to map the same individual's spending and saving habits over time - so-called longitudinal analysis - because this is a very expensive way of collecting data.

Instead, it is more likely to "map groups" or identify particular sections of people each time the survey was conducted.

The data could then be presented according to age, socio-economic class and possibly by region.

Cash incentive?

Considering offering a cash incentive to take part in the survey would be one way of encouraging people to take part in the research.

This is not without precedent.

The ONS already offers a small sum to people who take part in its Household Expenditure Survey.

The survey is still in the planning stages, but could start in 2006.

See also:

20 Jun 02 | Business
14 Aug 02 | England
19 Jun 02 | Business
07 Mar 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes