[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 May, 2003, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
North tops 'real' rich league
The Beckhams live in the UK's 'real' wealth hot spot
The Beckhams live in the UK's 'real' wealth hot spot
The richest people in England live in the north, not the south-east, once house prices are taken into account, a study has calculated.

The study, from Barclays Private Clients, looked at people's wealth in England and Wales after the cost of living - including house prices - were taken out.

It found that eight of the 10 wealthiest places were in northern English counties.

Tatton in Cheshire, home to David and Victoria Beckham, as well as ex-Tory MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine, topped the league.

The study found the actual average wage in Tatton was 29,303.

But that was worth a "real" average income of 41,506 once the cost of living was taken into account, it said.

1 Tatton, Cheshire
2 Hallam, Sheffield
3 Kensington and Chelsea, London
4 Leeds North East
5 Macclesfield, Cheshire
6 Altrincham and Sale West, Greater Manchester
7 Cheadle, Cheshire
8 Harrogate and Knaresborough, Yorkshire
9 Warwick and Leamington
10 Haltemprice and Howden, East Yorkshire

Hallam in Sheffield came a close second with an average "real" income of 41,289.

The wealthy London borough of Kensington and Chelsea - the richest part of the UK by conventional measures - came a poor third.

That was even though average salaries there are actually the UK's highest, at 40,951 (the adjusted "real" figure is the same).

The study suggests that a straightforward ranking of regions according to income - which puts London and the south-east in top place - may give a misleading view of how wealth is distributed.

    Of the top 50 wealthiest areas

  • 12 are in the North West
  • Nine are in the South West
  • Seven are in Yorkshire
  • Six are in the West Midlands
  • Five are in the East Midlands
  • Four are in London
  • Three are in the South East
  • Two are in Wales
  • One is in the North East
  • One is in the East

"When the cost of living is factored into the equation, the wealth map of England and Wales changes dramatically, with the north moving into pole position," said Barclays Private Clients marketing director Gordon Rankin.

1 Tottenham, London
2 West Ham, London
3 Camberwell & Peckham, London
East Ham, London
Birmingham Sparkbrook
"Much of this is likely to be related to the disparity in housing costs, which take up a much larger proportion of an individual's salary in the south-east than in the north, giving northerners greater real disposable income."

The relatively low level of "real" average incomes in London could explain why house prices in the capital appear to be levelling off, but are still rising in the north, Mr Rankin added.

The four poorest areas identified by Barclays were all in London.

In Tottenham the average annual gross wage, and spending power, is 17,054, rising to 17,343 in West Ham, 17,692 in Camberwell & Peckham and 17,735 in East Ham.

The BBC's Carole Mitchell
"Eight of the top ten wealthiest regions in real terms are in the north"

Tatton vs Tottenham
14 May 03  |  England
Commuters widen income gap
07 May 03  |  England
Slim rise in house prices
02 May 03  |  Business
UK households 'getting richer'
28 Mar 03  |  Business
Pensioner and child poverty falls
13 Mar 03  |  Business
Poverty 'unchanged' under Labour
12 Dec 02  |  Business

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


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific