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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 02:53 GMT 03:53 UK
Wealth hotspots 'outside London'
The study looked at growth in people earning over 60,000 a year
The UK's top five areas for growth in high-earning residents are all outside the South East, a survey has found.

The number of people earning more than 60,000 a year in High Peak in Derbyshire rose by 68% last year, the Barclays Financial Planning study said.

Monmouth, Cardiff North and Manchester Withington also saw a huge increase in their number of top earners.

A Barclays spokesman said it showed how rich people were getting richer - and were attracted to unspoilt rural areas.

High Peak, Derbyshire: 68%
Monmouth, Wales: 66%
Cardiff North: 66%
Manchester Withington: 65%
Keighley, West Yorkshire: 64%
Watford, Hertfordshire: 62%
Dartford, Kent: 61%
Bethnal Green and Bow, London: 60%
Holborn and St Pancras, London: 57%
Coventry South: 56%
SOURCE: Barclays

The survey looked at the growth in the number of people earning more than 60,000 a year from April 2003 to 2004 compared to the previous 12 months.

Keighley in West Yorkshire edged into the top five, squeezing Watford, the South East's best area for growth, into sixth place.

The number of high earners in Dartford, in Kent, rose by 61% over the year, to put the town in seventh place.

Absolute wealth

Steven Mendel, a business development director for Barclays, said the UK's economic slowdown had not been matched by a slowdown in already affluent people getting richer.

"The most remarkable aspect is that the highest growth areas are now outside London," he said.

"Desirable rural areas such as the Peak District and the English/Welsh borders are attracting ever greater numbers of the affluent who are choosing to live in the country whilst commuting to their well paid jobs in the large cities."

Overall 29 areas in England and Wales have more than one in 10 people earning over 60,000 a year, compared to only eight in 2003.

But in terms of absolute wealth - rather than growth - Kensington and Chelsea continues to have the highest proportion of residents in the top earning bracket.

Just over 16% of all people in the London district earn over 60,000 a year.

In South Yorkshire's Sheffield Hallam, the highest ranking area outside London for overall wealth, the proportion stands at almost 12%.

The research was based on the current accounts of eight million Barclays customers, split into parliamentary constituency areas.

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