Britons in their early 30s see average wealth slump by half compared with those born the decade before – IFS study shows

30th September 2016

Britons born in early 1980s have accumulated about half the wealth that those born in 1970s when they were in their early 30s a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown. People born in the early 1980s have average (median) net household wealth of £27,000 per adult – including housing, financial and private pension wealth. This is about half the median wealth that those born in the 1970s had at around the same age (£53,000).

The IFS says its research is the first time both the overall household wealth and total income of different generations has been studied in this way.

It looks like those born in the early 1980s are likely to find it harder than their predecessors to build up wealth in housing and pensions as they age. They have much lower home-ownership rates in early adulthood than any other post-war cohort, and – outside the public sector – have much less access to generous defined benefit pension schemes than previous generations did at the same age.

Other findings include:

Andrew Hood, an author of the report and a research economist at IFS said: “By the time they hit their early 30s, those born in the early 1980s had about half as much wealth as those born in the 1970s did at the same age. Sharp falls in home-ownership rates and in access to generous company pension schemes, alongside historically low interest rates, will make it much harder for today’s young adults to build up wealth in future than it was for previous generations.”

The Economic Circumstances of Different Generations: The Latest Picture by Jonathan Cribb, Andrew Hood and Robert Joyce has been published on the IFS website here:

Funding for the research came from the ESRC-funded Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at IFS (grant number ES/M010147/1).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *