Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Where are the Highest Incomes in the UK?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has mapped out the average income per person across the United Kingdom and has compared these average incomes with each area's level of productivity in 2018. How economically productive an area is should have a determining effect on local income levels. However the ONS's maps reveal that this is not always the case in the UK.

In What are the regional differences in income and productivity? the ONS has created a story map which visualizes both average incomes across the UK and regional productivity levels. As you scroll through the article the map is also used to highlight those areas of the UK which have low productivity & high incomes, and those areas which have high productivity but low incomes. 

London and the South East (respectively) top both the list of the highest income areas and the highest productivity. Perhaps the most interesting areas however are those areas with high productivity levels but low average incomes. The ONS highlights a number of inner city areas such as Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham where this is the case. The ONS explains that this might be due to a 'commuter effect', where high earning individuals work in these cities but don't live there. 

There is a clear north-south divide when you look at the levels of income relative to the levels of productivity. In the East England region average incomes are higher than the national average but productivity is lower. The South East, South West and London also all have higher incomes relative to their levels of productivity. At the opposite end of the scale the North West and the North East have lower levels of income relative to the local levels of productivity.

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