5 Inequality in Household Wealth and Household Income in Scotland
This section considers the differences in concentration of household total net wealth and household income for the population of Scottish households. Households with high levels of income often have high levels of wealth. Nevertheless, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, some young individuals might be on high levels of income but have yet to accumulate comparably high levels of wealth, and conversely some retired people may have relatively low incomes but high levels of wealth.
The graphical presentation of results ( chart 5.1 and 5.2) is based on the analysis of percentiles. Percentiles divide the data into one hundred equal parts, so that each part contains 1% of Scottish households - from the least wealthy/with the lowest income in the 1 st percentile to the wealthiest/with the highest income in the last percentile. The analysis presents the share of wealth/income for the bottom 40% of households, the middle 50%, and the top 10% of households. This is consistent with the Scottish Government Solidarity Target.
Wealth ownership is more polarised than income. Charts 5.1 and 5.2 present the income distribution and wealth distribution showing the income and wealth owned by the bottom 40%, middle 50% and top 10% of households  .
- The bottom 40% of households in Scotland had 21% of income but only 5% of total net wealth.
- The middle 50% of Scottish households had around half of income (54%) and around half of total wealth (52%).
- The top 10% of households in Scotland had 24% of income and owned 43% of total wealth.
Chart 5.1 Distribution of household income by
percentile, Scotland 2014/15
Source: Households Below Average Income, DWP
Chart 5.2 Distribution of total net household
wealth by percentile, Scotland 2012-14
Source: Wealth and Assets Survey, ONS
Email: Andrew White