All regions of UK more prosperous than last year

30 September 2016

Every part of the UK is more prosperous than it was last year, despite uncertain economic conditions, according to the second edition of the annual Barclays Prosperity Map.

Barclays’ Prosperity Index has showed an overall uplift in prosperity across the UK. The research uses factors including numbers of millionaires, average annual pay, business growth rates and exam scores to generate a unique Prosperity Index Score for each UK region.

Barclays Prosperity Map - showing the Prosperity Index Score for each UK region





The research shows that not only is the UK still ‘open for business’, it sends a clear message that all parts of the UK are sharing in, and contributing to its role as a driver of global prosperity.

Akshaya Bhargava

Chief Executive, Wealth, Entrepreneurs and Business Banking, Barclays

UK cities outside London emerging as prosperity hotspots

Although London continues to be the most prosperous city overall, other UK cities are emerging as prosperity hot-spots. In a sign of their status as increasingly attractive areas to live and work, both Bristol and Cambridge saw higher growth in house prices than London, at 14% for Cambridge and 13% for Bristol, compared to just 11% in London.

Cities outside of London and the South East also performed strongly on entrepreneurial activity too, with Manchester, Cardiff and Sheffield all seeing some of the largest increases in SME turnover at 15%, 12% and 11% respectively – a strong indicator of growing prosperity in these areas.

Paul Swinney, Principal Economist, Centre for Cities, said: “While it is encouraging to see some cities comparing favourably to London and the South East on some of the key measures in the Prosperity Index, it is important to remember that there is still some way to go to ensure that everyone in the UK can enjoy equal levels of prosperity.

“The most vibrant places are those which have high-skilled workforces, and which have focused on supporting firms and employment in the knowledge-based service sectors.“

Increase in household wealth and earnings in the North and Scotland

Scotland led the way in terms of increase in household wealth, rising by 13% since 2015, beating both London (up 12%) and the South East (up 11%). This increase in wealth may be down to the large increase in private pension wealth in particular.

Despite being the least prosperous region overall, the North East saw an impressive increase in average annual earnings of 6%, rising to £24,748 – second only to Northern Ireland, where earnings increased by 9% year on year to £23,643. Leeds came out on top for cities when it comes to increase in average earnings, rising by 6% year-on-year, followed by Newcastle, where earnings rose by 5%. This is in stark comparison to London, where average earnings dropped by 1% in the same time period.

1 in 67 a millionaire

With 690,000 people in the UK now being worth at least seven figures, this is the equivalent of 1 in every 67 adults being a millionaire. Although this is a slight dip in comparison to 2015, falling by 3.8%, the longer term trend paints a better picture, with the number of millionaires increasing by 34% since 2010. Even without London and the South East, the rest of the UK has shown an increase of 85,000 additional millionaires, up by 31% since 2010.

Latest news