Income, wealth and the lifecycle

Karen Rowlingson, Claire Whyley and Tracey Warren

Recent research into poverty and inequality in Britain has focused on income as a measure of well-being.

The distribution of wealth is extremely unequal - more so than that of income - yet comparatively little is known about inequalities in wealth and assets such as financial savings, pensions and property.

This book analyses the distribution of wealth across different groups throughout the UK, focusing on the role of the lifecycle in explaining differences in levels of assets. It explore the factors which influence the accumulation and running down of assets, examines people's knowledge about the different ways of accumulating wealth, and looks at why different people build up a wealth base in different ways - and with varying degrees of success.

The book is based on a literature review; quantitative analysis of the data obtained from the government's Family Resources Survey; and in-depth follow-up interviews with 40 families at different life-cycle stages.