Inequality in the UK: Three Facts That May Shock You


Most of us understand that the world is full of inequalities, but many of us do not quite understand the scale of the problem.

From the inequalities in outcomes of healthcare between white and BAME people to the wealth gap were a few families that own the world have more than the other 99 per cent of the population combined, there is a lot of injustice in the world and the UK is no different. Below, are some of the most surprising examples of inequality experienced by people in the UK today:


The minimum wage has caused wages to stagnate in London more than anywhere else

We tend to think of London as being the place to live if you want to be able to earn more, and that is certainly true for people who work in professional city jobs, but for people who are on minimum wage, it’s a whole other story.

The introduction of the minimum wage has lead to faster growth of earnings outside of London than in the capital itself. Once inflation has been accounted for, the average earnings for a full-time employee in London have increased only 1.5 percent in the past 18 years, whereas the rest of the UK have experienced average growth of 5.6 percent. This is likely to be, at least partly, due to the fact that wages outside of the M25 were typically lower than those in London before the minimum wage was introduced, but it is still a startling fact that shows how inequality can prosper still in the UK.


London has the highest level of poverty in the UK

When we take into account the cost of housing, London is home to the highest levels of poverty in the United Kingdom. This is hardly surprising when you consider the fact that housing costs in the capital can be as much as 100 percent higher than other parts of the UK.

According to the IFS, it is also the lack of high earning households that are contributing to the problem, which ties in with the problem of stagnating wages at thew lowe end of the spectrum.


Black school leavers paid less

Black school leavers who have attained A-levels are, on average, paid 14.3 percent less than their white peers. Black people who have obtained a degree earn on average 23.1 percent less than their peers and BAME applicants using carbon copy CVs to their white peers were forced to send 60 percent more applications before being asked for an interview than their white counterparts. 

We like to think that anyone who works hard has the same opportunity to do well in the UK, but these statistics clearly show that is not the case and BAME people must work a lot harder and navigate far more obstacles to succeed than the white indigenous population.

Do any of these statistics shock you? It’s clear that, as a country, we all have a long way to go until equality of opportunity, finance and race are obtained.

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