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Net Wealth Thresholds

Households with a wealth value greater than €827,000 belong to the wealthiest 10% of all households (the top net wealth decile). Households in the bottom 10% of the net wealth distribution have a net wealth value less than €1,000 (see Table 5.1).

Table 5.1 Net wealth decile threshold limits
Net Wealth Decile1st 2nd 3rd 4th5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
Net Wealth Threshold (€,000)<1<11<56<115<178<251<338<499<827>827

Total Net Wealth

Median gross and net household wealth values are €235,900 and €178,400 respectively. The comparable 2013 values were significantly lower at €172,500 and €102,600 (see Table 5.2).

Net Wealth by Region

Household median net wealth is highest in the Eastern & Midlands region at €205,600, compared to €187,500 in the Southern region and €139,900 in the Northern & Western region (see Table 5.2).                                                        

Net Wealth by Tenure Status

Median net wealth for owner occupied households is €287,800, significantly higher than the €6,500 value for rented households (see Table 5.2).

Show Table: Table 5.2 Gross and net wealth by demographic and household characteristics

Net Wealth by Household Composition

The median net wealth of households with one adult and children under 18 is €5,200, compared to €330,400 for two adult households where at least one adult is aged 65 or over. The difference between median gross and net wealth in households with a person aged 65 or over is relatively small. Households comprising two adults with one to three children under 18 have the largest difference between gross and net wealth in both absolute and proportional terms (see Figure 5.1 and Table 5.2).

Median Net WealthMedian Gross Wealth
2 adults, at least 1 aged 65+330.4333.6
3 or more adults263.1303.9
Other households with children aged under 18255.2342.2
1 adult aged 65+200.7200.8
2 adults, both aged <65150.1226.3
2 adults with 1-3 children aged under 18136.8268.2
1 adult aged <6573.7119.7
1 adult with children aged under 185.213.2
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As wealth is typically accrued over life, it is not surprising that households with older household members are wealthier than younger households. The median net wealth of households where the reference person is 65 or older is €256,000 but where the reference person is younger than 35, this falls to €14,600 (see Table 5.2).

More than six out of every ten households (65.8%) where the reference person is 65 or older have a net wealth value greater than the national median value (i.e. they are in the top 50% of net wealth). This contrasts with households where the reference person is younger than 35 as just over one  out of every ten (13.9%) are in the top 50% of net wealth households (see Figure 5.2).

Decile 10Decile 9Decile 8Decile 7Decile 6Decile 5Decile 4Decile 3Decile 2Decile 1
Under 351.
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One in ten  (10%) households in the first decile said they had ever received a substantial gift or inheritance, compared to about 67% of households in the top decile.

Property and another substantial asset were received by 6.9% of households in the top decile, an additional 29.4% received property only and just over 30% received a substantial asset that was not property (e.g. money), (see Figure 5.3).

% of Households that received non-property only% of Households that received property and non-property% of Households that received property only
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In 2018, 8.0% of households in the first net wealth decile were owner occupied, compared to almost 80% in 2013. This large change is due to the increase in residential property prices over this time and the consequent movement of people out of negative equity. In 2013, 31.9% of all HMRs owned with a mortgage were in negative equity, whereas the 2018 rate is 4.1%. In 2013, just over three in four (75.8%) households in the bottom wealth decile were in negative equity, compared to 5.8% in 2018 (see Figure 5.4).  

2013 Net Wealth Decile2018 Net Wealth Decile
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Figure 5.5 shows the distribution of households across the net wealth deciles by degree of urbanisation.  All else being equal, the three distributions would be the straight line (line of equal distribution) at 10%.

Households located in densely populated areas (see background notes for the definition) have the highest percentage of both wealthy and poor households (i.e. households in the top and bottom net wealth deciles). Intermediate populated areas have the lowest percentage (5%) of households in the top (wealthiest) decile and are over-represented in the bottom 50% of the net wealth distribution.  Thinly populated areas have the lowest percentage of households in the bottom three net wealth deciles (6.2%, 7.6% and 8.5% respectively) and are over-represented in the middle of the distribution.

X-axis labelDensely populated area Intermediate populated areaThinly populated areaLine of equal distribution
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The average (mean) gross wealth for households in the bottom decile is just over €35,000 compared to €1,932,000 in the top decile. The HMR accounts for 32.6% of the total gross wealth held by households in the top decile. Households in the top decile also have relatively high wealth contributions from land (20.6%), other property (20.6%) and financial assets (18.4%). Looking at the combined contribution of the HMR and other real estate to total wealth, in the top decile the contribution is 53.3%, whereas in deciles four, five, six and seven it exceeds 80% (see Figure 5.6).

Financial assetsVehicles & ValuablesSelf employment businessLandOther real estateHousehold Main Residence
Decile 1018.42.35.420.620.632.6
Decile 916.14.43.31110.155.2
Decile 811.55.425.46.169.7
Decile 57.26.910.75.578.7
Decile 31823.
Decile 21729.90.50.5052.2

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