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Main income source of each income group

Income inequalityInequalityComponents of income

This graph shows the main sources of household income for people ranked by the income of their households in 2017-18 (the latest date for which figures are available) and 2015-16.

2017-18: Wages and salaries represent the main source of income for all income groups except the lowest. Social security payments are the largest income source for the lowest 20% (54% of their income) but in our highly ‘targeted’ system these payments comprise 25% or less of total income for all higher-income groups. Investment income only forms a sizeable share of the incomes of the highest income groups, for example 29% of the income of the highest 5%.

2015-16: Wages and salaries represent the main source of income for all income groups except the lowest 20%, which instead received most of its income (60%) from social security payments. Investment income and income from own-businesses and self-employment are much smaller components of income overall. However, together they comprise 20% or more of the  incomes of the highest and lowest 5%. Note that there are doubts about the placement of many households reliant on investments or self-employment in the lowest 5% , as their incomes often appear to be under-reported.

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