The generation of wealth: asset accumulation across and within cohorts

Family wealth in 21st Century Britain is huge and growing, rising from £9.9 trillion before the financial crisis to over £11 trillion in the most recent data – more than six times our national income. Significant increases have come from house price rises in the 1990s and 2000s, followed by major growth in private pension wealth more recently, as falling interest rates have increased the value of defined benefit entitlements. Wealth is also key for those concerned with questions of intergenerational fairness, given emerging evidence of the asset accumulation challenges faced by younger cohorts, most visibly when it comes to home ownership.

That’s why the analysis in this report – the seventh for the Intergenerational Commission – provides an up-to-date and comprehensive picture of wealth in Britain today; its distribution across society and in particular across and within different birth cohorts; and the combination of active accumulation and wider economic shifts that have got us to this position.