Northern Ireland records a 40% rise in millionaire population since 2010
The first Barclays UK Prosperity Map has revealed that Northern Ireland is the sixth most affluent region in the UK, and that there has been a 40% increase in numbers of millionaires since 2010. Northern Ireland is now home to 14,000 millionaires, above Wales and the North East of England.
The Barclays UK Prosperity Map uses factors including numbers of millionaires, average annual pay, the percentage of households giving to charity, business survival rates and exam scores to generate a unique ‘Prosperity Index Score’ for each UK region. These factors provide a deeper view of regional financial health than single measures of wealth such as assets, investments and the location of luxury services and make it possible to predict the UK’s next most prosperous areas.
Jonathan Dobbin, Regional Director, Northern Ireland, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, said: “Recovering house prices, albeit from a very low base, in Northern Ireland have created a significant increase in new millionaires, and this number is steadily increasing as we recover from our most recent recession. A strong rebound in global stock markets since the nadir in 2008 has also been an important factor, whilst there has also been an increase in the number of M&A transactions, which has, in some cases, created significant personal wealth for shareholders.”
The research also indicates that Northern Ireland has the highest level of charitable giving with nearly half (45%) of households giving to charity.
Mark Greer, UK Community Foundations, commented: “In Northern Ireland there is a strong and unique sense of community – people look out for each other in a way that differs to other regions. Community foundations know that many people want to give to causes in their own backyard – Northern Ireland’s strong sense of place and community spirit is clearly driving it to the top of the giving league.
Additional findings reveal that Northern Ireland displays the highest exam achievements in the UK, with nearly three quarters of pupils achieving at least five A*-C grades at GCSE level.
Despite these positive indicators, Northern Ireland also has one of the lowest GDP per capita, average house price and business births-to-deaths ratio.
Chistopher Morrow, Communications and Policy Manager at the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:
“Northern Ireland had a bigger fallout from the recession than the rest of the UK. The business birth rate across all other UK regions started to recover around 2009/2010. Northern Ireland’s recovery has been much slower and the business birth rate here only began to rise again in 2012 suggesting a lack of confidence that new businesses have the right conditions to succeed. Northern Ireland’s death rate has also been steadily climbing while again across the other UK regions it has started to fall. This is yet another indicator of just how hard hit Northern Ireland’s economy has been by the recession vis-a-vis the other UK regions.”
However Northern Ireland’s enterprise scene has been strengthening in recent years. The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 2015 reported that the recovery in the local economy is continuing. The domestic economy is performing particularly well and investment intentions have improved for both the manufacturing and services sectors. There are also more positive signs around recruitment intentions for both.
In the rest of the UK, booming house prices and returns in equity markets, in addition to higher wages and employment rates have resulted in every UK region becoming more affluent, and has driven a 41% increase in numbers of millionaires since 2010. Longer-term, growth in millionaires is expected to return to more normal levels, with a 9% increase in the UK expected by 2025, in-line with GDP growth.
Akshaya Bhargava, CEO, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, said:
“The results of the Barclays UK Prosperity Map give us reason for optimism. The UK is becoming more prosperous, with every region having grown in affluence since 2010. It is also encouraging to see that regions and cities are starting to close the gap with London in terms of prosperity. We need to collectively support entrepreneurship and educational attainment in regions outside of London and the South East so that they continue to grow and prosper.”