This is how much the average person in the UK earns in their lifetime

·3 min read
Telecommuting was already a growing trend that left out many low-wage workers. (Getty Images)
The average lifetime earning grew 1.2% to £566,000 in 2020 (Getty)

The average working person in the UK is projected to earn £566,000 in their lifetime, new analysis shows.

Based on research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the annual growth of the UK's total lifetime earnings was 1.2% in 2020, the strongest growth seen since 2011. In total the country's full capital stock, as measured by the projected lifetime earnings of working age people, was worth £23.8 trillion.

Much of the increase has been put down to more people attaining higher levels of education, thus demanding higher wages and being expected to earn them for longer.

The data showed that 1.2 million more people had a PhD, master's or undergraduate degree as their highest qualification level when compared with 2019.

Researchers also looked at the split between male and female earners. While women's earnings were still significantly lower than their male counterparts, their total lifetime earnings increased by a higher percentage.

It was found that women's total lifetime earnings increased by 8.6% in 2020 when compared with 2010 - now accounting for £9.2 trillion, while men's total lifetime earnings only increased by 6.5% over the same period.

The data was published by the Office for National Statistics and showed an average lifetime earning of £566,000 in the UK (ONS)
The data was published by the Office for National Statistics and showed an average lifetime earning of £566,000 in the UK (ONS)

But while the increases may sound positive, when compared to inflation rates the news is not so good, and is unlikely to keep up with the rise in inflation and cost of living. The developing cost of living crisis has seen energy prices, fuel costs and shopping bills rocket in recent months, with four in 10 Britons struggling to afford energy bills last month.

And data also analysed by ONS showed that UK wage growth failed to keep up with the cost of living crunch between December and February as real pay fell by 1%.

Regular weekly wages, excluding bonuses, actually increased by 4% between December 2021 and February 2022, but when adjusted for inflation it dropped compared with the year before.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said: "While strong bonuses continue to mitigate the effects of rising prices on people's total earnings, basic pay is now falling noticeably in real terms."

This weekend Labour piled pressure on Rishi Sunak to draw up an emergency budget to deal with the crisis.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves the 11 Downing Street, in London, on March 23, 2022. - Rishi Sunak will announce budget updates before parliament at about 1245 GMT, on March 23, 2022. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has been criticised for his handling of the cost of living crisis in Britain (Getty)

The demand came just four-and-a-half weeks after the Chancellor's widely panned spring statement which had been designed to address spiralling bills across the country.

So while average earnings may be up, experts are predicting that the UK's financial prospects will get worse before they get better.

Myron Jobson, senior personal finance analyst at Interactive Investor, said: “The harsh reality is inflation has erased gains in wages and then some, on average — which for many means that while their pay packet has gone up, they can buy less stuff with it.

“With the Bank of England predicting that inflation could hit double digits this year, workers could be trapped in a cycle of bumper wages only to see those gains nullified by rising prices.”

On Monday it was revealed that Sunak is now the least popular Cabinet member according to Conservative party supporters.

The Chancellor has faced mounting criticism for his handling of the economic crisis, and for his family's personal financial arrangements.

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