More than half of Britons on £80,000 to £100,000 a year think they earn ‘about average’

·2-min read
People were more likely to underestimate their salaries and feel ‘worse off’ compared to their social circles (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
People were more likely to underestimate their salaries and feel ‘worse off’ compared to their social circles (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

The majority of Britons who earn between £80,000 and £100,000 are said to believe their salary is ‘about average’.

And more than half of British voters paid above £40,000 say they feel ‘normal’ about their earnings, rather than ‘fortunate’.

All three salaries are significantly above the median household income in the UK, which after tax deductions is £31,400 according to the Office for National Statistics.

The survey comes amid soaring living costs and rising inflation. Multiple professions have either gone on or being balloted to strike over pay, including rail workers and barristers.

The New Statesman poll found people are more likely to underestimate their salary when comparing it to the average UK citizen, as over half of Brits with significantly more than median income still considered themselves to earn an ‘about average’ amount.

Even many of those earning the highest of salaries believed themselves to be worse off compared to their friends and families.

Some 43 per cent of those with incomes of £100,001 to £120,000 considered their social circles to be better off than they are.

Of those surveyed, women were more likely than men to perceive their income to be below average (40 per cent to 33 per cent) and younger people were likelier to see their social circle as better off than they are in comparison to older people.

People living in rented accomodation were more likely to think their income is below average (PA)
People living in rented accomodation were more likely to think their income is below average (PA)

Makala Green, a chartered financial planner and author of ‘The Money Edit’, said there a number of reasons why people may underestimate their income.

She said: “The changes in the cost of living have affected 9 in 10 adults (87%) in 2022, according to ONS. Those who earn higher figures are likely to be affected.

“However, they may be accustomed to a more costly lifestyle than those on average income, such as bigger mortgages, eating out and socialising.

“With significant increases in energy, fuel, food and borrowing interest rates. It’s fair to say even those with increased incomes will feel the financial pinch,” she continued.

“How pleased, satisfied, happy or fortunate one feels toward their salary can be influenced by a combination of society standards, cost of living increases, financial responsibilities and financial concerns or worries for the future.

“It will vary according to people’s expectations and attitudes but too often, with earnings and income the common feeling is earnings are average and insufficient,” she added.

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