This briefing demonstrates how, over the last four decades, changes to the UK economy have consistently funnelled wealth upwards to the very wealthy, to the detriment of the rest of us – starkly demonstrated this Christmas as we face record inflation, deep real-terms pay cuts and an impending recession with scant support from government. High and entrenched levels of inequality lead to higher levels of social issues including violent crime, mental illness and lower levels of trust and happiness for all, meaning that everyone suffers from living in such a divided society.

Using inflation-adjusted wealth data from archive copies of the Sunday Times Rich List, this briefing presents a longitudinal analysis of the explosion of billionaire wealth in the UK since 1990, examines the economic drivers of our billionaire society, and outlines our recommendations to dismantle the structures that enable this obscene accrual of wealth. 

Billionaire Britain 2022 reveals that:


increase in billionaire wealth between 1990 and 2022

15 to 177

number of billionaires in the UK from 1990 to 2022


increase in billionaire wealth between 2020 and 2022

The wealth of the UK’s billionaires has skyrocketed by over 1000% between 1990 and 2022, ballooning by around £600bn. 

The number of billionaires exploded from 15 in 1990 to 177 this year.

Between 2020 and 2022 alone, billionaire wealth increased by almost £150bn.

Much of this increase came from central bank and government efforts to soften the impact of the international Covid-19 crisis. However, the infrastructure that allowed billionaires to profit in this way was decades in the making.