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Brexit has made Brits $1.5 trillion poorer

Queen Elizabeth wears crown to opening of Parliament
Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett
To the pawn shop.
  • Eshe Nelson
By Eshe Nelson

Economics & Markets Reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

More wealth was erased in the UK than any other country over the past year, according to Credit Suisse. Household wealth in Britain has fallen by a hefty $1.5 trillion since last year, thanks to the a 15% drop in the pound versus the dollar after the UK voted to leave the EU.

Total wealth in the UK now stands at $14.15 trillion, down almost 10% from the previous year. After the Brexit vote in June, economists feared a shock to the UK economy that would tip it into recession. Since then, the economy has performed better than expected. The pound, however, has languished, depressing wealth when measured in dollar terms. Still, the UK accounts for 5.5% of the world’s wealth, in fourth place behind the US (33.2%), Japan (9.4%), and China (9.1%).

Per capita, each Brit now owns assets worth $288,808. Wealth doesn’t work like that, of course, and in the UK the richest top 10% own almost half the country’s wealth. But the wealthy are hurting, too: just over 400,000 Brits aren’t millionaires anymore. For them, here is a tiny violin: 🎻.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the magnitude of the change in the number of millionaires in 2016—they have fallen by just over 400,000 in the UK, not just over 400.  

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