21% of UK wealth is owned by the richest 1%

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The portion of the country's wealth in the hands of the super-rich is on the rise, according the country's leading economists. Runaway property and equity prices over the past five years have made the rich richer and widened the wealth gap across the UK.

The most up-to-date figures from Revenue and Customs, compiled in 2003, show that the richest 1 per cent of Brits account for 21 per cent of the nation's wealth. However, top economists believe that figure will show a marked increase when the statistics are updatedin October. Jonathan Said, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: "It would be a surprise if the net worth of wealthy individuals had not risen substantially – even more so if you add in private equity returns, which give access to a faster rate of return to wealthy investors."