South East

South East is the UK’s second most prosperous region, with a score of 0.56.



Household wealth:






Household expenditure:

£612 per week

House prices


Exam achievements


Hours worked:




Business births/deaths


Insolvency rates:

15.0 per 10,000 population

Millionaire numbers:


The South East holds its position as the UK’s second-most prosperous region, with the second-highest GDP per capita at £27,847, and household expenditure at £612 per week – second only to London.

Average earnings are high, at £29,333, but haven’t grown at the rate enjoyed by other regions: while the West Midlands saw a 3.9% increase in earnings and London saw average pay increase of 2.6%, earnings in the South East grew by just 1.8% – a smaller increase than every other region except the North East (down 0.3%). At the same time, however, the South East has the second-lowest level of unemployment at 4.0% – only Eastern England has a lower rate, at 3.8%.

The South East’s business birth-to-death ratio at 1.47, ranks above regions such as the North West (1.42) and the North East (1.41), but below others, such as London (1.78), the East Midlands (1.58) and Eastern England (1.48). However, at a city level, Reading has climbed one place to rank third-highest with a business birth-to-death ratio of 1.77. Although SMEs in the South East have seen a 4% decrease in turnover, this compares favourably with London, which has seen a 22% decrease.

The South East has the second-largest number of millionaires in the UK (130,000), a 6.1% increase and 20.8% of the UK’s total millionaire population – however, the region is seeing lower growth in the number of millionaires than elsewhere, with only Scotland seeing lower growth at 0%.

UK Prosperity Map

An in-depth view of prosperity drivers across the UK

Scores per region, gleaned from official data – including GDP, employment, enterprise figures, household spending and number of millionaires.

About this research

The UK Prosperity Map is an annual piece of research compiled by Opinium on behalf of Barclays Wealth & Investments. It ranks UK regions and cities in terms of their affluence. A Prosperity Index score has been calculated by Opinium for each UK city and region. In addition, data provided by Wealth-X calculates UK millionaire numbers. The index uses third party figures on the factors listed below: