Affluence correlates with UK consumers’ financial outlook, finds Mintel


New research from Mintel reveals affluence plays a pivotal role in financial outlook. 

Its British Lifestyles 2011 report found almost six in 10 (58%) of those earning £50,000 and over are satisfied with their life, compared to just four in 10 (43%) of those earning under £15,000.

Similarly, almost half (47%) of those earning £50,000 and over have achieved the important things they want in life compared to three in 10 (31%) of those earning less that £15,500.  

And despite being arguably in the prime of life, it is not consumers aged 25-54 who are most satisfied with their lives, researchers found. Those aged 16-24 are the group most optimistic about their finances (74% say they are healthy) with retirees faring next best (31% have money left at the end of the month for a few luxuries).

“There have always been sections of society who do better than others, but when times are tough it becomes harder to gloss over those differences,” said Toby Clark, head of finance at Mintel. 

“The UK is staging a weak recovery from the recession of 2008-2010. Government spending cuts, too, are playing on consumers’ minds, with seven in 10 feeling the austerity measures will leave them worse off.”

Today, as many as half (50%) of all Brits are satisfied with their life, three in 10 are neutral (31%) while a fifth (21%) are not content with their lot, reports Mintel. Almost four in 10 Brits (38%) have achieved the important things they want in life. Meanwhile, slightly more consumers (43%) admit, “in life they always want more than they have”, researchers discovered.

“A lack of money holds people back from realising their dreams and as a result, the unemployed and those living in lower-income households are the most likely to say they always want more than they have,” said Alexandra Richmond, senior consumer analyst at Mintel. 

“They are less satisfied with life and less likely to agree that they have achieved the things they wanted to.”

Consumers living in Yorkshire are the nation’s happiest consumers, the survey found. Almost six in 10 (57%) people in Yorkshire are very satisfied with life compared to an average of 50% across the nation. By contrast, those living in London are the least content. Less than half (48%) of Londoners admit to being happy, Mintel found. Life in a village adds up to a content existence, well over half (56%) of those living in a village are satisfied with their lives, with suburban dwellers (52%) the next most satisfied—and urban dwellers (47%) trailing someway behind.