You’ve probably heard of the expression banded about in the press, by politicians and political commentators – Middle Britain. Ed Miliband talks of the ‘squeezed middle’. What about middle income, middle class? The mean (or is it median?) of the British population these days seems to hold centre stage wherever you look. From column inches to rolling news. A fiercely contested economic and political battleground, where exactly is Middle Britain?
Whilst Middle Earth and its folk are readily recognisable what exactly does Middle Britain look like? How many Brits live there? Who exactly lives there? Are you Middle British? How would you tell?
Research by credit rating company Experian this weeks seeks to shed light on the mystery that is Middle Britain and its inhabitants. Applying in excess of 400 demographic, social and economic variations including age, accommodation, car type, holidays, attitudes, behaviours and income they have come up with not only a definition of the Middle British but also a map.
Short of time? Drive a Ford Focus? Live in a semi-detached house in Slough or Milton Keynes? Do your shopping at Tesco? Gym membership? Kids go to karate lessons? Then congratulations you and another 13.1 million people have all the tell tale signs of living in Middle Britain.
Managing director of Experian Marketing Information Services UK & Ireland, Nigel Wilson, told the press: “We need to dispel the myth that middle Britain is simply either those on average incomes or is somehow synonymous with being middle class – it takes in a much broader sweep of the population than either of those two descriptors. It’s essentially a new consumer order.”
Here are some more of his findings.
• Counting the cash – Earning 10% more that the national average, at£47,300, Middle Britain households, even with higher outgoings, manage to enjoy 8% more disposable income than the average.
• Net heads – 31% prefer to communicate using social media such as Facebook, 29% via the phone and 23% by email. In some more tech savvy neighbourhoods more people these days shop online that off. Hungry for technology it is estimated that Middle Britons will almost double their ICT spending by 2015.
• Safe as houses – Middle Britain children spent a great deal of leisure time at home, online or watching children’s TV programmes and sci-fi. When they go out it’s often on organised trips to the cinema, theme parks, the seaside.
Not such a bad place to be – 54% of middle Britain say they are happy with their standard of living.