Household disposable income rose slightly over 2019-20

Date : 28 July 2020

ONS has released provisional data on incomes covering 2019-20. This shows that median real household disposable income changed as follows:

Median disposable income All households Working households Retired households
2018-19 £30,078 £31,319 £25,107
2019-20 £30,773 £32,141 £25,434
Change + 2.3% + 2.6% + 1.3%

Source: ONS, July 2020

Note: Income is shown at fixed 2019-20 values


Median household income rose modestly, in real terms, but the established long-term trend of weak income growth continued in the latest year.

Over the ten years 2009-10 to 2019-20, median real disposable income rose by only 10%. By comparison, income over the previous ten-year period (ie: 1998-99 to 2008-09), incomes rose by 25% - more than twice as fast.

This data does not show the effect of coronavirus on incomes, although provisional research from HMRC suggests a broad negative impact on households, especially the more affluent.

Also, note that small rises in income have not so far delivered many benefits for food and drink retailers. Data from the long-running Family Spending survey suggests that household spending on food and drink has been static for at least a decade in real terms – with spending for families in decline.


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