Rural savings: how do you compare?

RURAL residents have more savings than their urban neighbours, reveal the latest figures.

Measured across all regions of England and Wales, the average rural savings balance is £9,435 – some 17% higher than the urban balance of £8,060.

But the difference is as great as 25% in some areas, according to the findings of the most recent Halifax Savings Barometer.

The highest rural savings balance of £10,046 in the South East, is over a third more (37%) than the lowest average urban savings balance, found in Wales.

Rural savers have squirrelled away the equivalent of 29% of local average annual earnings, but urban residents have saved less than a quarter (24%) of their yearly income.

Richard Fearon, Head of Halifax Savings, said the findings suggested a very different attitude towards saving among the different groups.

"Those living in rural areas have not only deposited a greater proportion in relation to local annual earnings, but they have managed to do so when some of the most significant costs, such as property, are also significantly higher in these areas."

The disparity between rural and urban savings remains evident when compared to average earnings at a local authority level.

Savers in rural Waveney and urban Christchurch both have an average savings balance equivalent to 53% of local annual earnings, the highest proportion in England and Wales.

The lowest savings balances as a proportion of earnings in rural areas is 26% (Forest of Dean and Waverley); in urban areas this falls to just 13%, with average savings balances in Islington and Hackney at £6,872 and £4,298.

Savers in rural areas of the North West and West Midlands have an average savings balance that is a quarter higher than their urban neighbours, while the smallest difference in rural and urban savings balances is in East Anglia (10%).

Following the South East at £10,046, the highest average balances held by savers are in rural East Anglia (£9,883) and rural parts of the West Midlands (£9,509).

The highest average saving balance held by urban savers is also in the South East and stands at £9,031.

The lowest average savings balances are held in the urban areas of Hackney (£4,298) Newham (£4,481) and Manchester (£5,007), while the lowest average savings balance in a rural area stands at £6,548 in North Warwickshire.


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