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Average UK salary by age

This post explores a variety of statistics around salary data in the UK, including the average UK salary by age.

As salaries vary depending on the cost of living in each region, I’ve included a breakdown of the average salaries by age in each region. As there’s most variation within London, I’ve included a special section on average London salaries.

It’s a bit of a data-heavy post this week, so to avoid information overload there are plenty of interactive charts below. However, there’s only so much data you can display in a chart, and there’s loads of interesting salary data to examine. I’ve therefore included all the underlying source data in tables at the bottom of the post. You can filter and search the tables to find the statistics relevant to you, or you can export them to Excel and play around with them to your heart’s content.

I’ve also included additional data tables (which aren’t displayed in the charts) which contain UK salary data by occupation and by industry. There are simply too many occupations/industries to include in chart form, but feel free to explore the data yourself.

All data is taken from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), and is accurate as of mid-2021.

If you’d like to have a look into savings statistics as well as salary statistics, have a read of this post on the average savings by age in the UK.

Average UK salary by age

Source: ONS

The average UK salaries by age are:

 
  • Ages 16-17: £10,910
  • Ages 18-21: £17,284
  • Ages 22-29: £24,600
  • Ages 30-39: £30,865
  • Ages 40-49: £33,477
  • Ages 50-59: £31,358
  • Ages 60+: £27,508

What does that mean?

  • The average is represented here (and throughout this post) using the median. Using the 22-29 age group as an example, if you lined up everyone aged 22-29 in the UK from the lowest earner to the highest earner, the middle person would have a salary of £24,600. This is the median.
  • This means if you’re aged 22-29 and earning above £24,600, you’re earning more than 50% of your age group.

What this chart doesn’t show is the distribution of salaries within each age band. For this, you can use the chart below, which breaks down each age band by salary percentile:

Distribution of salaries by age

Source: ONS

If we zoom in on the 22-29 age band again, we can see the orange dot in the middle is our 50th percentile (median) salary of £24,600.

But this chart also shows that those aged 22-29 earning over £43,094 would be placed in the top 10% of earners for their age group, as they’re above the 90th percentile.

Using this data, we can work out the salary level which puts an employee in the top 10% of earners for their age group:

  • Ages 18-21: £26,208
  • Ages 22-29: £43,094
  • Ages 30-39: £61,058
  • Ages 40-49: £73,236
  • Ages 50-59: £68,901
  • Ages 60+: £59,691

This data is great, but doesn’t capture the nuances of variations in salaries between regions.

As a result, I’ve also included regional salary data broken down by age below.

Average UK salary by age and region

Naturally, the salary ranges above are dependent on where you live in the UK.

The stats below provide information on the average UK salary by age for each of the regions.

Due to the larger salary variation within London, I’ve started off by including a more detailed breakdown of average London salary data.

Average London salary statistics

Average London salary by age

The average London salaries by age are:

 
  • Ages 18-21: £20,837
  • Ages 22-29: £30,092
  • Ages 30-39: £38,415
  • Ages 40-49: £42,508
  • Ages 50-59: £40,350
  • Ages 60+: £36,165

Again, this doesn’t show the distribution of salaries within each age band. For this, you can use the chart below which breaks down each age band by salary percentile.

The 90th percentile data isn’t available for some age bands, which is why some show as zero.

Distribution of London salaries by age

Average London salary by local authority

Source: ONS

Regional average UK salary by age

The charts below show the average salaries by age in each region. As we’ve seen, these charts don’t give an indication of the distributions of salaries within each age band.

To avoid overloading you with charts, for those interested in the percentile data for the regional averages, you can find them in the source data tables at the bottom of this post.

The tables are all searchable. For example, typing “North East” into the ‘Average UK salary by age and region’ table will bring up the salary distribution for the North East region.

Average salary by age and region - North East

Average salary by age and region - North West

Average salary by age and region - Yorkshire

Average salary by age and region - East Midlands

Average salary by age and region - West Midlands

Average salary by age and region - East

Average salary by age and region - South East

Average salary by age and region - South West

Source: ONS

Source data

Average UK salary by age

Average UK salary by age and region

Average UK salary by local authority

Additional data

Average UK salary by occupation

Average UK salary by industry