Thursday, 6 February 2003

The millionaires next door

Thomas Stanley and William Danko's The Millionaire Next Door tells us that "wealthy individuals do not all belong to an elite group of highly educated and exceedingly lucky people who often inherit their money and spend it on lavish purchases and pampered lifestyles" but rather "that a significant number of America's wealthy are far more likely to work hard, save diligently, and live well below their means".

Now we know that it's true here too.

A new survey tells us where Britain's millionaires live. The number one spot is held by Hampstead in London, well-known as the home of media folk and represented at Westminster by Glenda Jackson. The second and third most popular areas for millionaires are both in Edinburgh:

THEY epitomise leafy suburbia with their rows of neat bungalows and terraced mansions but beneath the douce facades of Edinburgh's Blackhall and Morningside there appear to be hearts of gold. The unassuming streets a few miles west of the centre of the capital in Blackhall are home to more millionaires than anywhere else in the UK, with the exception of the north London suburb of Hampstead.
I was discussing this news with a group of people in the city centre who didn't even know that there was an area of Edinburgh called Blackhall! No "pampered lifestyles" there. Nevertheless:
266 Blackhall residents fall into the six-figure bracket, eclipsing affluent areas of London such as Kensington, Chelsea and St John's Wood.
I find it reassuring that the reputation that Scots have for being "careful with money" is borne out by this survey which shows that five of the fifteen wealthiest areas in Britain are north of the border. Sadly, my part of Edinburgh is a mere number 58 on the list.