Savings statistics: Average savings in the UK

Learn more about the average savings in the UK, broken down by age and account type.

Whether you’d rather hide money under your mattress or more wisely put it into a savings account, savings are key to helping people plan their future, deal with accidents and secure a comfortable retirement. How much does the average person have saved in the UK? And are we getting better or worse?

Key statistics

  • 1 in 10 Brits (9%) have no savings at all.
  • In 2020, the average person in the United Kingdom (UK) had £6,757 saved.
  • A third of Brits have less than £600 in savings.
  • 41% of Brits don’t have enough savings to live for a month without income.
  • The number of adult ISAs in the UK is up from 11 million in 2018/2019 to over 12 million in 2019/2020.
  • The average amount in adult cash ISAs has fallen from £5,187 in 2018/2019 to £5,024 in 2019/2020, with stocks and shares ISAs falling from £9,331 in 2018/2019 to £8,875 in 2019/2020.
  • The number of junior ISAs has increased by 7% from 954,000 in 2018/2019 to 1,023,000 in 2019/2020.
  • The average amount invested for junior cash ISAs in 2019/2020 is £846, with junior stocks and shares ISAs being £1,180 in 2019/2020.

How much does the average British person have in savings?

We carried out some research in 2020 to find out who has savings, how much we have saved and to look into the reasons why many people don’t have savings.

  • The average person in the UK had £6,756.81 saved in 2020
  • Experts recommend that people should have 3 months of expenses saved
  • 40.93% of Brits don’t have enough savings to live for a month without income

How much did Brits save during lockdown?

During the lockdown in 2020/2021, Brits saved an average of £54.67 per week on leisure activities. Meanwhile, those working from home saved a further £44.78 per week by working from home (which included not having to pay for commuting or work lunches).

This equated to a total saving of £99.45 per person per week. Extrapolating those figures to the wider UK population means that Brits were making a staggering collective saving of £4.6 billion for each week of the lockdown. Given the duration of the lockdown in 2020 until 2021, that makes a running savings total of over £130 billion (the figure that would have been saved after 1 year of lockdown).

60% of the population said they were working from home at the start of the pandemic, equating to a whopping 89% of workers who would have saved some money. In a year, they would have saved an average of £2,330 each.

On top of this, with full lockdowns having been in place at the time, this means that individuals would have also saved by not socialising in any capacity, resulting in average savings of £1,420. When these figures are combined, people who worked from home could have saved £3,750 over the year.

Percentage that will save Average savings Total savings per week Average savings over 3 weeks Total savings over year of lockdown
Leisure activities 87.90% £54.67 £2,518,239,028 £164.01 £65,474,214,720
Working 53.20% £44.78 £2,098,155,913 £134.34 £64,916,943,935
Total £99.45 £4,616,394,940 £298.35 £130,391,158,655

Generational differences: Average savings by age in the UK

Out of all the generations, baby boomers (born 1946–1964) have the most saved, with an average of £9,758.54 per person. The second-highest savings are with the silent generation (born 1928–1945), who are sitting on an average of £9,497.96 per person.

The youngest generation, gen Z (born after 1996), who have been working the shortest amount of time, have the smallest savings balance, with just £2,530.71 on average.

Those aged 22–29 are the least likely to save, with 53% of them having no savings at all.

Generation Average current savings
Generation Z (Born after 1996) £2,530.71
Millennials (Born 1981-1996) £4,614.04
Generation X (Born 1965-1980) £6,160.57
Baby boomers (Born 1946-1964) £9,758.54
Silent generation (Born 1928-1945) £9,497.96

Adult ISAs

An ISA (individual savings account) is the most popular type of savings account, thanks to its tax-free benefits. But how many Brits are taking advantage of these tax-free savings accounts, whether in the form of a cash ISA or a stocks and shares ISA?

If you’re not familiar with stocks and shares ISAs, they’re savings accounts that allow you to invest in stocks and shares, usually based on the level of risk that you are comfortable with. If you want to know more, we’ve compiled a list of the best trading apps to help you decide which is best for you.

Cash ISAs have become less popular over the years from 2015 to 2018, while stocks and shares ISAs have become more popular. However, this trend reversed in 2019. Read on to find out more about the changes in adult ISAs in the UK.

Number of adult ISAs

The total number of ISAs has seen a resurgence in recent years. Over 2020, the number of ISAs has increased to 12.43 million, this is 1.27 million more than in 2019. There are over 9.7 million cash ISAs and this is 1.22 million more than in 2019. There was also an increase of 310,000 more stocks and shares ISAs in 2020, with 2.73 million accounts open in 2020. Explore the graph below to find out more about adult ISAs.

Year Cash ISAs Stocks and shares ISAs Total
2015/2016 10.12 million 2.54 million 12.66 million
2016/2017 8.48 million 2.59 million 11.07 million
2017/2018 7.78 million 2.84 million 10.09 million
2018/2019 8.48 million 2.42 million 11.16 million
2019/2020 9.70 million 2.73 million 12.43 million

Total amount subscribed to adult ISAs

Cash ISAs

In 2019/2020 the total amount subscribed to cash ISAs increased by 7.4% to £73 billion. The growing number of cash ISAs in 2020 also caused the total amount invested in cash ISAs to spike from £44 billion in 2018/2019 to just under £49 billion in 2019/2020. Despite this growth, this figure was still much lower than the figures in 2015/2016 when there was nearly £60 billion subscribed to cash ISAs.

Stocks and shares ISAs

In 2020, over £24 billion was invested in stocks and shares ISAs – an increase of just under £1 million from 2019. This was also 14% higher than the amount invested in stocks and shares ISAs since 2015/2016. Check out the graph below to find out more.

Year Cash ISAs Stocks and shares ISAs Total
2015/2016 £58 billion £21 billion £80 billion
2016/2017 £39 billion £22 billion £62 billion
2017/2018 £40 billion £28 billion £65 billion
2018/2019 £44 billion £23 billion £68 billion
2019/2020 £49 billion £24 billion £73 billion

Average amount subscribed to adult ISAs

Cash ISAs

The average amount subscribed into adult ISAs has remained fairly consistent since 2015/2016. The average amount in a cash ISA in 2019/2020 was £5,024, which is the lowest amount in a cash ISA since 2016/2017.

Stocks and shares ISAs

The average amount in a stocks and shares ISA in 2019/2020 was £8,875. This is also the lowest average amount since 2016/2017.

Year Cash ISAs Stocks and shares ISAs
2015/2016 £5,801 £8,322
2016/2017 £4,622 £8,623
2017/2018 £5,228 £9,685
2018/2019 £5,187 £9,331
2019/2020 £5,024 £8,875

Junior ISAs

A junior cash ISA is a tax-free long-term savings account for under-18s in the UK. The current savings limit for the 2021/2022 year is £9,000.

Number of junior ISAs

By 2020, the number of junior ISAs grew to over 706,000 cash ISAs and 317,00 stocks and shares ISAs. In total, this amounted to over 1 million junior ISAs, an increase of 38% since 2015/2016.

Year Cash ISAs Stocks and shares ISAs Total
2015/2016 497,000 241,000 738,000
2016/2017 569,000 225,000 794,000
2017/2018 636,000 271,000 907,000
2018/2019 668,000 286,000 954,000
2019/2020 706,000 317,000 1,023,000

Total amount subscribed to junior ISAs

The total amount subscribed to junior ISAs was £971 million in 2019/2020 – £3 million less than in 2018/2019. While the total value of cash ISAs increased by £42 million in 2019, the total amount in stocks and shares ISAs dropped by £45 million in a single year. This means that cash ISAs hold 61% of this total, with stocks and shares making up the remaining 39%.

Year Cash ISAs Stocks and shares ISAs Total
2015/2016 £522 million £399 million £921 million
2016/2017 £525 million £333 million £858 million
2017/2018 £517 milllion £385 million £902 million
2018/2019 £555 million £419 million £974 million
2019/20 £597 million £374 million £971 million

Average amount subscribed to junior ISAs

Interestingly, the average amount invested in junior stocks and shares ISAs is more than junior cash ISAs. The average amount invested into a stocks and shares ISA was £1,180 in 2020, this is 39% more than the average amount invested into a junior cash ISA (£846). Explore the graph below to find out more.

Year Cash ISAs Stocks and shares ISAs
2015/2016 £1,050 £1,656
2016/2017 £923 £1,480
2017/2018 £812 £1,421
2018/2019 £830 £1,465
2019/2020 £846 £1180

Sources used

  • Finder commissioned Onepoll in May 2020 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+. A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region. Some of these figures were then combined with average cost of living data from the ONS.

Sources used

  • ONS
  • Global Banking and Finance
  • Gov.uk
  • Money Advice Service

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2
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