Britain's wealthiest people have seen their net worth more than double in the years since the credit crunch and recession.
According to The Sunday Times Rich List, the wealthiest 1,000 people based in Britain are now worth £547bn, up from £258bn in 2009.
Last year saw a huge rise in the amount of money it took even to make it onto the rich list. The least rich people on the list are now worth more than £100m, which is £15m more than was required to make the cut last year and £45m more than in 2009.
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According to The Sunday Times, the sharp increase in wealth among Britain's elite is primarily due to booming stock markets: "Both the FTSE 100 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have hit record highs in the past 12 months", the paper says.
The UK now has more sterling billionaires – 117 – than any other country except China and the US.
The London-based Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik topped the list, with a fortune of £13.17bn, up £3.17bn on 2014.
Blavatnik took the top spot from Sri and Gopi Hinduja, whose combined worth rose last year by a comparatively modest £1.1bn to £13bn.
Among those who saw their wealth diminish in the past 12 months are the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal who lost £1.05bn to finish the year on £9.2bn, and Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich, who lost £1.23bn to end the year with a total fortune of £7.29bn.
As the rich have collectively become richer, the average household in Britain has only just recovered from the effects of the banking crash, The Guardian reports.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank says that household income is no higher now than it was in 2008.
The institute's director, Duncan Exley, commented: "Inequality at this scale is hugely damaging for society. Multiple studies show that living in a more unequal country means you're more likely to have poorer education, suffer from poor mental health, trust people less, be the victim of violent crime and even die earlier. "
Another loser on this year's list is the Queen, who dropped out of the richest 300 for the first time in its 18 years.
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