BBC corrects reported inequality statistics
Towards the end of last year Full Fact found problems with the BBC's reporting of statistics on UK income inequality.
A BBC article, along with other news sources, had reported that the incomes of the richest 10 per cent of Britons were twelve times greater than the poorest decile.
In fact, this ratio only referred to working-age British people. The ratio for the population was in fact 10:1.
Our original article, on 6 December, was followed up by a letter to the BBC complaints team later that day. A week later, there remained no response or alteration. In perseverance, Full Fact resubmitted the complaint.
A week later still; no response, no changes. So we sent a further reminder to the BBC requesting, at the very least, an explanation as to why no response had been provided.
Full Fact finally recieved a response from the BBC complaints team on 28 December, when we were told the issue was being looked into.
Then, on 31 December, 25 days after our original complaint was issued, the BBC informed us that they had added a paragraph to clarify the context of the figures and added the wording we requested to make clear what the statistics were referring to.
The changes are illustrated below:
"The average annual income for the richest 10% of British people in 2008 was £55,000 - which is 12 times higher than the average for the bottom 10%."
"The average annual income for the richest 10% of working age British people in 2008 was £55,000 - which is 12 times higher than the average for the bottom 10%...
The report says that the ratio of the richest 10% of the overall population to the poorest 10% in the UK is 10 to one - slightly higher than the OECD average."
Full Fact are pleased that the issue has been resolved, although we always push for the fastest possible response times to complaints when and to whoever they are made.