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Mr A

Understanding Salaries in the UK

Before diving into whether £75k is a good salary in the UK, it is essential to provide some context. The average UK salary in 2020 was around £38,600 per annum. A £75k salary is almost double the national average, which may make it seem impressive.

  • Factors affecting the "good" salary perception
  • Analysing the different UK regions
  • Comparison with income distribution
  • Tax implications on a £75k salary
  • Work-Life balance and happiness vs. income
  • Weighing the pros and cons
  • Verdict: Is £75k a good salary in the UK?

Factors Affecting the "Good" Salary Perception

Various factors can influence the perception of what makes a salary "good" in the UK:

1. Age and Experience

A salary of £75k per year may be considered good for someone in their 20s or early 30s with less work experience or particular qualifications. Older workers with more years of experience who have worked their way up the ladder and are potentially providing for a family may have higher expectations for a "good" salary.

2. Cost of Living

The cost of living varies greatly across the UK. London, for example, has a much higher cost of living than cities in the North or West of England. A person earning £75k per year may feel like they're living large outside of London, while the same salary may not go quite as far in the capital.

3. Responsibilities and Lifestyle Preferences

Expectations for a good salary depend largely on lifestyle preferences and personal circumstances. For example, individuals supporting families, paying off student loans, mortgages, or other debts might have different perceptions of what a good salary is compared to people without such financial burdens.

Analysing the Different UK Regions

For a clearer picture, it helps to analyse how far the £75k salary can stretch across various regions:


London is one of the most expensive cities to live in the United Kingdom. A £75k salary is above average but can quickly be consumed by the cost of living, including high rents, increased travel costs, and other general expenses.

South East and South West England

While not as expensive as London, housing prices and general costs are still relatively high in these regions. A £75k salary can provide a comfortable lifestyle but will not stretch as far as in other areas of the UK.


A £75k salary goes further in the Midlands, with cheaper housing costs being the main benefit. Other expenses, such as transport and consumer goods, are more affordable as well, making this salary quite attractive depending on your lifestyle and financial commitments.

North East and North West England, and Scotland

The North of England and Scotland generally have lower living costs compared to the South. A £75,000 salary in these regions offers an opportunity to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, invest in properties, and work towards further financial goals.

Comparison with Income Distribution

Comparing the £75k salary with the income distribution in the UK can provide useful insights:

  • According to the Financial Times, approximately 96% of working-age individuals in the UK earn less than £75k per year.
  • Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that the top 10% of income earners make around £60,500 or more annually.
  • The median income in the UK for full-time employees was £31,461 in 2020.

Considering these figures, the £75k salary is near the top of the income distribution and well above the median income.

Tax Implications on a £75k Salary

It is crucial to consider the tax implications associated with a salary of £75k per year:

  • Income tax: The personal allowance for most individuals is £12,570, 20% tax is applied to the portion of the salary between £12,571-£50,270, and 40% tax is charged on the portion between £50,271-£150,000. This results in an annual tax bill of £21,730 for a £75,000 salary.
  • National Insurance (NI) contributions: These amount to approximately £5,164 per year for a £75,000 salary.
  • Tax-free benefits: Pension contributions, childcare vouchers, cycle to work schemes, and other pre-tax arrangements can reduce the total tax liability.

After accounting for tax implications, a £75k salary yields an annual net pay of approximately £48,106.

Work-Life Balance and Happiness vs Income

In assessing whether a £75k salary is good in the UK, it's important to weigh work-life balance and overall happiness against financial gains:

  • Job satisfaction: High salaries can sometimes be accompanied by long working hours and high levels of stress, compromising overall job satisfaction.
  • Work-life balance: Prioritising family and personal life may be more important than financial considerations for some individuals.
  • Happiness plateau: Research on happiness and income has found a plateau effect, with happiness no longer increasing beyond an annual income of £50,000-£70,000.

Weighing these factors can help individuals determine if a £75k salary aligns with their personal and professional priorities.

Weighing the Pros and Cons


  • Above-average income, placing the salary earner in the top 10%.
  • Potential to save money or invest in the property market.
  • Financial security and flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.


  • High tax liabilities.
  • Cost of living in certain regions, such as London and the South East, can consume a significant portion of the salary.
  • Possibility of long working hours, job-related stress or reduced work-life balance.

Verdict: Is £75k a Good Salary in the UK?

Given that a £75k salary is almost double the national average, it is perhaps a good – or even great – salary for the majority of individuals in the UK. Nonetheless, it is important to consider factors such as regional living costs, personal financial circumstances, and the potential trade-offs between job satisfaction, work-life balance and income.

Ultimately, the definition of a good salary is subjective and will differ from person to person, based on their specific needs and priorities.

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