This is not about what we own minus what we owe, but what we as animate objects, are worth. Our "Human Capital". The ONS' definition of Human Capital is:
“the knowledge, skills, competencies and attributes embodied in individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic well-being.”
You may be flattered to know that:
- "The UK’s human capital stock was worth £17.12 trillion in 2010."
- "This is more than two-and-a-half times the UK National Accounts estimated value of the UK's tangible assets - buildings, vehicles, plant and machinery etc - at the beginning of 2010."
It may, or perhaps may not, give you a warm fuzzy feeling to know that you are valued at an average of just over £425,000:
According to the ONS, the key means of developing human capital are related to education:
• Learning within family and early childcare settings
Families contribute to the development of human capital in their children through direct expenditures on educational materials etc and through time spent fostering learning habits and attitudes.
• Formal education and training
This includes activities ranging from early childhood education, school-based compulsory education, post-compulsory vocational or general education, tertiary education, public labour market education, adult education etc.
• Workplace training
Firms and organisations invest in human capital to develop those skills and competencies with economic value.
• Informal learning
This is a wider concept taking place through ‘on-the-job’ learning, in daily living and through civic participation.
The importance of education in terms of hard cash:
Added 1/12/2014: The infographic below from the Office for National Statistics explains "Human Capital" quite nicely: