United Kingdom

Location of low income

Key points

top

Graph 1: By region

View Graph as PDF (resizeable)   Right click to save large version of Graph as PNG

top

Graph 2: By rural/urban

View Graph as PDF (resizeable)   Right click to save large version of Graph as PNG

top

Working-age map

View Map as PDF (resizeable)   Right click to save large version of Map as PNG

Download a spreadsheet with the ward-level statistics

Download a spreadsheet with the district-level statistics

top

Retired map

View Map as PDF (resizeable)   Right click to save large version of Map as PNG

Download a spreadsheet with the ward-level statistics

Download a spreadsheet with the district-level statistics

top

Why this indicator was originally chosen

Geographic variations in the prevalence of low income are clearly of interest.

top

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the proportion of the population on low income by region.  For each region, the first column shows the average proportion on low income for the years 1994/95 to 1996/97 and the second column shows the average proportion on low income between 2004/05 and 2006/07.  This averaging over three-year bands has been done to improve the statistical reliability of the results.

The second graph shows how the proportion of the population in low income varies by the degree of rurality of the local authority district in which they live, as classified by the DEFRA 2009 classification system.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.  The data relates to England only (the DEFRA classification system only covers England).  Both the DEFRA classification rules and their results by local authority can be found on the page on rural/urban classification systems.  Over-simplifying somewhat:

The data source for both the graphs is Households Below Average Income, based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS).  The data in the first graph relates to Great Britain.  Income is disposable household income after deducting housing costs and the low-income threshold is the same as that used elsewhere, namely 60% of contemporary median household income.  All the data is equivalised (adjusted) to account for differences in household size and composition.  The self-employed are included in the statistics.  Note that in 2007 DWP made some technical changes to how it adjusted household income for household composition (including retrospective changes) and, as a result, the data is slightly different than previously published figures.

The first map shows how the proportion of working-age people claiming one or more 'key out-of-work benefits' varies by super output area, thus providing a indication of how the prevalence of low income among working-age people varies at a small area level.  'Key out-of-work benefits' is a DWP term which covers the following benefits: Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Carer's Allowance.

The second map shows how the proportion of people in receipt of the guaranteed part of Pension Credit (previously called the Minimum Income Guarantee) as a proportion of the pensionable-age population varies by super output area, thus providing an indication of how the prevalence of low income among older people varies at a small area level.

The data source for both maps is the DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.  The data relates to Great Britain and is for February 2009.  The data has been analysed to avoid double-counting of those receiving multiple benefits by matching data from individual samples.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  The FRS is a well-established annual government survey, designed to be representative of the population as a whole.  The averaging over three-year bands means that the sample size is sufficient to provide accurate results.  Note, however, that they only cover people living in private households and do not cover people in residential institutions (such as nursing homes), sleeping rough, or in bed and breakfast accommodation.

top

External links

top

Relevant 2007 Public Service Agreements

Overall aim:  Halve the number of children in poverty by 2010-11, on the way to eradicating child poverty by 2020.

Lead department

HM Treasury.

Official national targets

Reduce by a half the number of children living in relative low-income by 2010/11.

Other indicators of progress

Number of children in absolute low-income households.

Number of children in relative low-income households and in material deprivation.

Previous 2004 targets

Halve the number of children in relative low-income households between 1998/99 and 2010/11, on the way to eradicating child poverty by 2020, including:

By 2008, be paying Pension Credit to at least 3.2 million pensioner households.  While maintaining a focus on the most disadvantaged by ensuring that at least 2.2 million of these households are in receipt of the Guarantee Credit.

top

The numbers

Graph 1

Region

Average of 1996/97 to 1998/99 Average of 2006/07 to 2008/09
East 21% 20%
East Midlands 23% 23%
London 30% 28%
North East 30% 25%
North West 27% 24%
Scotland 23% 19%
South East 19% 19%
South West 24% 20%
Wales 27% 23%
West Midlands 24% 25%
Yorkshire and The Humber 27% 23%

Graph 2

Type of local authority districtProportion of people who are in low-income households
'Very rural' districts19%
'Mostly rural' districts19%
'Part rural' districts18%
'Other urban' districts22%
'Large urban' districts24%
'Major urban' districts26%

 

top