United Kingdom

Concentrations of worklessness

Key points

top

Graph 1: Over time

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

top

Graph 2: Rates

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

top

Graph 3: Shares

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

top

Why this indicator was originally chosen

The extent to which poverty is concentrated in particular geographic areas is an important consideration in the development of anti-poverty policies and the importance or otherwise of area-based initiatives.

top

Definitions and data sources

This indicator examines how the pattern of recipiency of key out-of-work benefits by working-age people varies at a small area level and how these patterns have changed over time.  It does so by placing the 40,000 small areas ('super output areas') in Great Britain into a number of equal groups according to the proportion of their working-age population who are in receipt of such benefits.  The benefits included are Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, and Carer's Allowance and, if someone is receiving more than one of these benefits, they are only counted once.

The first graph shows how the levels of concentration have changed over time, comparing the number of recipients in the tenth of small areas with the highest levels of recipiency with the half of small areas with the lowest levels of recipiency (where high/low levels of recipiency are defined in terms of the proportion of the working-age population who are recipients).

Note that the allocation of the small areas into tenths is not done by simply allocating equal numbers of small areas into each tenth as this would result in an underestimate of levels of concentration.  This is because small areas in deprived areas tend to have lower populations than other small areas, in large part because the small areas in Scotland (e.g. Glasgow) generally have much lower populations than those in England or Wales.  Rather, the allocation of the small areas into tenths is done by ensuring that there are equal populations in each tenth.

The second graph shows, for the latest year, the extent to which rates of recipiency vary between small areas and the third graph shows the share of the total recipients who are in each group of small areas.  Note that the denominator in the second graph is the total population aged 16 to 64 (rather than the working-age population) as this is the only age group for which up-to-date population estimates exist.

The data source for all the graphs is the DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study and relates to Great Britain.  The data for each year relates to the month of February, with the year 2000 being the earliest for which such data is available.  Small area population estimates from ONS have been used as the denominator.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The underlying data is a full count and is considered to be very reliable.  But the data is a count of people in receipt of key out-of-work benefits rather than a count of people in low income.  So, for example, it excludes all people in low pay and includes all recipients of out-of-work benefits even if they have some private income.

top

External links

top

Relevant 2007 Public Service Agreements

None directly relevant.

top

The numbers

Graph 1

DateMillions
The 10% of super output areas with the most claimantsThe 50% of super output areas with the least claimants
February 20001.32M 1.40M
February 20011.29M 1.36M
February 20021.28M 1.33M
February 20031.26M 1.25M
February 20041.24M 1.23M
February 20051.21M 1.21M
February 20061.22M 1.21M
February 20071.21M 1.19M
February 20081.16M 1.14M
February 20091.26M 1.36M
February 20101.29M 1.38M
February 20111.26M 1.32M

Graphs 2 and 3

Groups of super output areas Proportion in receipt of benefitsShare of recipients
In the fifth of super output areas with the highest concentrations 28% 41%
Next fifth 17% 25%
Middle fifth 11% 16%
Fourth fifth 7% 11%
In the fifth of super output areas with the lowest concentrations 4% 7%

top