Rural England

Children in low-income households

Key points

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Graph 1: Rates

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Graph 2: Shares

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Graph 3: Over time

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Graph 4: Risks by family type and work status

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Graph 5: Shares by family type and work status

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Rural/urban ratios (urban = 10)

On most poverty and social exclusion indicators, rural areas have 'better scores' than urban areas.  The purpose of the table below is to differentiate between those subjects where rural areas are 'a bit better' and those where rural areas are 'a lot better'.  It does so by presenting the rural statistics for the indicator as a proportion of the urban statistics.  So, for example, a rural 'score' of 6 in the table below means that the rural statistic is around 60% of its urban equivalent.

Graphs 1, 2 and 3

Type of district 2006/07 to 2008/09 1996/97 to 1998/99
Below 60% median Below 50% median Below 40% median Below 60% median
'Very rural' districts7 7 8 7
'Mostly rural' districts7 7 7 7
'Part rural' districts7 7 7 7

Graphs 4 and 5

Type of district Children in households below 60% of median income
Lone parent families Couple families
Full-time worker Part-time worker Workless Full-time worker Part-time worker Workless
'Very rural' districts9 10 9 8 6 9
'Mostly rural' districts12 10 10 8 6 9
'Part rural' districts11 10 9 7 9 10

Note that the sample sizes for the breakdown in graphs 4 and 5 (by both family type and work status) are very small so there is substantial uncertainty about the precise ratios above.

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Definitions and data sources

The graphs

For each type of local authority district, the first graph shows the proportion of children who are in households with low incomes.

Three low-income thresholds are presented to show the extent and intensity of low income.  These are 60% of UK median household income, 50% of UK median income and 40% of UK median income.  For a discussion on why these thresholds has been used, and possible alternative thresholds, see the page on choices of thresholds.  Income is net disposable household income, after deducting housing costs.  All the data is equivalised (adjusted) to account for differences in household size and composition.

The second graph shows the distribution of children in households with incomes below 60% of UK median household income by type of district.

For each type of local authority district, the third graph shows how the proportion of children who are in households with low incomes compares with the equivalent proportion in the mid-1990s.  For the latest three years, the low-income threshold used is the same as that in the first graph, namely 60% of contemporary UK median household income.  For the mid-1990s, the threshold is 60% of contemporary Great Britain median household income, as data was not available for Northern Ireland.  Note that the rural/urban allocations of districts for the earliest three years is slightly different than that for the latest three years as a) some districts were merged in and b) the Government made adjustments to the allocations of a few districts.

For each type of local authority district, the fourth graph shows the proportion of children who are in households with incomes below 60% of UK median household income, with the data shown separately by family type (lone parent or couple) and work status (full-time work, part-time work or workless).

The term 'family' is used to cover an adult and their spouse (if applicable) whereas the term 'household' is used to cover everyone living in a dwelling.  So, a young adult living with their parents would count as one 'household' but two 'families'.  In analysing the rates of low income by work status, the work status is analysed by family whereas the income is analysed by household.  For a more detailed discussion of this issue, see the page on households, families and benefit units.

For each type of local authority district, the fifth graph shows the distribution of children who are in households with incomes below 60% of UK median household income by family type and work status.

Level of the data

Lower tier local authorities (districts), as classified by the DEFRA 2009 classification system.  Both the DEFRA classification rules and their results by local authority can be found on the page on rural/urban classification systems.

Source

Households Below Average Income, DWP.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

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The numbers

Graphs 1 and 2

Type of district Below 60% median Below 50% median Below 40% median
Rates Numbers Rates Numbers Rates Numbers
'Very rural' districts24% 250,000 16% 170,000 10% 110,000
'Mostly rural' districts25% 360,000 17% 230,000 9% 130,000
'Part rural' districts24% 370,000 16% 240,000 9% 140,000
Urban districts35% 2,380,000 24% 1,620,000 13% 900,000

Graph 3

Type of district 1996/97 to 1998/99 2006/07 to 2008/09
'Very rural' districts25% 24%
'Mostly rural' districts26% 25%
'Part rural' districts26% 24%
Urban districts38% 35%

Graph 4

Type of district Lone parent families Couple families
Full-time worker Part-time worker Workless Full-time worker Part-time worker Workless
'Very rural' districts16% 32% 73% 13% 40% 72%
'Mostly rural' districts23% 31% 77% 12% 37% 75%
'Part rural' districts20% 30% 71% 11% 56% 82%
Urban districts18% 31% 77% 16% 64% 80%

Note that the sample sizes for the breakdown by both family type and work status are very small so there is substantial uncertainty about the precise percentages above.

Graph 5

Type of district Lone parent families Couple families
With work Workless With work Workless
Numbers Share Numbers Share Numbers Share Numbers Share
'Very rural' districts40,000 14% 50,000 21% 140,000 56% 20,000 9%
'Mostly rural' districts50,000 13% 80,000 21% 190,000 53% 40,000 11%
'Part rural' districts50,000 13% 90,000 24% 180,000 48% 50,000 15%
Urban districts220,000 9% 750,000 32% 1,060,000 45% 330,000 14%

Note that the sample sizes for the breakdown in graphs 4 and 5 (by both family type and work status) are very small so there is substantial uncertainty about the precise numbers above.

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