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Statistics

Households below average income

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  • Release date: 29 June 2017
  • Period covered: 1994-95 to 2015-16
An annual report, produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which gives an insight into the standard of living for people in UK households.

The key points below are drawn from DWP’s report of 16 March 2017, and from our additional analysis published on 29 June 2017.

More findings from the data are presented in the 'view data' tab. Data for Wales can be volatile due to small sample sizes, and for this reason several years of survey data have been combined to produce rolling averages in the below.

Care should be taken in interpreting these figures, and latest estimates should be considered alongside long term patterns. The 'background information' tab explains what you should keep in mind when interpreting these results.

Key points

Relative income poverty

For a person to be in relative income poverty it means they are living in a household where the total household income from all sources is less than 60 per cent of the average UK household income (as given by the median).

Relative income poverty can be measured on a before or after housing costs basis. All figures here relate to relative income poverty after housing costs such as mortgage interest payments/rent, water rates and structural house insurance were paid.

  • 23 per cent of all people in Wales were living in relative income poverty between 2013-14 and 2015-16 (an average over 3 financial years).
  • Children were the age group most likely to be in relative income poverty between 2013-14 and 2015-16 (at 30 per cent) and this has been true for some time.
  • Relative income poverty for working-age adults has been steady for the last few periods, and was at 23 per cent between 2013-14 and 2015-16.
  • The percentage of pensioners living in relative income poverty has been rising for the past 3 periods (reaching 18 per cent between 2013-14 and 2015-16) but it is still below what it was in the mid to late 1990s.
Data added in June 2017
  • People living in social rented housing were more likely to  be in relative income poverty when compared with those privately renting or owner occupiers.
  • Living in a workless household increased the chances of being in relative income poverty for working-age adults.
  • Children living in lone parent families were more likely to be in relative income poverty than those living in households with a couple.
  • Children living in larger families had a slightly higher risk of being in relative income poverty than children in smaller families.
  • Children living in households where the head of the household was from a non-white ethnic group were twice as likely to be in relative income poverty than children in households where the head of the household was from a white ethnic group.
  • Living in a household where there was someone with a disability increased the chances of living in relative income poverty for working-age adults and children but not for pensioners.

Material Deprivation

A person living in material deprivation is not able to access a certain number of goods and services.

The DWP use the Family Resources Survey (FRS) to produce figures for material deprivation:
  • 14 per cent of children living in Wales were in material deprivation and low income households (i.e. households that had a total household income below 70 per cent of the UIK average household income – before housing costs were paid).
  • 10 per cent of pensioners living in Wales were in material deprivation (income is not considered for pensioners).
However, the National Survey for Wales (NSW) also produces figures for material deprivation in Wales (without taking account of income).

The most recent figures for 2016-17 were:
  • 15 per cent of adults in Wales were materially deprived (this includes pensioners)
  • 5 per cent of pensioners were materially deprived  
  • 6 per cent of parents have materially deprived children.  

More discussion on the differences between the two measures is available on the 'background information' tab.  

Persistent poverty (experimental statistics)

A person is in persistent poverty if he or she is in relative income poverty in at least 3 out of 4 consecutive years.

  • A person in Wales had a 12 per cent risk of being in persistent poverty between 2011 and 2015, after paying housing costs.
The Office for National Statistics has published further research (external link) into persistent poverty – comparing rates in the UK with rates in the EU.

Contact

Statistician
Tel: 0300 025 5088
Email: stats.inclusion@gov.wales

Media
Tel: 0300 025 8099

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