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April 25, 2018 / C H Thompson

Poverty Line

  • It is important to remember the composition of the poor is not static but fluid.
  • In 2014 Gordon conducted more research into poverty on behalf of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol and found:
  • the percentage of UK households which lacked “three or more of the basic necessities of life” has increased from 14% in 1983 (around 3 million), to 33 per cent (around 8.7 million) in 2012
  • one in every six adults in paid work are now defined as “poor”
  • child poverty is projected to rise from 2012/13 with an expected 600,000 more children living in poverty by 2015/16. This upward trend is predicted to continue with 4.7 million UK children projected to be living in poverty by 2020 (Child Poverty Action Group, 2015)
  • In Britain, the gap in earnings between the richest and poorest in the working-age population has risen from 8 to 1 in 1985 to 12 to 1 in 2008 (Telegraph, 05 Dec 2011)


  • To conclude – whether academics or politicians use absolute or relative definitions of poverty, poverty tends to be concentrated among certain social groups:
  • the low paid
  • the unemployed
  • lone-parent families
  • certain ethnic groups
  • women more than men

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