Social Metrics Commission report: A New Measure of Poverty for the UK

14.2 million people in the UK population are in poverty, including 8.4 million working-age adults, 4.5 million children, and 1.4 million pension-age adults.

This is according to a new report from the Social Metrics Commission (pdf), using a recommended new measure of poverty for the UK detailed in the report.

Key features of the new measure also include:

  • Significant changes to our understanding of who is in poverty. In particular it better identifies people in poverty in families that include a disabled adult or child, and people in poverty in working-age families with children.
  • It also shows that fewer people in pension-age families are in poverty.
  • Contributing to the points above, the measure takes account of both the way in which the costs of childcare and disability affect people’s ability to make ends meet, and how those with significant liquid assets are able to use them to meet their current needs.
  • The measure also includes a more comprehensive picture of how far people’s housing needs are being met, particularly in relation to homelessness and overcrowding.
  • The new measure also provides detailed insights into poverty depth and persistence, and the wider factors that can impact on the lives of people in poverty.
  • It also finds a “resilience gap” between those in poverty and those not in poverty. Across a wide range of factors that impact families’ lives, there are measurable and significant differences between these two groups.

Read the full report. (pdf)