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Child poverty
Social security

Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK 2017-18 to 2021-22

This findings summarises projections about median income, inequality and poverty in the UK as a whole and at regional level.

Written by:
Andrew Hood and Tom Waters
Date published:

Key findings:

  • Real median income is projected to grow by around 5.1% between 2015-16 and 2021-22. However, this may turn out to be optimistic.
  • Inequality is projected to rise between 2015-16 and 2021-22, as working age benefits are cut and real earnings growth boosts the income of higher income households.
  • At the UK level, absolute poverty is projected to remain roughly unchanged between 2015-16 and 2021-22. Absolute child poverty is projected to rise by 4.1 percentage points, primarily due to the impact of planned changes to working-age benefits.
  • Absolute poverty is projected to fall in the South, the East, Yorkshire and Scotland, but rise in the North East, North West, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Midlands.
  • Those regions where low-income families are less reliant upon earnings (and therefore more reliant upon benefits) are projected to see a larger increase in absolute poverty.

The full report is available here:


Playground with frozen grass during winter in the UK.

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