Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2008

Guy Palmer, Tom MacInnes and Peter Kenway

This is the tenth anniversary of MPSE annual reports, which provide an independent assessment of the progress being made in eliminating poverty and social exclusion in Britain.

This report uses official government data from a wide range of sources, and is built around a set of 50 indicators. The analysis covers the full range of issues, including material on low income, work, qualifications, health, housing, and exclusion from services. A major theme of this year’s report is comparing progress over the first five years of this government with the most recent five.

One thing that stands out from this analysis is where earlier momentum has not been sustained, not just on child poverty but across matters such as:

  • the number of people in households below a fixed income threshold;
  • the number of working-age adults lacking but wanting paid work; and
  • levels of worry about being a victim of burglary or violent crime.

At the same time, however, there are important exceptions to this pattern, including some showing steady improvement (for example, the number of 11-year-olds failing to reach a minimum level of educational attainment), others where things have continued to worsen (especially in the field of social security) and a large group where, contrary to expectations, there has been no real change at all.

Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2008 provides an essential resource and guide for policy-makers and others wanting to take stock of what is happening and seeking to understand the challenges that lie ahead.

The report is complemented by a comprehensive website ( which provides updates to graphs, more analyses and links to other relevant sites. Separate information on Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and ethnicity is also available on this website.



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