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UK Poverty 2022: The essential guide to understanding poverty in the UK

This is the first issue of our new-style UK Poverty report, which looks comprehensively at trends in poverty across all its characteristics and impacts.

Written by:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Date published:

What is the picture of poverty at the start of 2022, coming up to two years after a global pandemic struck? To an extent the picture is unclear: we don’t yet have official poverty data covering the pandemic period, and we know that the quality of the very surveys we rely on for this information were affected by the onset of the pandemic.

But many sources make it clear that while some groups have been well supported and face better prospects as we enter 2022, others face deep and persistent poverty. In a way this is much better than might be expected given the economic and social shock the country has been through.

We know poverty at any stage in life can lead to negative impacts and so it is critical to scrutinise the data thoroughly to work out who is worst affected, determine how trends are changing over time and see what future prospects are.

This report gives a clear statement, agreed by our Grassroots Poverty Action Group (GPAG), that we need coordinated commitment, effort and action on the intersecting issues and challenges identified in this report. This can turn back the tide of poverty, and offer security for the many people experiencing hardship across the UK.