Households below minimum income ‘up by a fifth’

The proportion of people in households living below the minimum income standard increased by one fifth between 2008-09 and 2011-12, according to a new analysis from researchers at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The minimum income standard (MIS) is set according to what the public think is needed for a minimum socially acceptable standard of living in the UK.

Key findings

  • 4.7 million people in couple households with between one and four children (28 per cent) fell below the MIS in 2011-12, up from 3.8 million (24 per cent) in 2008-09.
  • 480,000 people under 35 living alone (42 per cent) fell below the MIS in 2011-12, up from 310,000 (29 per cent in 2008-09). They also had a greater risk of living on an extremely low income (less than half of what they need for MIS).
  • 2.1 million people living in lone-parent households with between one and three children (67 per cent) fell below the MIS in 2011-12, a similar number but slightly higher percentage than in 2008-09 (65 per cent).
  • 800,000 people in pensioner households (9 per cent) fell below the MIS in 2011-12, up from 650,000 (7 per cent) in 2008-09.
  • 1.5 million single working-age households (36 per cent) fell below the MIS in 2011-12, up from 1.1 million (29 per cent) in 2008-09.
  • 1.1 million members of working-age couples without children (13 per cent) fell below the MIS in 2011-12, up from 790,000 (10 per cent) in 2008-09.

Donald Hirsch, co-author of the report, said: 'Young people, single people and people in private rented housing have done particularly badly relative to the Minimum Income Standard during the downturn. A whole generation of young adults are noticeably worse off as a result of the deterioration in their job prospects, a worsening of housing options and falls in real wages and benefits, making it harder for young people to be independent'.

Source: Matt Padley and Donald Hirsch, Households Below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/9 to 2011/12, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
LinksReport | Summary | JRF press release | Gingerbread press release | SNP press release | University of Loughborough press release

Category:

Publication date: 
Jan 24 2014