Poverty and social exclusion in Wales 2013

As many as 690,000 people in Wales (23 per cent of the total) were estimated to be living in low-income households over the three year period to 2011-12, according to a regular monitoring report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 

Key findings

  • Although the total of those on low incomes has changed little since the early 2000s, the proportion in working families on low incomes has risen steadily. 29 per cent of people in 'part-working' families have low household incomes, but only 7 per cent of those in 'full-working' families.
  • The pattern of in-work poverty across Wales differs from that of out-of-work poverty. As a proportion of their working-age populations, the west, north-west and east (predominantly rural areas) have high numbers receiving in-work benefits, whereas the capital Cardiff has a low number. By contrast, the six south Wales valleys have relatively high numbers claiming out-of-work benefits.
  • 23 per cent of employees earning less than the hourly 'living wage' have low household incomes: but only 3 per cent of those earning more.
  • Around 235,000 working-age adults in Wales are currently disabled and not in work. Just over a third of them want paid work. Overall, 217,000 people in Wales want work but are unable to find it.
  • 26.5 per cent of the working-age population is currently economically inactive – higher than in Scotland or any English region. Wales exceeds the British average by almost 3.5 percentage points, an 'excess' of 65,000 people. Of this 'excess', around 45,000 is due to the below-average employment rate in Wales.

SourceMonitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Wales 2013, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
LinksReport | JRF press release | BBC report



Publication date: 
Sep 19 2013