Poverty and social exclusion in Northern Ireland since 2009

A new study has examined how poverty and social exclusion in Northern Ireland have changed since 2009.

Researchers for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found:

  • In the three years to 2009/10, 22 per cent of people in Northern Ireland were living in poverty.
  • Poverty for children, working-age adults and pensioners had risen since the middle of the previous decade. The rise in pensioner poverty in Northern Ireland coincided with a fall in Great Britain.
  • All the increase in poverty came in working or retired households. Half of the 120,000 children in poverty live in working households.
  • On average, between 2009 and 2011, 34 per cent of working-age adults in Northern Ireland were not in paid work. This was higher than the Great Britain average but similar to Wales and regions in the north of England.
  • In 2011, 38 per cent of working-age women were workless compared with 28 per cent of working-age men, but this gap had been closing. Similarly, the gap in full-time hourly pay rates between women and men has narrowed.
  • Children on free school meals were much more likely not to attain expected levels of educational qualifications. In 2010, 69 per cent of pupils on free school meals did not achieve five GCSEs at A*–C (including Maths and English) compared with 36 per cent of other pupils and this gap had not closed over time.
  • School leavers receiving free school meals were twice as likely as other pupils to be unemployed or not in touch with education services.

Source: Tom MacInnes, Hannah Aldridge, Anushree Parekh and Peter Kenway, Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Northern Ireland 2012, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Links: Report | Summary