Poverty in the United Kingdom has been somewhat static through the past ten years, although, there was a drop in the number of people in poverty in 2004. Unfortunately, this number rose back up again by 2007. In the UK, the poverty line is 60% of the median income after housing costs have been paid, which attributes the UK’s poverty line to that of relative poverty. This form of poverty has also been called “income poverty”. However, the poverty line differs between different types of households. For a single person, the poverty line in 2009 to 2010 was £124. For a couple, the poverty line was £214. For a single person with two children from ages five to 14, the poverty line was £256, and £348 for a couple with two children from ages five to 14. Below those amounts, a household would be considered to be living in income poverty. The same survey that calculated the poverty lines also calculated that 13.5 (22% of the population) million people are in income poverty in the UK. There is no data on absolute poverty in the United Kingdom, simply because no one in the UK lives on an income as low as $1-$2 a day thresholds.

One of the main causes of poverty in the United Kingdom is unemployment. Since the global recession, the number of people that are unemployed and the number of people under poverty has increased. The two figures, the number of people under poverty and the number of people that are unemployed, are directly related and shows similarities in their trends, as they both increased and decreased at the same years. As well, data has shown that the risk of going under income poverty is much higher for unemployed people than people who are unemployed.

Although the government has made goals to halve child poverty by 2010, and completely eradicate child poverty by 2020, they have not made good progress. The 2010 goals was suspected to have been missed by around 1 million children. However, organizations have made suggestions and brought up concerns dealing with the eradication of poverty. One area of concern in child poverty is that people not only needs to have paid work, but their work also needs to have sufficient conditions and environments, so that parents can balance their employment and parenting responsibilities. The students themselves need to be able to engage in a modern economy when they leave schools. Additionally, fair taxes has to be considered, as well as tax credits and disability benefits are needed by those that need them.


Child Poverty Action Group. (n.d.). Poverty in the UK- a summary of facts and figures. Retrieved from http://www.cpag.org.uk/povertyfacts/

Joseph Rowntree Foundation. (December 2010). Monitoring poverty and social exclusions 2010. Retrieved from http://poverty.org.uk/reports/mpse%202010%20findings.pdf

(n.d.) Relative poverty, absolute poverty and social exclusion. Retrieved from http://www.poverty.org.uk/summary/social%20exclusion.shtml