Économie et Statistique n° 383-384-385 - 2005Approaches to Poverty: the Test of International Comparisons
Poverty and social exclusion in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, population ageing and high divorce rates have combined to reduce the average household size. The proportion of lone parent families is rising sharply. The UK also enjoys a low unemployment rate and positive economic conditions. Poverty is high after over two decades of virtually continuous growth and concerns 20% to 25% of the population, regardless of whether it is defined in strictly monetary terms or more broadly in terms of hard material living conditions or subjective poverty. There is a broad consensus in the United Kingdom with regard to the list of elements deemed vital for acceptable living conditions. Among these are adequate food and clothing, but also the ability to visit friends. The study of situations where low resources are combined with a lack of certain of these elements rounds out the strictly monetary approach. Some household categories are particularly exposed to this phenomenon, especially lone parent families and the jobless.