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Summary Briefing: Poverty

July 26th 2016

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Households Below Average Income survey show that low household incomes continue to be a significant problem in Wales.

In the three years to 2014/15, more than one in five people in Wales lived on a household income which was less than 60% of the median. Children continued to be at greatest risk of poverty, and arguably bear the greatest consequences from a low income, although the largest group of people on low incomes is adults of working age.

There has been little change in the rate of poverty in recent years, although the latest figures – for 2012/13 to 2014/15 – show an unexpected small decrease in child poverty and a small increase in pensioner poverty. It is unclear if these are a statistical blip or signal a longer-term change of direction.

The longer term and more recent trends in poverty have had little impact on Wales’ position compared to other UK nations and regions, with Wales continuing to have one of the highest rates of poverty in the UK for all age groups.

This briefing is a summary of our latest Equality and Social Justice Briefing, a bi-monthly resource on key topics produced exclusively for Bevan Foundation subscribers. A more detailed analysis, with graphs and tables and links to the sources, is available as part of a subscription to the Bevan Foundation. Subscriptions cost £255 plus VAT for 12 months and can be purchased at


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