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Life below the line

Life below the line

Intuitively, defining poverty doesn't seem necessary: we know it when we see it. But while we can probably agree that the inhabitants of Dickensian slums were in poverty, in many cases today things aren't so clear cut.

It's partly because of this difficulty that there are several measures available. The main government figures are for absolute and relative poverty, measured before and after housing costs.

Although the figures produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are referred to as measuring relative and absolute low income, it's common to refer to them as measures of poverty (for example, in the Child Poverty Act or at Prime Minister's Questions).


Relative poverty

Relative poverty generally means that a person can't afford an "ordinary living pattern"—they're excluded from the activities and opportunities that the average person enjoys.

A household is in relative poverty (also called relative low income) if its income is below 60% of the median household income.

The median is the number 'in the middle' of a set—so half of all households earn more than the median income household, and half earn less.


Absolute poverty

Absolute poverty is slightly trickier. The definition used by a number of international organisations (such as the UN and the World Bank) is that you cannot afford the basic needs of life—food, clothing, shelter and so on.

This is absolute in the sense that it’s measured relative to a fixed standard of living, rather than the rest of the population.

This isn’t the definition used by the UK government.


Confusing !
More details at:
fullfact.org/economy/poverty-uk-guide-facts-and-figures/

(plus d'infos...)

Photo prise @ Teignmouth le 18 mai 2018 (© Neil. Moralee / Flickr)

Voir aussi :
 neil moralee, man, dog, homeless, rough, sleeping, begging, busker, tramp, penniless, broke, music, recorder, harsh, contrast, teignmouth, devon, uk, statistics, poverty
 

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