Poverty in Wales 2018 Report

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation used Understanding Society to measure poverty rates and trends in Wales. 

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has an annual project to measure poverty rates across the UK. This week they've released their findings on poverty in Wales. They found that: 

  • The proportion of households living in income poverty in Wales has fallen over the last 20 years, especially among pensioners and lone parents, but remains higher than in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 
  • In the three-year period 1994/97, 27% of people in Wales lived in poverty, compared to 23% for the last few years.
  • Poverty among couples with children has been rising since 2003/06

How was Understanding Society used? 

JRF used data from Understanding Society to look at the health implications of poverty and how people's family and social networks are impacted by low income. Their analysis of the links between health and income show that peple on lower incomes are more likely to experience poor mental and physical health. The research found strong links between disability and poverty, with 39% of disabled people in Wales living in poverty, compared to 22% of non-disabled people.

Relationships with family, friends and the wider community can also be effected by poverty. JRF used Understanding Society data to investigate social isolation and found that the proportion of people in Wales who report haivng only one close friend is higher for those in lower-income groups. 

Howeve, for community suport, 58% of people in Wales said that there was someone in their neighbourhood who they could turn to for advice and support and there was little difference between income groups:

Futher work is needed to interpret the UK-wide pattern and explore the range of sources for social support drawn on by people in different groups, and how far they feel that these meet their needs. For example, in could be the case that those in groups with lower levels of support in their local area tend to draw on relationships with people who live further away - since they are more likely to have moved away from their extended family and where they grew up.

JRF Briefing, Poverty in Wales 2018.

Read the report