Households below a minimum income standard

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This report examines the changes in the adequacy of incomes, as measured by households' ability to reach the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), between 2008/9 and 2012/13. MIS is a measure based on what the public think is needed for a minimum acceptable standard of living. In addition, the report looks at who is most likely to lack the income needed for an adequate standard of living and analyses the numbers and characteristics of those falling above and below the minimum income standard. Key points include: the proportion of people living in households with an income below MIS increased by nearly a third between 2008/9 and 2012/13; after the 2008 economic downturn, the most severe increase in the percentage unable to afford this minimum acceptable standard of living was initially among single people of working age while since 2010 families with children have seen the greatest increases; pensioners and couples without children remain the most likely to have an adequate income; increased unemployment accounts for 70 per cent of this growth for single households under 35 between 2008/09 and 2012/13; for most working households, however, the increase in numbers below MIS can be explained more by stagnant wages and cuts to in-work benefits than people having less work. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
low income, poverty, standard of living, economic evaluation, wages, families;
Content type:
United Kingdom
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