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Home Publications Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2022

Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2022


You can download the event slides below:

With rising inflation, the material standard of living experienced by British households is especially high up the political agenda, with particular interest in how low and middle income households are faring. In that context, at this event, IFS researchers presented the key findings from their latest flagship annual report on living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

IFS researchers set out the changes in household incomes that were experienced in the UK over the course of the first year of the pandemic (2020-21) and look forward to the changing situation as the economy started to recover and as inflation has taken off in 2022. In addition, we also highlighted other longer-run issues that are important for those interest in living standards and poverty. First, the changes in child poverty and deprivation that occurred before the pandemic - with the incomes of poor families with children falling behind the rest of the population, but also falling rates of material deprivation. Second, the challenges presented by rising rates of disability, which have led to rising spending on disability benefits. We will therefore also present new research from our deep-dive into the living standards of people on disability benefits.

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This report examines how material living standards – most commonly measured by households’ incomes – have changed for different groups in the UK, and the consequences that these changes have for income inequality and for measures of deprivation and poverty.
Press release
Benefit cuts pushed up relative child poverty in the years running up to the pandemic, but the share of children in material deprivation fell by a quarter, from 24% in 2013 to 18% in 2019.