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In this Commentary, we assess the changes to average incomes, inequality and poverty that have occurred since Labour came to power in 1997, with a particular focus on the changes that have occurred in the latest year of data. This analysis is based upon the latest figures from the DWP's Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series, published on 7 May 2009 (Department for Work and Pensions, 2009). The HBAI series takes household income as its measure of living standards, and is derived from the Family Resources Survey, a survey of around 25,000 households in the United Kingdom that asks detailed questions about income from a range of sources.

Click here to access data on living standards, poverty and inequality since 1961 and to view our other annual reports on the topic.