About one in five people live in absolute or relative poverty if their housing costs are included

Published: 1st Dec 2017

In brief

Claim

One in five people lives in absolute poverty. Over 14 million people are living in absolute poverty.

Conclusion

Around 13 million people are living in absolute poverty in the UK, after housing costs are taken into account—that’s one in five. 14 million people are living in relative poverty, after housing costs.

“One in five people lives in absolute poverty, over 14 million people are living in absolute poverty in our country.”

Chuka Umunna, 30 November 2017

An estimated one in five people are living in absolute or relative poverty in the UK, once housing costs are taken into account—according to the latest figures for 2015/16. That’s around 13 million people in absolute poverty, and 14 million people in relative poverty.

Before housing costs, this falls to around one in seven living in absolute poverty, and one in six living in relative poverty.

You can read more on the different ways poverty is measured in our supercheck.  

15% of people in the UK were in absolute poverty before housing costs in 2015/16. That’s 9 million people. 20%, or 13 million people, were in absolute poverty after housing costs.

Looking at relative poverty, 16% of people were in relative poverty before housing costs in 2015/16. That’s 10 million people.  22%, or 14 million people, were in relative poverty after housing costs.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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About one in five people live in absolute or relative poverty if their housing costs are included

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