Press Release

Poverty falls most under Labour in Scotland and the North East, but rises in the Midlands

Date: 21 May 2010

Changes in poverty under the previous Labour government were uneven, with relative poverty falling most in the North East and Scotland, but rising in the East and West Midlands. Once one takes account of price differences across the regions and nations of the UK, Scotland currently has the lowest poverty rate, and London the highest.

These are amongst the findings of a report by IFS researchers published today, Poverty and Inequality in the UK 2010, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The IFS research is based on the government's Households Below Average Income data, an analysis of which was published yesterday by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Today's report by IFS researchers provides a more detailed analysis of trends in living standards, poverty and inequality, including the differences between regions and nations of the UK, and an assessment of the impact of the start of the recession on living standards, poverty and inequality. Analysis of regional living standards and poverty levels are all based on three years of data combined, the latest period covering 2006-07 to 2008-09, and these poverty rates are calculated using incomes measured before housing costs (BHC). Poverty lines for some typical family types can be found at the end of this press release.