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Measuring Poverty

Absolute poverty is a situation where a household cannot afford a basket of goods and services that are considered basic essentials to support human life because their income is too low.

However in the UK very few people are in absolute poverty (Income of less that $1 per day as described by the UN) and so poverty can be described relatively. If a household has insufficient income to participate in the social life of the country then it can be classified as being in relative poverty.

As well as knowing how many people are in relative poverty it is also useful to know the income gap (the distance between household income and the poverty line). 

Page last updated on 20/10/13