Understanding poverty

Without understanding the nature of poverty we cannot develop effective measures against it. Professor Stephen Jenkins and researchers at the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC) used data from the British Household Panel Study to examine how individuals' and families' income and pay changes from year to year. The research has led to a far better understanding of how poverty and low pay persist, influencing the way living standards are measured and monitored in the UK.

The MiSoC analyses show that individuals tend to move into and out of poverty over time. Over a period of several years many more people experience poverty than are poor in a single year. So although the fraction of the population that is persistently poor is relatively small, the numbers of people that are touched by poverty over a longer time frame are relatively high.