poverty in the uk Essay

3706 WordsMar 29, 200915 Pages
Poverty in the UK: The distribution of poverty and its possible causal factors. The extent of poverty depends upon the definition by which you measure it, and so to understand the social distribution of poverty we must first define poverty. In this investigation I will be using the absolute measure of poverty based on the idea of subsistence, which means those households whose income is below 60% of the median household income for that particular year are defined as in poverty. As Alcock (2006) explains, ‘the experience and risk of poverty are not evenly distributed across all social groups’ (p21) and so we can identify certain groups that, no matter how we measure poverty, are more vulnerable to being in poverty than others. It is by identifying these groups that we can try and discover possible causal factors as to why they are more likely to be in poverty. However, as explained on The Poverty Site, ‘no single indicator or group of indicators can possibly capture the full complexity of income poverty in the UK’. (2008). As mentioned, no matter how we define or measure poverty, certain groups are always more vulnerable to being in poverty than others. Also, poverty is not fixed and in the UK ‘more than half of the British population are likely to experience poverty at some stage in their lives, especially when they become elderly’ (Giddens, 1993, p246). However, the groups that are most likely to experience poverty are; women, children, the elderly, the unemployed, part time workers, the sick and disabled and members of large families and/or single parent families. Poverty is also ‘unevenly distributed by gender, ethnicity, age and disability’ (Alcock, 2006, p22). I will use cross tabulation tables to illustrate the vulnerability of these groups with a data sample from the 2005 GHS using SPSS, and then use the Chi-Square Test to see if the relationship

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