DWP statistical summaries

A monthly publication that brings together statistics on DWP-administered benefits and Jobseeker's Allowance sanctions.


  1. Documents

The DWP statistical summary brings together the main National Statistics on DWP administered benefits and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) sanctions.

To provide a more complete picture of DWP responsibilities, statistics on Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (administered by local authorities) and the Child Support Agency are also included.

You can use the summary to:

  • find the definitive numbers of people claiming DWP benefits
  • explore the characteristics of those claiming benefit
  • evaluate DWP programmes and benefits

Administrative changes in the benefit system can affect the published numbers so you should read footnotes carefully.

The notes section of the statistical summary explains planned future changes. It also describes the detail of the issues, changes and revisions which form part of the summary.

Latest summary

We released our latest full quarterly National Statistics on benefit claimants (August 2013 data) on 19 February 2014 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

The latest, smaller monthly release was for April 2014.

Previous releases of the statistical summary are available using the links at the bottom of this page.

The main points

The main points from the latest releases are:

  • there were 5.4 million working age benefit claimants at August 2013 – a decrease of 285,000 in the year to August 2013
  • the number of working age claimants of Employment and Support Allowance and incapacity benefits totals 2.44 million in August 2013, a fall of 76,000 in the year since August 2012
  • the number of lone parents claiming Income Support (IS) decreased by 48,000 to 498,000 in the year to August 2013
  • at August 2013, there were 2.39 million claimants of Pension Credit (2.90 million including partners)
  • at November 2013, the total number of people claiming Housing Benefit was 4.99 million
  • at the end of February 2014, the working age Income Support lone parents (ISLP) early estimate was 480,000
  • at the end of February 2014 the working age early estimates of Employment and Support Allowance and incapacity benefits (ESA, Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance) claimants was 2.465 million (rounded to the nearest 5000)

Next release dates

The next release dates are:

  • early estimates for working age inactive benefit client groups – 14 May 2014
  • Housing Benefit statistics – 14 May 2014
  • benefit claimant statistics – 14 May 2014

More details

More information and detailed statistics on particular components of the summary include:

Changes that may affect these statistics

These statistics are affected by equalisation and other changes to State Pension age.

Referrals to the Work Programme began in June 2011 while new Get Britain Working measures were introduced and legacy employment programmes ceased. The relevant tabulation tools will remain available for historical analysis. The relevant publications are:

Frequency, content and coverage

We publish a monthly summary of official statistics giving early estimates of the caseload for working age inactive benefit client groups.

Each quarter (in May, August, November and February), the summary is a larger document containing details of other DWP administered benefits and National Statistics on Housing Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions and the Child Support Agency.

The early estimates are replaced by the quarterly National Statistics covering the same period when they are published. The National Statistics are the finalised figures.


The summary statistics are for Great Britain. The tabulation tool provides local authority and parliamentary constituency breakdowns for most data. Small area breakdowns can be obtained from Stat-Xplore (Housing Benefit) and Neighbourhood Statistics series for other benefits.

Similar statistics for Northern Ireland are available.

Exploring DWP statistics

You can download and explore DWP statistics with the tabulation tool.

You can use Stat-Xplore to:

  • create customised tabulations
  • view results in interactive charts
  • share outputs via social networking tools or download into common file formats

Stat-Xplore contains data on Housing Benefit claimants only at present.

We also publish:

Policies and methodology

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. This means that the statistics:

  • meet identified user needs
  • are well explained and readily accessible
  • are produced according to sound methods
  • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest

When statistics are designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the code should continue to be observed.

We’ve published our policies and procedures for DWP statistics in the interests of transparency and to comply with the UK Statistics Authority code of practice.

We’ve also published specific policies and statements related to the DWP statistical summary:

  • Quality statement for the DWP statistical summary
  • Methodology statement for the DWP statistical summary
  • Uses and users of the DWP statistical summary
  • Ad hocs and pricing policy

Tell us what you think

We want to make sure interested users are aware of future consultations to help us improve our statistics and ensure value for money. Complete our statistical summary questionnaire to tell us what you think about our statistics.

You can also join the ‘Welfare and benefits’ community at We’ll post announcements and background information in this forum. You can also use the forum to discuss statistical issues with other users.

Caseload statistics consultation

We ran a consultation about Plans for statistics on claims for Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and other benefits between 23 January 2013 and 24 April 2013. We’ll publish the results in due course.

Contacts and more information

There is contact information and more about DWP statistics on the Statistics at DWP page.


  1. DWP statistical summaries 2014

    • 16 April 2014
    • Statistics
  2. DWP statistical summaries 2013

    • 22 January 2014
    • Statistics
  3. DWP statistical summaries 2010

    • 20 May 2013
    • Statistics
  4. DWP statistical summaries 2011

    • 20 May 2013
    • Statistics
  5. DWP statistical summaries 2012

    • 20 May 2013
    • Statistics
  6. Early caseload estimates for working age inactive benefit client groups: guidance

    • 19 February 2014
    • Statistics
  7. DWP statistical summaries – policies and statements

    • 23 June 2011
    • Statistics
  8. DWP statistical summary questionnaire

    • 23 June 2011
    • Statistics

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