National Statistics

Low-income dynamics

A statistical analysis of the movements around income distribution and the likelihood of transition into or out of low income.

Documents

Low-income dynamics: statistical first release

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Low-income dynamics: statistical publication

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Detail

The latest National Statistics on low income dynamics produced by the Department for Work and Pensions were released on 23 September 2010 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. The latest release updates the statistics previously released on 24 September 2009.

This publication is based on results from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) for the period 1991 to 2008. It analyses the movements around the income distribution by individuals between 1991 and 2008 and examines the extent to which individuals persistently experience low income, on both before housing costs (BHC) and after housing costs (AHC) bases. The report also contains tables showing the likelihood for individuals, of making a transition either into or out of low income, and identifies events and characteristics which are associated with the transitions.

Main points from the latest release

Tables on persistent low income (defined as 3 or 4 years out of any 4-year period in a household with below 60% of median income) show that:

  • there have been reductions in the level of persistent low income for all groups since 1991-1994
  • on a BHC basis, there were reductions in persistent low income for all groups over the period 1991-2008, with the largest reductions for children
  • on an AHC basis, there were reductions in persistent low income estimates for all groups over the period 1991-2008, with the largest reductions for children and pensioners

Future publications

The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) was subsumed into the larger Understanding Society survey from the start of 2009. This means that this edition of low income dynamics will be the final one in the current form.

The following technical note outlines the future publications planning and details of the data source change, it also seeks to capture user’s views on the content of future reports: Low-income dynamics – moving to using the Understanding Society survey

Previous publications

Low-income dynamics: historical series

Coverage: Great Britain

Geographic breakdown: Great Britain

Next release date: The annual National Statistics publication, Low-Income Dynamics (LID), provides estimates of persistent low income in Great Britain overall and by population group. It was last published in 2010 based on the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) data from 1991 - 2008. After the 2008 data collection, the BHPS was subsumed into the much larger Understanding Society survey. The updating work to take account of the change in data source has taken longer than anticipated. It is our intention to recommence the analysis of the Understanding Society data once we have completed the HBAI 2012/13 publication. We will pre-announce the publication timing in line with National Statistics rules at the appropriate stage in this analysis.