menu ☰
menu ˟

UK Poverty Statistics: Pensioner poverty


Department for Work and Pensions

Type: Report
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

The latest Households Below Average Income figures were published today (Thursday, 20th May) by the Department for Work and Pensions. The statistics cover the UK income distribution in 2008/09, including the latest figures for the number and percentage of children, pensioners and working-age people in the UK living in relative and absolute poverty.It found that the number of people in working-age poverty is the highest since records began.Pensioner poverty saw a slight decline (0.2m) however 2.3 million pensioners are still living in relative poverty. The report also found that the older a pensioner, the more likely he or she will have low income.Main findings on pensioner poverty:Between 1994/95 and 2008/09, there was no consistent change in the proportion or number of pensioners living in households below thresholds of contemporary median income on a Before Housing Costs basis;From 1994/95 to 2008/09, there were pronounced falls in the proportions and numbers of pensioners below low-income thresholds held constant in real terms, on both income measures, with 2008/09 showing a reduction compared to 2007/08.In 2008/09, pensioners were more likely to be in the second lowest income quintile and less likely to be in the top two quintiles of the income distribution, than the population as a whole.A higher proportion of single pensioners living alone were living in low-income households than any other group.Pensioners in families containing one or more disabled adults not receiving disability benefits were more likely to be living in low-income households compared to those in receipt of disability benefits.Pensioners living in a household headed by someone from an ethnic minority were more likely to be in a low-income household. This was particularly the case for households headed by someone of Pakistani or Bangladeshi ethnic origin. Around 45 per cent of pensioner families in households below 60 per cent of contemporary median household income After Housing Costs had someone receiving an occupational or personal pension compared to around 70 per cent of all pensioners.Almost half of pensioners in the lowest quintile were unable to take a holiday away from home, the most common reason across all quintiles for this was health or disability issues. Over three quarters of pensioners in the lowest quintile would be able to pay an unexpected expense of £200, the most common way of doing this across all quintiles was to use savings. Only 1 percent of all pensioners did not have at least one filling meal a day.The full report is available here 



Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Department for Work and Pensions. (2010) UK Poverty Statistics: Pensioner poverty [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 19th September 2019].


View your saved citations and reading lists


Click here to view all the resources gathered from this organisation's website.