Poverty – where a person’s resources are insufficient to meet their basic living needs – is a particular risk to health

14.5 million
people in the UK live in poverty, equivalent to around 22% of the population.
of children and working-age adults who live in poverty live in higher work intensity households.
the number of adults aged 45–54 years who live in poverty have poor health compared with those of the same age range who do not live in poverty.

Poverty refers to a situation where a person’s resources are insufficient to meet their basic living needs. The 2020 report, The Marmot Review 10 Years On, highlighted poverty – and child poverty in particular – as a risk to health. Poverty produces additional stresses from people being unable to meet their needs, including being unable to participate fully in society. Poverty may mean people lack access to basic goods or services in ways that can damage health, such as being unable to consistently heat the home or food insecurity.

These charts explore the relationship between poverty and health, as well as the trends and inequalities in poverty over past years.

Relationship between poverty and health


Relationship between poverty, age and health


Poverty is associated with less than good health at each age group and more than twice as many...


Relationship between poverty and healthy life expectancy by neighbourhood


At a neighbourhood level, healthy life expectancy is higher where the percentage of households...

Trends and inequalities in poverty


Trends in poverty


The share of people living in poverty in the UK has remained at around 21–22% for the past 15 years....


In-work poverty trends


In-work poverty has been rising for the past two decades – 64% of children and working-age adults in...


Inequalities in poverty


There are considerable inequalities in exposure to poverty – single parents and some ethnic minority...


Map of child poverty


Child poverty rates are highest in London, urban areas in the north of England, the South Wales...

Explore other subtopics within Money and resources
Persistent poverty
This relates to a person living in poverty for a prolonged period of time
This relates to the ways in which income affects health

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Health inequalities

Money and resources





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This is part of Evidence hub: What drives health inequalities?

Data, insights and analysis exploring how the circumstances in which we live shape our health
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