Poverty gaps and material deprivation

December 2016

This briefing describes how poverty gaps – the distance below the poverty line that the typical family living in poverty finds themselves – have changed since the start of the financial crisis. It shows that, even as the poverty rate has remained broadly stable, the poor have got poorer, and the experience of poverty has become harsher.

This is borne out in figures on material deprivation, which show that, while the picture on children’s deprivation has been mixed, parents are enduring higher levels of deprivation. This is in turn strongly suggestive of parents in poor households suffering hardship in order to protect their children.