There are now more than 14,000,000 in the UK living in poverty, a new report has found.
The major study by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) revealed that 8.4 million working-age adults, 4.5 million children and 1.4 million pensioners are living below the breadline in Britain today.
Nearly half of those people – 6.9 million – are living in families with a disabled person, the research suggests.
More than 7 million people – 12.1% of the population – live in ‘persistent’ poverty, where they have spent all or most of the last four or more years in poverty, the study also found.
‘Given that we know that long periods in poverty can be particularly damaging to people’s lives and prospects, this is a significant concern,’ the report stated.
The research, which took place over two and a half years, also found that 2.5 million people in the UK are at risk of falling into poverty.
They are less than 10% above the poverty line, meaning just small changes in their circumstance could mean they fall below it.
The SMC, which describes itself as an independent, non-partisan organisation, was brought together to develop what it says is a new approach to poverty measurement that ‘better reflects the nature and experiences of poverty that different families in the UK have’.
The commission’s research is the first to include groups of people previously omitted from poverty statistics, like those living on the streets or in overcrowded housing, SMC chair Baroness Stroud said.