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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Pensioners Living in Poverty – UK

  • 2m pensioners live in poverty, says ONS, By Hilary Osborne, January 27, 2010, The Guardian: “The number of pensioners living in poverty in the UK fell by nearly a third in the 10 years to 2007/08, official figures showed today, but there were still an estimated 2 million living below the breadline. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the number of pensioners in poverty had fallen from 2.9 million in 1998/99, but that 2 million were still living on less than 60% of the median UK income after housing costs. The figures also showed that around 1 million people aged over 60 and living alone in England were in fuel poverty in 1997, meaning they had to spend more than 10% of their income on heating. Hefty rises in energy prices in 2008 mean many more pensioners are likely to have fallen into fuel poverty since then…”
  • Pensioner poverty ‘drops by a third’, January 27, 2010, BBC News: “Poverty among pensioners shrank by almost a third between 1998-99 and 2007-08, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. There were 2.9 million poor pensioners 11 years ago, but their number had dropped to two million two years ago. Poverty is officially defined as living on 60% of the average income, once housing costs have been paid. However, the ONS also said that in 2007 one million single person households, aged 60 or over, were in fuel poverty. Fuel poverty is defined as a situation where someone needs to spend at least 10% of their income on heating their home…”