Posted: 06 October 2017

Use our poverty line calculator to track poverty levels since 2000

If you have followed the UK’s progress on its child poverty targets, or some of the recent debates about family living standards, you may be interested to find out how complicated it is to establish how much money a particular family in the UK needs in order to be above the income poverty line.

It's often complicated because the poverty line for a family varies to account for factors such as the age of family members and the family's size. While a variable poverty line makes sense – after all, a five-person family needs more money to meet the same standard of living as a three-person family – it makes it impossible to give a single, fixed amount of cash a family needs to escape poverty.

However, our new calculator allows you to get an idea of what the poverty line looks like for a given family type. By inputting some basic household details, you can calculate a family’s poverty line in any year from 2000 to the present.

TRY OUR CALCULATOR

To use our calculator, simply select a year and add the details for a family type you would like to explore. The rows towards the lower half of the calculator will give you details about the poverty line and median income for the given year. A family living on the poverty line or on median income would have these amounts of disposable income left over after paying taxes and housing costs (such as rent or mortgage interest).

The calculator also shows weekly out-of-work benefit levels for working age claimants and their children.

The chart at the bottom of the page shows you how the family's base benefit rate has changed from 2000-17 as a proportion of the poverty line and of median income (also varied to take account of household composition). Year by year, this enables you to see how benefit levels for a particular family corresponds to the poverty line and average income. 

TRY OUR CALCULATOR

By Sam Royston - Policy team
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