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UK poverty stats show highest numbers for last 20 years - Oxfam reaction

16th Mar 2017

The government's Households Below Average Incomes (HBAI) statistics, published today, reveal that 14 million people were living in poverty in the UK in 2015/16*. This is the highest figure since 1996/7 and an increase of 1 million people since the start of the decade. 

Justin Watson, Head of Oxfam's UK Programme, said:

"It's deeply worrying that whilst the economy grows, so many people are being left behind in poverty. There are now more people in poverty in the UK than there have been for almost twenty years and a million more than at the beginning of the decade.

"These figures show that urgent action is needed to help the vast number of people in Britain who are aren't managing at all."


For more information please contact: Sarah Dransfield in the Oxfam Press Office on 01865 472269 / 07884 114825 or email

Notes to editors:
Figures for 2015/16, released today: *Looking at relative low incomes after housing costs (see HBAI's supporting data tables - whole population summary - estimated number of individuals in relative/absolute low income). According to the statistics an individual is in relative low income (or relative poverty) if they are living in a household with income below 60% of median household income.