Policy Press

Poverty, wealth and place in Britain, 1968 to 2005

By Danny Dorling, Jan Rigby, Ben Wheeler, Dimitris Ballas, Bethan Thomas, Eldin Fahmy, David Gordon and Ruth Lupton


Jul 17, 2007

Page count

128 pages




297 x 210 mm


Policy Press
Poverty, wealth and place in Britain, 1968 to 2005

This is the first detailed study of the recent geographical distribution of poverty and wealth in Britain. It presents the most comprehensive estimates of the changing levels of poverty and wealth from the late 1960s.

A wide range of secondary data is used, beginning with the first national Poverty in the UK survey of Peter Townsend and colleagues, and ending with data released during the middle of the current decade. The authors extend concepts of social exclusion to establish 5 household groupings: the 'exclusive wealthy' - able to exclude themselves from the norms of society; those who are rich but not exclusively so; those who are neither rich nor poor; the 'breadline poor'; and the 'core poor' - who experience a combination of severe income poverty, material deprivation and subjective poverty.

Poverty and wealth statistics are mapped in detail to explore geographical patterns over the last four decades, and analysed to determine whether poverty and wealth have become more or less polarised.

"... a depressing but nevertheless important exposé of contemporary social life. ... an essential resource for anyone interested in punishment and society. Dorling et al expose the extent of inequality in the UK today." Prison Service Journal, Nov 2007, Issue 174.

Daniel Dorling, Jan Rigby, Ben Wheeler, Dimitris Ballas and Bethan Thomas are members of the Social and Spatial Inequalities research group in the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield. Eldin Fahmy and David Gordon are based in the University of Bristol School for Policy Studies and in the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research, where David is the Director. Ruth Lupton researches issues of poverty and place at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Summary; Background; Methods; The measures: breadline poor, core poor, asset wealthy and exclusive wealthy; National totals and trends; National maps and geographical changes over time; Polarisation and spatial concentration; Local issues; What has happened since 2000? Discussion; Conclusions.

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