Relative poverty rises in Northern Ireland

The overall level of relative poverty in Northern Ireland increased between 2010-11 and 2011-12, according to the latest edition of the Northern Ireland Poverty Bulletin. The bulletin contains headline poverty figures drawn from the latest Households Below Average Income datasets for the period April 2011 up to the end of March 2012.

Key points

  • The average (median) income in Northern Ireland has decreased in real terms for three consecutive years. In 2011-12 it was £372 a week before housing costs and £336 after housing costs, both of which were the lowest level in real terms since 2002-03.
  • The overall level of relative poverty in Northern Ireland increased between 2010-11 and 2011-12. This increase was more marked for some population groups than others. The overall long-term trend has remained fairly stable, with approximately one fifth of the population in relative poverty in any given year.
  • In 2011-12 there were approximately 379,000 people (21 per cent of the population) in relative poverty, and approximately 422,000 (24 per cent) in absolute poverty, before housing costs.
  • In 2011-12 there were almost 95,000 children (22 per cent) in relative poverty, and 109,000 (25 per cent) in absolute poverty, before housing costs. The latter represented a 4 percentage point increase from the previous year.
  • In 2011-12 there were almost 213,000 working-age adults (20 per cent) in relative poverty, and almost 235,000 (22 per cent) in absolute poverty, before housing costs. The percentage in absolute poverty was at the highest level since the start of the time series in 2002-03.
  • In 2011-12 approximately 72,000 pensioners (25 per cent) were in relative poverty, and approximately 79,000 (27 per cent) were in absolute poverty, before housing costs. The latter figure represented a five percentage point increase since 2010-11, and was just one percentage point below the highest point in the time series (28 per cent in 2008-09).

SourcePoverty in Northern Ireland: 2011/12, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
LinksReport | NIE press release

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Publication date: 
Aug 30 2013