Poverty in the United Kingdom

In Poverty in the United Kingdom (1979) Peter Townsend examined relative deprivation covering a wide range of aspects of living standards, both material and social. He found that there were levels of income below which consumption and participation fell well below what might be seen as normal or acceptable in an increasingly affluent society and argued that this group should be seen to be in poverty. By clicking on the libks below you can download this seminal book. We have provided the full book, 1,216 pages, as one PDF as well as individual chapters and appendices as separate PDFs for download.

Please cite ‘Townsend, P. (1979) Poverty in the United Kingdom, London, Allen Lane and Penguin Books’ if quoting from this book.

Poverty in the United Kingdom: whole book

Preliminaries: Contents, preface and acknowledgements, pp.1–30

Chapter 1: Concepts of Poverty and Deprivation, pp.31–60

Chapter 2: Theories of Poverty, pp.61–92

Chapter 3: Methods of Research, pp.93–115

Chapter 4: Inequality and Poverty, 1938–68, pp.116–76

Chapter 5: The Concept and Distribution of Resources, pp.177–236

Chapter 6: Three Measures of Poverty, pp.237–71

Chapter 7: The Incidence of Poverty, pp.272–303

Chapter 8: The Impact of Poverty, pp.304–36

Chapter 9: The Rich, pp.337–68

Chapter 10: Social Class and Styles of Living, pp.369–412

Chapter 11: Objective and Subjective Deprivation, pp.413–31

Chapter 12: Deprivation at Work, pp.432–75

Chapter 13: Deprivation in Housing, pp.476–528

Chapter 14: Deprivation of Environment, pp.529–42

Chapter 15: The Problems of Poor Areas, pp.543–64

Chapter 16: Social Minorities, pp.565–87

Chapter 17: The Unemployed and the Sub-employed, pp.588–617

Chapter 18: The Low Paid, pp.618–51

Chapter 19: The Older Worker, pp.652–84

Chapter 20: Disabled people and the Long-term Sick, pp.685–739

Chapter 21: Handicapped Children, pp.740–52

Chapter 22: One-Parent Families, pp.753–83

Chapter 23: Old People, pp.784–822

Chapter 24: Eligibility for Supplementary Benefit, pp.823–59

Chapter 25: The Failure of Means-tested Benefits, pp.860–92

Chapter 26: Conclusion I: Social Distribution in the 1970s, pp.893–912

Chapter 27: Conclusion II: The Explanation and Elimination of Poverty, pp.913–26

Appendix One: Methods of Sampling, pp.927–54

Appendix Two: Representativeness of the Sample, pp.955–8

Appendix Three: Eligibility for Supplementary Benefit, pp.959–63

Appendix Four: The Value to Families of Social Services, pp.964–79

Appendix Five: Some Definitions, pp.980–5

Appendix Six: The Social Grading of Occupations, pp.986–8

Appendix Seven: Note on the Adjustment of the Sample Findings, pp.989–90

Appendix Eight: Additional Tables, pp.991–1075

Appendix Nine: Commentary on the Survey and Questionnaire, pp.1076–84

Appendix Ten: Questionnaire, pp.1085–67

Appendix Eleven: Statistical Tests, pp.1168–9

Appendix Twelve: Method of Adjusting the Distribution of Assets, pp.1170–2

Appendix Thirteen: Multiple Deprivation, pp.1173–6

List of References, pp.1177–1200

Index, pp.1201–16


Grateful acknowledgement and thanks are extended to the Townsend estate for permission to reproduce Poverty in the United Kingdom.