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Child in pram

Fact check: the Prime Minister's claim that "there are 400,000 fewer children in poverty than there were in 2010"  (Andrew Marr Show, 1 December, 2019) is not supported by Government statistics. Read the...

Food bank open

Current benefit payments are at their lowest level since 1948, finds a new report from the IPPR. Further analysis suggest it could even be relatively lower than the Elizabethan Poor Laws.

South Korea: children on bicycles in Yeouido Park in Seoul

A new study using a combined income and material deprivation poverty line found that around 10% of the child population in South Korea are in poverty. This is twice the...

The PSE website

This website explores how to define, measure and tackle poverty in ways that can be applied to all countries – whether high, middle or low income. In particular, it examines how the consensual approach - which defines poverty as those whose lack of resources forces them to live below a publicly agreed minimum standard - has been used in a wide range of diverse countries across the world and, in particlar the UK. The website as a whole provides a comprehensive research and teaching tool for the consensual approach. Definitions of poverty provides an overview of different approaches to poverty.

The consensual approach originated in the UK in the 1983 Breadline Britain study and has been developed through the Poverty and Social Exclusion studies (see PSE UK). It is now being applied in countries across the WorldIn March 2017, the European Union adopted a new official measure of Material and Social Deprivation and, in April 2018, its first ever child deprivation measure, based on this approach.  

This website was originally set up as part of a major ESRC research project, Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK (PSE: UK), funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The PSE UK research explores poverty by directly examining people's living standards, exploring, in particular, how many, and who, lack items and activities seen by the public as necessary for living in the UK today -  'socially-percevied' necessities. It is based on two major surveys carried out in 2012 and two qualitative research studies. It is the largest ever study into poverty in the UK. 

The research found high levels of deprivation across the UK with severe impacts on people's lives. Read this summaryGo to PSE UK for all the findings, reports and background to this research project. Under Publications, you will find details of the books and journal papers based on this research project and also a quick overview in some of the media coverage, and, under Reports, you will be able to find the PSE team's final reports, including the first report, The Impoverishment of the UK. Short accessible summaries of the main findings can be found under Key findings. Full data from both the living standards survey and the attitudes to necessities survey are available to investigate under Explore the data and the top level results for the living standards survey can be found under Questionnaire.

In 2019 the PSE website was expanded to provide a more comprehensive coverage of research undertaken across the globe. Under World, you can explore how a wide variety of countries across all regions of the globe have taken this approach and adapted it to their needs - in particular, for meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) on poverty. Here you can explore, for examples, how Uganda has successfully introduced measures of mult-dimensional child poverty based on an enforced lack of socially-perceived necessities and why, in Oceania, the Pacific Islands have - in 2019 - officially adopted the consensual approach to meet their SDG poverty goals.

The website also includes video testimonies of living in poverty and details of projects encouraging collaboration between research and community groups, both collected during the course of the PSE UK research study. It also has a searchable digest of news and views from 2011 to 2014, including specially commissioned articles on poverty and social exclusion in the UK.The website also includes video testimonies of living in poverty and details of projects encouraging collaboration between research and community groups, both collected during the course of the PSE UK research study. It also has a searchable digest of news and views from 2011 to 2014, including specially commissioned articles on poverty and social exclusion in the UK.

Do contact us, if you have suggestions for improvements.

 

New features

The PSE website is pleased...

To introduce the new World section with details of countries in all regions of the globe using the consensual approach to measure multi-dimensional poverty.

And to host the Townsend archive - containing over 2,500 original questionnaires and hundreds of other documents from the 1968/69 Poverty in the UK survey.

 

Why has poverty risen?

Breadline Britain - the rise of mass poverty by Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack provides an overview of the PSE UK research findings.

'Brilliant. Enlightening but disturbing' Amartya Sen

Oneworld, 2015, £9.99.

What do you think are the necessities of life?

Try the online version of the PSE: UK attitudes to necessities survey.