Attitudes to adult necessities, UK, 2012

By stevedyates |

This table shows items and activities for adults ranked by the percentage of the survey sample describing the item or activity as necessary, something which everyone should be able to afford and should not have to go without.

In the PSE research, items and activities thought to be necessary by 50% or more of people are classed as ‘necessities’. On this table, colour gradients have been applied so that items and activities thought to be necessities by 100% to 50% go from dark red to a very light pink and those by 49% or less from a very light green to a dark green.

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The public takes a relative rather than an absolute view of poverty. The items and activities classed as necessities reflect a minimum standard that is not seen to be simply about subsistence but to also reflect contemporary standards. While the public heavily support items related to what are seen as basic needs, they also take the view that necessities should enable people to participate fully in the society in which they live.

For a commentary on this table see Key Findings 3: What do we think we need? and the PSE first report, The Impoverishment of the UK.

Survey details

The ‘Necessities of Life’ survey was carried out between May and June 2012 and is based on a sample of 1,447 adults aged 16 or over in the Britain and 1,015 in Northern Ireland. For further information see PSE survey details.


First posted: September, 2013.

Last updated: 31 May, 2016

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