A publication entitled “The Northern Ireland Households Below Average Income report (2014-15)” was published today by the Department for Communities.
The Households Below Average Income report is produced annually by the Department for Communities and contains statistics on income, income inequality and poverty.
The Households Below Average Income report follows on from the Northern Ireland Poverty Bulletin released earlier in the year, providing a more detailed analysis of income and poverty in Northern Ireland.
Key facts include:
Unless specifically stated, any figures presented in this press release are not statistically significant.
Before Housing Costs:
- The NI Poverty Bulletin released in June showed the following. In 2014-15 average (median) household income in Northern Ireland before housing costs was £420 per week or £21,900 per year, representing a 3% increase from the previous year. Average income in Northern Ireland reached its highest level in 2008/09 followed by a fall as a result of the economic recession. However, since 2011-12 incomes have begun to rise again, but in 2014-15 still remain lower than the series high in 2008-09.
- Today’s HBAI report provides further detail on the income distribution. This shows, for example, that in 2014-15 those households in the top 20% of the income distribution had a weekly income 3.8 times higher than the bottom 20%. The Gini coefficient fell slightly to 29. This compares to 34 in the UK, where income inequality is generally higher.
Before Housing Costs:
- The NI Poverty Bulletin released in June showed the following. In 2014-15 22% of individuals were considered to be in relative poverty and 20% were considered to be in absolute poverty.
- The HBAI report released today provides more information on those living in poverty. A key finding of this is that of all the family types, couples without children had the lowest risk of being in relative poverty, at 15%. The family type at the highest risk was single with children, at 35%.
Before Housing Costs:
- The earlier NI Poverty Bulletin released in June showed the percentage of children in relative poverty increased to 25% in 2014-15, up from 23% in the previous year. The proportion of children in absolute poverty has decreased to 23%, down by 1 percentage point from the previous year.
- The long term trend shows that children are at a higher risk of living in poverty than the overall NI population in both relative and absolute measures.
Today’s HBAI report shows, for example, that more than half of children living in workless households were living in relative poverty in 2014-15 (57%).
Before Housing Costs:
- The NI Poverty Bulletin highlighted that the percentage of working age adults in relative poverty increased in 2014-15 to 21%, up from 20% in the previous year. The percentage of working age adults in absolute poverty decreased to 19%, down from 20% in the previous year.
- The HBAI shows that the risk of being in relative poverty is much higher for workless households compared to working households, 59% compared to 13%. However, because there is a greater number of working households in general, when we look at the profile of those living in poverty we can see that around half of the individuals living in poverty are living in households where at least one adult is in work.
Over one third (38%) of working-age adults with no qualifications were in relative poverty in 2014-15, compared to less than one tenth (6%) of those with a qualification at degree level or above.
After Housing Costs:
- The NI Poverty Bulletin released in June showed the following. The percentage of pensioners in relative poverty decreased to 13% in 2014-15, down from 16% in the previous year. The percentage of pensioners in absolute poverty decreased to 12% in 2014-15, down from 16% in the previous year.
- In 2014-15 both relative and absolute poverty has fallen to the lowest level recorded since the start of the time series in 2002/03.
The HBAI report released today provides further detail on the income of pensioners. For example, in 2014-15 25% of pensioners with no occupational/personal pension were in relative poverty compared to 5% of pensioners with some occupational/personal pension.
Notes to editors:
- This publication presents annual estimates of the percentage and number of people, children, working age adults and pensioners living in poverty households in Northern Ireland (NI). The estimates are used to monitor progress against indicators in the NI Executive’s Programme for Government 2016-21 and to monitor progress of the NI Child Poverty Strategy. The data published in this report are for the financial year April 2014 to March 2015
- Figures presented in this publication are taken from the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) dataset, which is based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS). The FRS has been running in Great Britain since 1992 and was subsequently introduced to Northern Ireland in April 2002
- An infographic on how poverty is measured in HBAI is available
- An individual is considered to be in relative poverty if they are living in a household with an income below 60% of UK median income in the year in question. In 2014-15 the threshold was £284 per week (BHC) for a couple with no children (the benchmark for HBAI)
- An individual is considered to be in absolute poverty if they are living in a household with an income below 60% of UK median income in 2010-11 (up rated year on year by CPI inflation). In 2014-15 the threshold was £277 per week (BHC) for a couple with no children (the benchmark for HBAI)
- All monetary amounts quoted in the key findings are in 2014-15 prices and any changes presented are in real terms i.e. after adjusting for inflation
- This Households below Average Income publication is available online
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Communities Press Office on 028 9082 9215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 0769 9715440 and your call will be returned.
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