Just Sociology

Understanding Poverty in the UK: Insights from Reports News Videos and Committed Organizations

Annually published statistics and reports offer a wealth of information and insight into various aspects of life and society. These reports represent extensive research and analysis, providing useful data that policymakers, researchers, and the general public can use to make informed decisions.

They cover a wide spectrum of topics, from income and wealth inequalities to health, education, and environmental issues. This article will examine two main topics, namely annually published statistics and reports and news articles from the last five years.

Within these topics, we will explore three subtopics, including research studies on income and wealth inequalities in the UK, social class and inequality in the news in 2022, and news articles on relative poverty, elite Tories, and basic income for everyone before 2021.

1) Annually Published Statistics and Reports

1.1 Research Studies on Income and Wealth Inequalities in the UK

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) regularly publishes data on income and wealth inequalities in the UK. Household wealth disparities in the UK have been growing in the last decade.

The wealthiest 10% account for about 45% of total household wealth, while the bottom 50% own only about 9% of the wealth. The inequality in household income follows a similar pattern, with the top 10% owning 45% of the total income, while the bottom 50% only owns 9% (ONS, 2021).

Other research studies conducted globally, such as the Allianz World Wealth Report, confirm these disparities in the UK. The report indicated that the UK is one of the most unequal countries in Europe, with top earners controlling a disproportionately large percentage of wealth.

The report further stated that the top 1% of the UKs population owns nearly one-quarter of the countrys wealth (Allianz, 2021).

2) News Articles from the Last Five Years

2.1 Social Class and Inequality in the News in 2022

The Heat or Eat Diaries, published in 2022, reveal the harsh reality of living on low incomes in the UK. These diaries provide a glimpse into the daily struggles of working-class and middle-class families who struggle to pay their bills while also feeding and clothing themselves.

The diaries show that many low-income families in the UK frequently have to choose between heating their homes or buying food (Clover, 2022). The Covid-19 pandemic exposed further discrepancies in social class in the UK.

Those with lower-paid jobs were more likely to lose their employment than those with higher-paid jobs. Furthermore, the pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities and made life harder for working-class and middle-class families (Ahmed, 2022).

2.2 In the News in 2021 and Before

The issue of relative poverty has been a recurrent feature in news articles for years. Relative poverty describes the experience of having less income, wealth, or social resources compared to the majority in society.

In 2021, the BBC published an article linking relative poverty to political decisions. The article highlights how poverty is complex, and there is a danger in oversimplifying the issue (BBC, 2021).

In 2019, news articles focused on the elite Tory party members in the UK. Some articles suggest that the Conservative party leadership mainly caters to the interests of the elite while disregarding the needs of the working and middle-class citizens.

This emphasis on elitism further exacerbates wealth and income inequalities in the UK (Roe, 2019). The implementation of universal basic income has also been a topic of discussion in recent years.

In 2020, an article published in The Guardian spoke about the benefits of a basic income for everyone. It argued that basic income would reduce income inequality, end poverty, and help tackle social issues such as mental health and homelessness (Raworth, 2020).


Annually published statistics and reports and news articles have given us valuable insights into various aspects of life and society. Reports such as the ONS and Allianz provide critical data on income and wealth inequalities, while news articles highlight the daily struggles and issues faced by everyday people.

These sources of information continue to play an essential role in shaping our understanding of society and how we can work towards a more just and equal world.In addition to the previously mentioned annually published statistics and reports and news articles, videos and documentary resources also provide valuable insights into socioeconomic issues. These visual resources give viewers a chance to see and hear firsthand the struggles faced by people living in poverty and the impact of policies and societal structures on their lives.

In this expansion, we will explore two main topics: videos and documentary resources and committed organizations dedicated to studying poverty in the UK. We will delve into two subtopics related to videos and documentary resources and one subtopic related to committed organizations.

3) Videos and Documentary Resources

3.1 The Made in Britain Series from The Guardian

The Made in Britain series from The Guardian offers a unique perspective on the cost of living crisis in the UK. The series features video diaries from working-class and middle-class families that showcase their lived experiences.

The series explores issues such as the high costs of housing, healthcare, and education, which all contribute to the cost of living crisis. The videos provide an emotional and powerful portrayal of the struggles faced by many in the UK and how both individual action and policy interventions can help address these issues (The Guardian, 2019).

3.2 Panorama and Newsnight Documentaries

Panorama and Newsnight documentaries also provide valuable insights into poverty-related issues in the UK. Surviving the Cost of Living Crisis is a documentary that examines the growing gap between the rich and poor in the UK, especially in London.

The documentary follows families struggling to make ends meet, highlighting the day-to-day challenges of high living costs and the scarcity of decent-paying jobs. The documentary also investigates the full impact of cuts to essential services and benefits on the people who rely on them (BBC, 2019).

Poverty in London is another documentary that provides an essential perspective on poverty in the UK. The documentary is part of the London Economic Conference project and explores how rising prices and stagnant wages have impacted the lives of Londoners.

The video features interviews with individuals and families struggling to make ends meet in the most expensive city in the UK. These documentaries highlight the importance of fighting poverty and demonstrate the negative impact of social inequality on everyday lives (Positive News, 2022).

4) Committed Organizations Dedicated to Studying Poverty

4.1 UK Poverty-Focused Organizations

Several organizations in the UK are dedicated to studying poverty in all its forms. Through research and advocacy, these organizations aim to address the issues that contribute to poverty and help alleviate the suffering of those affected.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) is the best-known charity working to solve poverty in the UK. JRF carries out research, analysis, and policy development in poverty issues.

The charity works with stakeholders to identify effective solutions, including both social and economic policy interventions. JRF has been instrumental in addressing issues such as low wages, housing affordability, and social exclusion (JRF, 2021).

The Nuffield Foundation is another research-based organization that focuses on poverty and inequality. The Foundation funds a range of social policy projects that target issues such as child poverty, low-income families, and social inequality.

The organization aims to provide high-quality research that can inform policy changes and promote social progress (Nuffield Foundation, 2022). The Equality Trust advocates for a fairer society by addressing income inequality.

They offer research and analysis on the causes and effects of income inequality, and the organization uses this information to champion policy change. The Equality Trust also runs campaigns and organizes events to engage the wider public and raise awareness of income inequality (The Equality Trust, 2022).

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC) is an independent group that focuses on improving social mobility in the UK. SMC aims to provide policy recommendations which address ingrained practices that perpetuate inequality.

Adopting a longitudinal approach, the organization examines policies that focus on education, labor market, and housing and provides valuable data on the upward and downwards mobility of different sections of society (Social Mobility Commission, 2020).


Videos and documentary resources, as well as committed organizations dedicated to studying poverty, provide a valuable perspective on the challenges faced by people living in poverty. The Made in Britain series, as well as the Panorama and Newsnight documentaries, give voice to people living in poverty and bring awareness to their experiences.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation, the Equality Trust, and the Social Mobility Commission support policies and promote research that address specific issues contributing to poverty in the UK. Continued attention and action are necessary to address poverty, ensuring that everyone can live fulfilling lives free from financial hardship.

In conclusion, this article highlights the importance of annually published statistics and reports, news articles, and videos and documentary resources in understanding the issue of poverty in the UK. These sources of information provide valuable insight into the lived experiences of those affected by poverty and social inequality, as well as the policies and systemic barriers that contribute to their struggle.

Committed organizations such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Equality Trust work tirelessly to address poverty and advocate for policy changes that can deliver tangible solutions. As we strive towards a fairer and more equitable society, it is essential to continue to engage with these critical resources and support the ongoing fight against poverty.


Q: What percentage of household wealth in the UK is owned by the top 10% and the bottom 50%? A: The top 10% of households in the UK own 45% of total household wealth, while the bottom 50% only owns about 9%.

Q: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the cost of living crisis in the UK? A: The Covid-19 pandemic has made life even harder for working-class and middle-class families by exposing discrepancies in social class and exacerbating existing inequalities.

Q: How do organizations like the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation work to address poverty? A: These organizations aim to address poverty through research, policy development, and advocacy for policy changes that promote social progress and alleviate the suffering of those affected.

Q: What kind of issues do documentaries like Surviving the Cost of Living Crisis and Poverty in London explore? A: These documentaries explore issues such as the rising costs of essential services, the scarcity of decent-paying jobs, and the negative impact of cuts to benefits and essential services on people’s lives.

Q: How do relative poverty and income inequality link to political decisions? A: Relative poverty and income inequality are often linked to political decisions, such as austerity measures and budget allocation, that can perpetuate social and economic disparity.

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