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Third of UK people fell below poverty line


Almost a third of people in the UK fell below the poverty line between 2010 and 2013, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

Almost 19.3 million people, or 33%, were in poverty at least once in the three years to 2013. This is compared to the average of 25% of people across the EU.

In regards to "persistent income poverty” the figure was 7.9% of people in the UK, which is less than half of the 15.9% EU average.

The ONS records someone as being in poverty if they live in a household with disposable income below 60% of the national average, before housing costs. Persistent poverty is when a person is in poverty the current year and has been for at least two of the preceding three years.

The UK ranked 13th out of 28 of the EU members for overall poverty, with Greece topping the ranking. The Czech Republic was the country with the lowest poverty levels.

The ONS said:

"Studies reveal that although some people are stuck in poverty, the majority of 'the poor' consist of a constantly changing group of different individuals.
"Although poverty persists only for a relatively small minority, evidence suggests that those who have already been in poverty are more likely to experience poverty again in the future than those who have never been in poverty".

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