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Poverty definitions and thresholds

Poverty definitions and thresholds
Household types Minimum Income Standard - Inner London (AHC), 2023 Minimum Income Standard - Outer London (AHC), 2023 UK poverty line - After Housing Costs, 2022/23 Destitution, 2022
Single, working-age £304 £271 £166 £95
Couple, working-age £522 £464 £287 £145
Single, pensioner £271 £236 £166 £95
Couple, pensioner £431 £357 £287 £145
Lone parent, one child (aged one) £340 £351 £224 £125
Couple with two children (aged three and seven) £577 £600 £407 £205

Data source: Poverty thresholds are from Households Below Average Income 2021/22, Department for Work and Pensions. Minimum Income Standard thresholds are based on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for London, Trust for London 2022. Destitution in the UK 2022, JRF

Last updated: May 2024
Next estimated update: May 2025

What does this indicator show?

There are a number of different ways of measuring poverty and destitution. This table shows different definitions and thresholds for three of the most cited living standards measures. The amount of income is dependent on the type of household.

The measures of poverty and deprivation shown here are:

The Minimum Income Standard - a measure of what incomes different households require to reach a minimum socially acceptable living standard. Find out more about the Minimum Income Standard in London here.

The UK poverty line - Households are considered to be below the UK poverty line if their income is below 60% of the median household income after housing costs for that year.

Destitution - Households in destitution are defined by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as those who have to go without two or more essentials in the past month because they couldn't afford them, or if their income is extremely low (less than £95 a week for a single adult). Essentials are defined as having a home, food, heating, lighting clothing, shoes and basic toiletries. 

To learn more about measuring poverty, read our explainer.